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Media

Amy,
 
I was curious about your opinion on Women Athletes and how they are portrayed in the media.  I am writing a paper for class on how people define female athletes into certain categories and how some magazines may cover women sports but it seems like the photo is also "sexy."  Do you feel this is an ongoing and current issue? 

I recall seeing the cover of SI with a volleyball player who was naked with the ball covering her parts.  I wondered why the picture wasn't of her playing volleyball.  The pictures of males are always while actively engaged in the sport, but I felt that they find a need to "make-up" the females.
 
Just wanted to know your thoughts on this.
 
Thanks,

Amanda

 

   

Dear Amanda,

I n general, I am very supportive of female athletes and women who participate in sports. In fact, I see it both as a great expression of feminism, the benefits of what feminism made possible, as well as a great thing for the individual women themselves, you challenge your body and your mind as an athlete and you learn what you are
capable of. I think sports are a great metaphor for feminism and also
what women are capable. For instance, when women first were admitted to run marathons 25 years ago the time difference between the first place man and first place women was 1 hour and 20 minutes, within 25 yeats that time difference has shrunk to within 15 minutes and within the next 10 years, it's expected that the first place will go to a woman. This example proves that once women have equal access, they can be capable of what men are.

That's a longer answer to your question than you probably wanted. As far as media images go -- I think they are better, but as you point out, certainly not what they could be. For instance, men don't have to be beautiful to be athletes, women shouldn't either. We should have the same expectations for women that we do for men.

Good luck,

—Amy

 

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