Olympic-sized sexism, loud and proud
August 31, 2016 by Theresa Howe
What year is this?
This is going to hurt. And it should.
Katinka Hosszu. 3 gold medals, one silver. Credit given to her husband and swim coach.
Corey Codgell-Unrein. Three time Olympian and 2-time bronze medalist. “The wife of a Chicago Bears’ lineman.”
Simone Manuel. 2 gold medals and 2 silver medals in Olympic swimming. “Phelps shares podium with African American.”
Bo Dietl (I’m not even going to link to these peeps) said, “Would you put money behind a gal that won the gold medal that looks like a washed out rag?”
Majlinda Kelmendi. Kosovo’s first-ever gold medalist. Her match was called a “catfight.”
Katie Ledecky. 4 gold medals, 1 silver in 2016. “Swims like a man.”
Simone Biles. 3 gold medals. “The next Michael Phelps.”
Alexa Moreno. 99-pound gymnast. Called “gordo.”
John Miller. “The people who watch the Olympics are not particularly sports fans. More women watch the Games than men, and for the women, they’re less interested in the result and more interested in the journey,”
John Inverdale. “You’re the first person ever to win two Olympic tennis gold medals. That’s an extraordinary feat, isn’t it?” (to Andy Murray, who reminded him of the Williams sisters)
He Zi. Silver medalist. “What’s better than an Olympic medal? A proposal.”
James Carroll. “I’ve seen enough of Kerri Walsh’s side boob.”
2016. That’s what year it is. And yet, women are “girls” and their accomplishments, if mentioned, are subjugated. If possible, their male spouse gets the headline, or is credited for their success. What about the women who don’t have husbands? Or don’t want one? Or aren’t trained by a man? What on earth could we mention them for?
Sure, after public outrage, newspapers changed their headlines and apologies were issued. So what? Why did these ridiculous comments make it through editorial approval? Where is the filter for sexism, racism, and other ugly terms that could easily be applied to this years’ coverage?
It makes me think back to the flow chart of choices for the presidential election. The critical question being: “Are women people?”
Being an Olympic athlete is an incredible achievement and yes, it takes a lot of support to get there. But tell us her story, not his.