Feminism | Posted by Julie Z on 06/30/2009

Oh Wimbledon

Wimbledon. I had respect for you. With your penchant for serving tea and strawberries with cream while watching non contact sports instead of artery-blocking glorified fat while watching supposedly heterosexual men throw themselves on one another. I admired you for glorifying the one sport I can adequately play without looking like a complete ass.

I play tennis? what?

I play tennis? what?

But now, apparently Wimbledon has had a change of heart in the “classy” department. They’re putting unseeded and low-ranked women on the best courts (Maria Sharapova- unseededand ranked 60th, Gisela Dulko -unseeded, ranked 45th)  because they’re cute instead of the powerhouses like Serena Williams (seeded 2nd) and Svetlana Kuznetsova (seeded 5th). Because Maria Sharapova’s modeling career has been infinitely more successful than her tennis career she gets preference over women who are actually talented tennis players. In a tennis tournament. Shoot me.

And then Wimbledon’s defense was absolutely pathetic. They didn’t acknowledge the disgustingness of such an accusation, but rather side stepped the issue, legitimizing the idea that pretty women should be placed above talented women in a contest measuring talent. Because if you’re pretty, nothing else matters, right?

The official defense was: “Looks per se are not taken into account” Apparently “box office appeal” was. Correct me if I’m wrong, but box office appeal is usually determined by how famous and talented the players in the match are. Even non-tennis people know who Serena Williams is. Who can tell me who Gisela Dulko is? Well, she must be pretty good because she played on the centre court while Serena Williams was relegated to a back one. Or maybe Gisela just looks like this 



while Serena looks like this



Because apparently a woman who is muscular and unabashedly powerful (BECAUSE SHE’S ONE OF THE BEST TENNIS PLAYERS IN THE WORLD) is unattractive. Good job, idiotic beauty standards.

And one more time, all together, this is about tennis. And how well the players can play tennis. I don’t care if Maria Sharapova can model her ass off—if she can, good, then go find a runway. I honestly don’t think the people that are spending good money on Wimbledon tickets are that concerned with looks, either. If they’re there, it’s because they like watching good tennis – and are expecting the best, because Wimbledon is supposed to be the best. Looks of the players are not what’s driving the box office.

On the other hand, it’s a pretty good example of how sexism is still alive and thriving. This isn’t exactly happening to the guys, now is it?

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  • “Serena Williams cruises to Wimbledon victory” | Feminism | fbomb @ at 11:12 am, July 4th, 2009

    […] i’m gonna say after writing this is you can take your “pretty” and shove it, Wimbledon. Rate This Post (No Ratings Yet) […]

  • Bethany Elfrink @ at 9:37 pm, July 5th, 2009

    Can I just say…

    I love you? I do. My God. I am going to college this fall, you are only sixteen, and you are infinitely wiser than my peers. Thank you!

  • Noticed @ at 4:04 pm, July 13th, 2009

    Well put.

    No, this is not happening on the men’s side. Wimbledon should have to publish criteria for how they decide who plays on which courts. Factors like home town favorites, I can understand in terms of “box office appeal.” Their idea of what makes a woman beautiful, not so much.

  • Beverley @ at 4:20 pm, December 4th, 2009

    Awsome stuff ? lots of work went in this page. keep it up

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