Open question to the Internet: Why is it apparently mysogynistic of men to get excited about the Olympics women’s beach volleyball because there’s pretty ladies jumping about in tight sport bikinis, when half of the female Tumblr population has done little else this week but perve over the Olympic male swimmers in their tiny swimming trunks?
Because female athletes aren’t considered to be serious competitors. Because the women’s football tickets are being given away, and the men’s football tickets cost thousands upon thousands of pounds. Because female athletes struggle for sponsorship unless they’re stereotypically aesthetically attractive enough to get modelling deals whereas Wayne Rooney’s neanderthal face gets paid millions. Because male athletes are valued because of their prowess, their skill, their charm, and female athletes are valued for their bodies. Because Michael Phelps breaks records and is a national hero, and Ye Shiwen breaks records and is accused of doping. Because the male gaze is a product of hundreds of years of oppression, of complex gender dynamics, of sexualisation and sexual exploitation, and there’s no female equivalent. Because the female exposure of the body is a sign of vulnerability, of sex, of reproduction, of physical use and nothing more, whereas male exposure is a sign of confidence, of power, of physical strength. Because women are naked on the covers of magazines to pleasure men and men are naked on the cover of magazines to inspire other men. In other words, the world is backwards, and twisted, and complicated, and your observation is perversely oversimplified.