Saturday, May 7, 2011

Sport Degraded

I want to see badminton succeed as a sport in the USA (Cf.) , but this is not helping:

The BWF has received feedback from various parties with regards to the introduction of Rule 19.2 of the General Competition Regulations which require female players to wear skirts or dresses for Level 1 to 3 tournaments.
The Badminton World Federation issues a qualification:
The BWF has developed guidelines ... to ensure that it will not in any way discriminate against any religious or other beliefs and respects women. Players will continue to wear shorts if they wish but simply wear a skirt over the top of the shorts, as is often practiced already by some players.
Just as women living under conditions of Islamist fascism can wear god-displeasing garments under the mandatory full-body wraps that (somehow) shield their hideousness from the eyes of Allah, so too female badminton competitors can wear what they wish so long as they put a skirt over it. After all, the statement notes, some women are already freely choosing to wear two layers, the outer of which is a skirt. Problem? What problem?

Fuck you, BWF. Or as Ophelia Benson puts it:
Well why stop there then – if it’s a matter of marketing, why not make a new rule saying women have to wear makeup and long flowing hair and V-neck halter tops and stiletto heels along with their skirts? Why not tell them to stop playing and do a pole dance instead?
One of the ways sporting events expand in performance and appeal is by innovation in equipment and clothing. If you doubt this, try running five miles in a pair of Converse All-Stars, and then try it again in a pair of ASICS or Brooks you can pick up in any specialty running store today. As amazing as he was, ponder what Jim Brown would have been able to do with modern day shoulder pads, helmet, and face mask.

To ossify the selection of garments for women badminton players is not only sexist, it is a short-sighted hindrance to the growth of the sport.

1 comment:

Laura said...

You are officially my hero!

I have always maintained that skirts in sports are ridiculous, and I especially detest them when I'm forced to catch (or give) a glimpse of "bloomers" beneath them when the skirt flies up as it inevitably does in the course of playing or performing (as in ice skating).

So unnecessary. Ugh! And while I'm at it, what's up with that picture of First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden on the cover of Parade Magazine a few weeks ago? They were practically sitting in each other's laps, heads together, with the caption, "The First Ladies of DC Want You."

Is it just me or is not enough for women to be well-educated, accomplished, and influential to warrant our attention?