Women and girls are in the midst of a cultural sexualisation and exploitation crisis across all spectrums of our lives and impacting us in many harmful ways. According to the Australian Sports commission such sexualised promotions are “reason enough for some girls and women to choose another sport or even no sport at all”. Watch this 40 second video which emphasizes this powerfully Keep her in the game
Now cue the Lingerie Football League (LFL), another deterrent which adds to this confusion, body shame and detrimental influencing of who we are and what we must do to achieve success on and off the sporting field. Sign this petition and say no to LFL becoming a permanent fixture of sexploitation in our nation. Still need more proof? Watch wonderful women’s advocate, Melinda Tankard Reist expose this pornified culture and name its many harmful effects.
“If good people rose up in mass against this (sexualisation and pornified culture) around the world, the corporations would have to change their behavior. (the public need to) Take action, not only in their personal lives by boycotting this culture and not buying into it, they also need to take the debate up with their regulatory bodies that are supposed to be protecting our children from this stuff. In Australia we’ve targeted the advertising standards board and the classifications board which have completely failed us. And also we need to take it up with our politicians, with our members of parliament and ask them ‘what are you going to do about it, what commitment can you give us to address this toxic issue which is having demonstrable negative physical and emotional outcomes in children?’… In Australia we have 6 year old girls being hospitalized with eating disorders because they hate their bodies…. In Australia 1 in every 100 women have anorexia, 1 in 5 have bulimia, 1 in 4 wants to have cosmetic surgery, and deliberate self harm has become the highest cause of hospital admissions for girls between the ages of 13 and 19. Children are being raised in a shadow cast by pornography…. All the global research says – this is damaging, this is dangerous and it’s getting worse, so if we truly care about the health and wellbeing of young people (and women) we need to address this as a matter of urgency” Melinda Tankard Reist.
Read more about Melinda’s mission here and here. Even on the eve of the 2012 Olympics, where athletes should be revered for their athleticism alone, our sexualized culture is alive and kicking and equality has left the building. According to the Australian Sports Commission (ASC); “Women’s beach volleyball, (for example) has introduced uniforms intentionally to focus attention on the athletes’ bodies rather than for any technological, practical or performance-enhancing reasons. Women must compete in bra-style tops and bikini bottoms that must not exceed six centimetres in width at the hip (men compete in shorts and singlet’s)…….. There is a wealth of research linking poor body image with increased risk of disordered eating behaviours. Using sex as part of a promotional strategy may limit the potential of a sport to attract a diverse range of talented girls and women. Such promotion is reason enough for some girls and women to choose another sport or even no sport at all.” Enter ‘The Sun’ UK newspaper known for its degrading topless page 3 girls and double standards of slut-shaming.
The buzz around the beach volleyball tournament, held in Horse Guard’s Parade just behind Prime Minister David Cameron’s residence at 10 Dowling Street, is growing by the day. Tickets have been sold out for months and the mass-selling Sun even dedicated its main front page story last Tuesday to news that beach volleyball fans were “distraught” that competitors were planning to cover up in the cold, wet conditions. The headline was “What a bummer.” And when the British team agreed to wear bikinis after all, the Sun trumpeted the announcement as a victory for the paper: “We shall delight the fans on the beaches, with our peaches,” it roared.
Perhaps, as Natalie Cook (Australian female beach volleyball athlete) states in the article; “I still think the bikini is the best practical application for our sport in most conditions. We play in 45 degree heat in Brazil. Even the bikini is too much in that heat” this is a viable argument, yet, if so, why don’t the men play in Speedos instead of shorts and singlets? (The equivalent of the bikini for men). Why aren’t the press and the fans of male beach volleyball more focused on having a perv then watching the sport? How many tournaments are actually played in Brazil, really? And why does this uniform fall under the category of sexploitation on the ASC website? Related articles;
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