Fair warning: if you don’t like controversy or strong opinions, check it at the door. I have an opinion that is apparently a somewhat unpopular one among women, and it confuses me.
For all of the rights women have fought for in this country, there is still one that continues to be stifled to this day. It is in fact hampered more so by women than it is by men. That is freedom of expression.
It has been implied everywhere on the internet in various sports circles that people like Erin Andrews and Ines Sainz don’t deserve to be respected as sports journalists because of the way they dress. Apparently, I’m the only one who sees a problem with that, and that scares me.
Granted, I grew up in a very liberal DC suburb and now reside in Ithaca, N.Y. where there are communes and 60 year-old naked men sunbathing by the gorges without a second thought. I consider my self extremely socially liberal, and that means believing that anyone should be able to express themselves in any way they want without being ridiculed.
Some view the problem with women’s equality being women’s who are willing to “sell” themselves. They believe that it causes women to categorically be judged as “sluts” who shouldn’t be taken seriously. They may be right and that may be true, but why are other women supporting this notion that men use to try and keep women as non-threateningly as possible?
The problem isn’t so much with men, its with other women. Other women who categorically judge attractive women as people with nothing else to offer. Other women who, frankly, let their jealousy get in the way of what should be female strength to be celebrated.
Most women seem to not want to believe that women can be both attractive and smart. I find this often comes from women who are maybe less attractive, but very smart. They are jealous of people who have the whole package, and they’d rather see the demise of these women at the hands of men for their own schadenfreude than band together.
The biggest problem in women not being taken seriously in sports journalism is in fact other women who are threatened. People shouldn’t be judged on their appearance, and that should extend to both extremes. Women who have it all should be celebrated, not ridiculed.
It is ridiculous to insist that a woman dress like a nun in order to be taken seriously in the sports industry. Even though that is somewhat the case now, it isn’t going to change if women continue to knock each other. The only way it will change is with a thousand voices. The female voices remaining quiet only strengthen those stereotypes we are trying to break. Set aside your ego and cheer on the women who aren’t afraid to look that way.