Oh those clever people over at Vox, looked hard enough to compile a 5 minute video of all the sexist coverage of the Olympics. Two weeks worth of competition and those sexist commentators gave them enough for a 5 minute video complete with their own commentary on how sexist it is, graphics and a sweet intro. Click the link below to watch the video, and then cue the outrage!
My turn! If you are like me you noticed that they used the absolute shortest clips available to them to prove their point, kind of like CNN when they show some lady calling for peace when she is actually calling for violence in the suburbs. Don’t expect an apology from Vox though. Nope, they are fighting the social justice fight all the way to the bitter end. So I will take this point by point, and will admit up front, they have a point on a few of them, but not enough to start flying the sexist flag in all its glory. Let’s begin.
Adam Kreek is up first. Former olympian himself, he criticized Eugenie Bouchard for being more concerned with her looks and product placement rather than tennis. Pompous? Yes. Sexist? No. You only see the part of the video where he is criticizing her, but why is he doing it? Well let’s take the next part of his words for it “[f]or me as a sports fan, I’m not interested in watching that, [b]ut there are people out there that want to see someone, you know, pursuing beauty and fashion and this sort of thing. And maybe that’s, ‘I got into the tennis world and I want to leverage this.’” Is it possible that he is questioning her motives? Maybe he felt that her loss was due to a distraction with trying to get some sort of sponsor deal going? Oh it’s sexist, oh okay, well let’s just keep ignoring context and move on to the next example shall we?
So, we move on to the “unnamed NBC commentator” who said that the US women gymnastics team “might as well be standing in the middle of a mall”. Not sure about the ageist thing that is mentioned considering that gymnasts, especially female gymnasts, have tendency to be young. Unless you are from the Ukraine then you get to be in your 40s, but generally they are between 16 and 21. Since I also have a lack of context on the statement I can only go on what I see. Could it be sexist? Sure, but if we are all even just a little bit honest with ourselves, does the gaggle of gymnasts there not look like it could be a gaggle of teenage girls in a mall? If you said no, you either watched the whole thing and have all the context or you need a face palm. Also an observation and a suggestion are two different things. He observed exactly what I mentioned above, Liz Plank on the other hand is suggesting that it is sexist…and ageist. See the difference, the “unnamed commentator” probably couldn’t care less if the viewer thinks that the girls should be in a mall, where as Miss Plank definitely cares that you think it is sexist. Moving on.
Dan Hicks is next on the chopping block. After Katinka Hosszu, from Hungary, destroys an olympic world record, her husband is super stoked. The camera pans to him as Hicks state’s that he is the man responsible for making Hosszu a completely different swimmer. Plank calls this bro appropriating, where the achievements of the female are framed as a male achievement. I wonder why this is. Is he the worlds best husband? Not sure. Did he just make a super-duper breakfast for her that morning? Maybe. Or it could be because this is her fourth olympics and after 2012, in London, she changed coaches from David Salo to Shane Tusup (her husband) and voila she has 3 gold medals and a silver. Prior to the 2016 olympics she had 0 medals. No, he didn’t do all of the work, but neither Did Gary Kubiak and now Peyton Manning has another Super Bowl ring. Nobody seemed to care when Kubiak or Wade Phillips got credit for that one. So Why now? Well sexism of course.
Unless you hear from Katinka Hoszu herself “I’m really happy [with the way he works], because honestly I wouldn’t be in Rio if he wasn’t with me after London.” SEXISTS! Oh wait, that was her saying that about her husband? She said essentially the same thing, she goes on to give him the utmost praise for her success. It’s not that she is a self hating sexist, or even that she doesn’t understand the hard work she put into her accomplishments, but rather she understands what he brought to her athletics and wishes for him to be recognized as well. I say good on you Dan Hicks for expressing to the world what Katinka Hosszu also expressed to the world. Speaking of giving a woman’s accomplishments to a man lets go to Chicago for the next sexist uproar.
The Chicago Tribune tweeted out about Corey Cogley-Unrein. She won the bronze medal in Trap Shooting, her second such medal. But The Tribune tweeted out “Wife of Bears defensive Lineman wins a bronze medal today in Rio Olympics”. Oh the travesty. Such a travesty that even she got a chuckle out of it. Her response after her husband had notified her of the exploding twitter controversy “”Well, you know, initially when I read it, I didn’t really think much of it to be completely honest, [i]t didn’t come off to me as something that was intentional or malicious.” Again, the social justice warriors took action on her behalf. Calling out the tribune for this egregious mistake. Yes, they should have included her name and her sport, but this is Chicago we are talking about and it is pre-season, probably tried to draw in some readers (hint:it worked).
Guns, and how awesome people are with them doesn’t exactly fit the liberal narrative in the major media outlets. Need proof of this, check out Ginny Thrasher. I don’t see Liz Plank running to her defense after she called out the California gun laws. Nope she probably jumped on the “Ban the Guns” bandwagon, like everybody else at Vox and in the national media. If you don’t know, Ginny Thrasher brought home the US’ first gold medal this year in the Women’s 10m Air Rifle. No rushing to her defense from any social justice warrior, because at some point they have to pick the cause that is more important to them. I guess celebrating a women’s success isn’t priority numero uno when she is against over restrictive gun laws. Oh well, MORE SEXISM!
