I wanted to explore the ways in which sexuality have played a part in sports, especially when it comes to women. These next few post deal directly with how women’s sexuality is portrayed and objectified through sports.
This comic depicts how society has once again found a way to objectify women and their bodies. In 1999 the Federation Internationale de Volleyball standardize the uniform for beach volleyball to be that of “shorts or a bathing suit”. Seemingly this regulation is vague, however shorts or a bathing suit, leaves women with relatively few options-that she will be a wearing a bathing suit and her body will objectified into a sexual object. The real question lies within the realm of why men don’t wear speedos, if a bathing suit is an option? One answer is that sex sells, and whether a man is in a speedo or shorts doesn’t change the sexual appearance for the onlookers. However if a women were to wear shorts and a tank top, that would have a completely different appeal than a bikini. Yes, there is some argument that the attire is worn because of its comfort, especially in the heat, but they are clearly not required because of their efficiency.
Beach volleyball is not the only sport in which through regulation of uniform, women’s bodies are objectified. The sport of figure skating “ice dance” calls for strict guidelines that differ for men and women. Women must wear a skirt and men must wear full length trousers, no tights allowed and no sleeveless tops.
The question is then why do these rules exist? In both cases the uniform that is required is not because of its comfort or efficiency but rather to view women’s bodies as sexual objects. These regulations are clearly in place to objectify women’s bodies to the standards of what society see’s them as- worthy of only one thing, sex. If society wasn’t trying to objectify women as sexual beings, men would be wearing speedos and leotards.
This isn’t a problem of today’s society but rather a misinterpreted view of women and their sexuality that has been concretely formed throughout history. For quite sometime, especially beginning in the 19th century women’s bodies have been viewed as weaker, less than men. Thus in return they are seen as objects that can be touched and used for sex. Creating uniform regulation such as these is just another way that society has been able to continue to objectify women’s bodies into sexual objects.