Ugh, more thoughts about femininity and sports. The more I think about that Ladies Against Feminism article (the one asserting that women should not play sports), the more it amazes me that real flesh-and-blood women exist who are willing to tolerate or espouse the LAF viewpoint. And I do want to understand so if any of you are reading, I would love to hear from you . . . But as I think more about those pictures in the article, the more they irritate me. Essentially, the author (who is a man by the way) is trying to convince women to refrain from sports because it will make them look ugly. And that argument, is quite frankly, insulting to women. It assumes that women care more about looking pretty than anything else.
Now, it is tempting for a Blue Stater like me to dismiss this as a crackpot attitude, but it reminded of an incident with my own father when I had just graduated from college. (Remember, I posted earlier about the fact that he is half Feminist and half Dinosaur.) I was packing an enormous duffelbag because I was planning to move to the UK and Ireland for 10 months. My father was insistently trying to persuade me that I should pack less and he was even getting a little hot under the collar about it. Finally, he said, "You know, boys find it very unattractive to see a girl lugging enormous bags." There it was -- the same argument as in the LAF article! I immediately told him that it was more important for me to have the things I need for the next 10 months than to try to look perfectly attractive to boys I don't know in the airport. (And then I admit it, I fumed silently about his comment for the whole ride to the airport.)
In a related note, Jodie notes the strangeness of anyone coming out against women's sports in a country that has such an obesity problem. In fairness, though, I think that Christian conservatives (including ultra-conservative Biblical patriarchs) believe that maintaining bodily health is important. The idea is that God entrusted our bodies (His creation) to us and it is our obligation therefore to care for our bodies. The people who come out against women's sports merely believe in lighter exercise for women (like housework, I'm not kidding!), plus healthful eating. I don't agree, but part of the purpose of this blog is to try to understand the logic.