Wednesday, February 4, 2009
After reading Heywood's, Pretty Good for a Girl, and having a class discussion about Leslie, I wanted to I guess talk about women's athletics in comparison to men's athletics. I found Leslie to be really reliable, because I am a competitive runner, but I can see how many could not. It is a whole different world to compete in running and to run for pleasure. I don't mean to offend anyone on this comment (sorry if I do). It seems to me though that when ever a women athlete outshines the rest of the athletes on the course, court, field, etc. that she almost has to embody this male persona. It is extremely weird to me to look into the head of another female athlete, a runner in particular, and compare it to my own mind through athletic competition. It looks to me like Leslie uncovers this hidden testosterone, where winning is her only way out. It defines who she is. She no longer takes on a role as a female, she is an athlete, which often (I believe) is a term that can be confused with male. When people come to women's sporting events they are there to either A. cheer on there family members, or B. (which this is the one that pisses me off the most) to see "hot" girls in practically no clothes. I know I spoke about a website that I had stumbled upon when I was looking for a picture of one of my favorite runners. I went back to that website right after class. First off, the website was labeled 50 Hottest Women In Sports and the subtitle, get this, hours of training, dedication, toned bodies, tanned skins. Most, if not all, of the women where on the website in a bikini. This baffled me because I think three of them were winter sports women who lived in cold climates such as Aspen. Now I don't know that much about winter sports, but I think that a little more than just a bikini is needed to preform well. What made the most mad is that Victoria Beckham was on there and she was a freakin Spice Girl!!!! She never played any sport what so ever! Under the picture it said, "She does not play sports, but she David Beckham's (Soccer player) wife. Excuse me? What hours of training and dedication did it take to marry a soccer player? Oh none. That's what I thought. There was so much emphasis on what a women should look like from the result of playing sports (or the marrying to sports figures) more so then the actual action and hard work it takes to play sports. All of the pictures were photographs that were chosen by women athletes to take. So just like Heywood knowing she is beautiful and getting more attention for that, is the same thing that all outstanding female athletes do. They have to fit in to what will make them popular so that they will be watched and idolized and wanted. This is what they do. Another thing to compare this is that men athletes have pictures where they are sweating and preforming, beating someone, winning. Heywood embodied a male athlete because she wanted to be know for her running. I think it is wrong that females have to be this way and they have to be sexy to get signed to do there passion whereas men just throw a football OK and get signed to a college team (sorry I had to take a dig at Notre Dame). I know that it is hard for people who have not been in Heywood's position to sympathize, and it is hard to believe that women athletes think like this, but trust me behind all those toned bodies, and tanned skins is hard work and dedication that has to be hidden by a manly persona. This is how to get noticed, its not fair, but for now (until I become a major female athlete[haha]) this is the way it has to be done.