I started reading chapter 13 in Dave Zirin’s book “Game Over”, and literally stopped after the first few pages, as I was so disgusted by what I was reading. This chapter started off summarizing a particular event that happened at York University in the year 2011. “A Toronto police officer told students at a campus safety information session at York University, ‘Women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized’. The message was that women bring sexual assault on themselves by the way they act or dress” (Zirin, 2013, pg. 135). Zirin then went on by explaining a couple of scenario’s in the sporting world with famous female athletes posing in inappropriate clothing on the cover of a magazine. He then incorporates a sociologist from the University of Minnesota, Mary Jo Kane. Kane “specializes in gender and sports” and “undertook a far-reaching study to understand the effect of sexualizing women athletes” (Zirin, 2013, pg. 137). Her concern was that although these photo’s sold a lot of magazines, it also drew a lot of negative attention and fear from the female fan base and the “fathers with daughters” fan base (Zirin, 2013, pg. 137).
My concern for this is the young female athletes that are wanting to make it to the top, but have a fear that they have to be involved in this type of “media” in order to gain the fame and money. What does this say to these young girls ? Secondly, what about the fear that is being placed in the parents for their daughters ? It seems like the media and athletes will do anything for publicity and money these days.
Is this becoming a new trend in the media ? Where do you see this type of ‘media’ taking the world of sport for women?
Zirin, D. (2013). Game over: How politics has turned the sport world upside down. New York: The New Press.