John Inverdale from the BBC apparently tried his hand at it this year. Though Miss Plank references an old article from him at first in which he “body shames” somebody for not being very attractive. I noticed VOX didn’t exactly trot out the bridge troll for this video, now did they? Why? because the market. This time, Inverdale wrongly said that Andy Murray is the first person to win 2 olympic gold medals in Tennis. Murray quickly corrected Inverdale and correctly stated that he was the first to do it in the singles title, but in doubles Venus and Serena have been destroying it for 16 years. Plank even acknowledges as much in her little commentary (yes I said little to belittle it), but we can’t let that get in the way of a good raging now can we? I too am pissed that Inverdale was essentially correct, but not very precise. Is this the kind of crap we are really outraged about, when women representing muslim countries are forced to wear the Hijab (we’ll get to this in a bit)?
The next one, I have to give to sexism or retardation. When Michael Phelps tying for silver is the major headline and the subtext is Katie Ledecky breaking a world record, yeah that one is hard to ignore. While Phelps is the more popular person and will probably draw in the readers eyes, tying for silver is not exactly worthy of a giant headline. They could have completely left Ledecky out and this would have never happened. Instead they chose to put her in the subtext of the headline and I actually agree with Vox and others on this one. Paul Newberry of the Associated Press and the editors really should take a look at the message on this one before running it next time. The only defense of this, is the first line in the article “[t]he most decorated athlete in Olympic history” isn’t talking about Ledecky, and yes there was a lot of attention on Phelps being that he has won more golds in any single olympic and in all olympics than anybody else. That is a pretty weak defense, but I did just want to point that out. NEXT!
Vox got two in a row, nice job guys! Oh and gals, don’t want to be sexist now. Correctly pointing out that the Mercury News feels enough respect for Michael Phelps, but not the african-american which he shared his special night with. How kind of him to include the african-american in his festivities. Oh, wait, she won gold also? So, he didn’t share anything with her, she actually earned her medal? And she has a name? Simone Manuel, okay got it. I guess we could just refer to her by name. But you know, skin color has been a thing the past 8 years or so, so I guess they were just trying to capitalize on that. Not defending them, that headline is one of the dumbest things I have ever read. And finally, the last people on Vox’s block.
Yes people, or organizations or what knots. Liz Plank just rolls through a whole litany of people who have egregiously demeaned the female sex. Like HollywoodLife.com for wondering about breast implants. Forgive me here, but does HollywoodLife.com seem like the kind of site anybody goes to for serious coverage of anything, or do they strike people as more of a gossip site? Or Washington Post not happy about people talking about Gabby Douglas’ hair. It was not a racially charged debate as Liz Plank would have you believe, “black twitter lit up” criticizing her hair. The article even goes on to tell why black people would feel the way they do about her hair. Oh my, not a racially charged debate, WaPo frames it as pretty one-sided there.
So we have hit up sexism, and now moved on to racism, what could possibly be next?????ISLAMAPHOBIA! Yea! First, it is not irrational to be weary of a religion that is told to lie to the “infidel” or that forces their women to wear hijabs and burkas, or that throws homosexuals off of rooftops, or that will willingly blow themselves up to meet Allah, or, you get the idea. So it is not a phobia, lets quit calling it that. Second, Miss Plank says somebody “exoticized” a hijab and then shows an article of the hijab wearing fencer who made anti american comments as proof of this. I am confused on this one. I am also confused as to who exactly would be exorcising a hijab. Unless they happen to exotics the fact that they force their women to dress a certain way, which is why they were also playing volleyball in a hijab. So lets get to the evidence to support the claims of systemic sexism in sports.
Miss Plank uses a report from….wait for it….the Women’s Media Center. She claims that 90% of sports editors are white, and provides no evidence to support this claim, and then uses the report to show that the same percentage are men. RACISM and SEXISM!? Vox hit the damn jackpot again. So, by these standards the NBA is racist because 95% are black and 100% are men. Or could it be that sports editors are typically men, I will give them that, that have played in these sports and understand the intricacies of these sports and can probably have a more in-depth perspective than a woman who has never engaged in football or baseball or hockey. Vox moved beyond the olympics, so did I. She talks about diversity growing in this field, which is good and natural as the interest women have in playing physical sports such as hockey, football, MMA and wrestling has grown exponentially in the past 2 decades. That only makes sense, but no, Vox wants people to believe that if they keep going to battle, then the patriarchy will lose its grip on societal norms.
So, let’s recap, the social justice warriors at Vox decided that everything was sexist. Had a slow start, but really picked up steam in the middle. Started losing a little steam towards the end and kicked it into high gear moving from sexism to racism. Only to take it home by hitting the nitrous button and hauling ass right into islamaphobia. It’s no wonder that they ask who cares about women in hijab at the end of the video, they forgot that they should care because those women are forced to wear hijabs and burkas, or does the cause of Islam override the cause of women’s rights and equality? I think we have our answer here. Maybe next time, they should run out the bridge troll hiding under the stairs at Vox to give this commentary, or do they only hire women to do videos that are easy on the eyes. Oh well, my cis white male privilege must be showing by now, we can talk about this again in 4 years or so.