19/12/2011

Has porn hijacked our boardsports culture?

Don’t get me wrong; I appreciate the beauty of a pleasing female & male bodies, however it sucks if sexual arousing aesthetics are favored before athletic skills. Further, and that sucks even more, it is shocking to read reports on the increased violence against women due to such interpretations!

Over the last couple of weeks an interesting topic re-appeared on several blogs, facebook pages and forums within the longboard (skate and surf) community. People all over the place are concerned about the hypersuxualisation of especially young women within the boardsports.

More than ever, because of the steady increase of female participation within boardsports I find the portrayal of women from within our industry an important topic to look at.

Porn seamed to have hijacked boardsports in a way that the sexualisation of female athletes is worth more then the athletic skills of female riders. Here I am talking about sponsorship deals, competition ranking and media outlets of female athletes within the boardsports. I do not want to point names here but there are countless examples of events that discriminated female athletic skills in favor of the objectification of girls and women.

In that light, I like to re-post Cori Schumachers blog entry on Erica Hosseini's 'take me from behind' invitation. I think Cori writs highly thought provoking articles on issues that impact a huge amount of female athletes. Lately she published a hand full of important texts on women in the surfing culture, for example: 'embracing their femininity' that can be read on her website.

Cori's writings deal with the sexualisation of female athletes within surfing but what does it look like within snowboarding and skateboarding? With the longboard boom in the skateboarding sector I can see surf brands creeping into our sport with the intention to gain financial profit from the sexualisation of female boarders rather than supporting athletic skills. Is this the case? Is it just me? 

What do you think? I would love to hear some feedback from all points of view.

8 comments:

Christine said...

I posted this up a little while ago, not related to boardsports as such but still ties in with the general theme of the woman as a sex object, be it to sell, or well, far worse...

http://jezebel.com/5866602/can-you-tell-the-difference-between-a-mens-magazine-and-a-rapist

I agree with what your outlook on surfing brands likely wanting to cash in on the current longboarding boom, it's not rocket science, have read about sponsorship deals between female skaters and a bikini manufacturer recently to name but one example...

Stephanie Posch said...

i, personally, find pictures like the one posted above degrading and i would never pose that way. i think finally it is being recognized that women aswell participate in sports, but advertising and media seem to try to appeal mostly to men, and women who would like to impress men by being sexy.

it gets on my nerves that many companies produce stuff only in certain colours, as if we all still were little girls playing with barbie dolls... often, products are not as good as ones produced for men and i think this really sucks. it feels like we're not taken seriously.


i personally try to only buy from companies that don't use sexist advertisements and that put the same knowledge into making high quality products for men and women alike.
love sex, hate sexism.

........................................ said...

Hey both of you thank you for your feedback here and on facebook.

Christine thank you for reposting the link, it was actually one of the starting points for writing this blog entry.

I am devastated that female competitions are being cancelled all over the place due to lack of sponsorship deals (http://www.theinertia.com/business-media/no-girls-allowed/ or http://www.actionsportsalliance.com/node/74

The Roxy Jam in Biarritz for 2012 is canceled but the company chooses to support (skate) longboard movies with fancy hotels and the lot to portray sexy female bodies rather than athletic skills. By doing so they cultivate a certain type of women (for their financial benefits?) rather than promoting the sport and its community.

Stephanie, great to read your feedback and yes I agree with your take on responsible consumptions of products. From my perspective there has been a huge increase on qualitative products for both male and female and it is not so much about the color.

For me the absurd thing in this entire debate is that gender does not matter! Gender is only a construct we build ourselves; there are boys/male who like female colors and girls/women who like male colors - man who have female like body sizes and vice versa.Who decides what male and female products should be like anyway?

I see downhill skate longboard competitions as trailblazers for the future of sporting competitions. Man race women and women race man and that is RAD and I hope it stays that way!

Why do we (I ask myself who: the industry? capitalism? the media, you and me?) build those barriers between sexes and so with foster unhealthy competition rather than dynamic unity between male and female?

gloria said...

just published my article about women in skateboarding in the skatemagazine heelside and the first thing they did in the editing was to change "women" in the headline into "girls". one tiny example.

as soon as the next issue of this paper magazine comes out, i try to upload the digital version.

nice work sophie i am proud of you once again:)

........................................ said...

Hey Gloria, cheers for sharing your example. That is exactly what I hinted at, its those little tricks here and there and they are easy to pretend as nothing to worry about.

I never seen a skate article about women! It's always 'the girls'. Why is that?

Yes please post the digital version when you can would love to read it!

crazysunshine said...

hey sisters,
I totally agree with you on that women are (too) often objectified and not taken seriously in board and other sports. what really astonishes me is that STILL, after so much debate on this topic, men - even friends of mine! - don't understand what we're talking about when we're accusing sexism!! once you (as a woman) open your mouth and criticize some sexist ad or article or video, you're put into the feminist corner and even your friends (male or sometimes even female!) might misunderstand you or make fun of you! is it really so hard to understand why women feel degraded and insulted by these objectifications??? are we too touchy? are we man-haters? are we prudes and sex-killers? or are we rather onto something here, that is that women are still being USED for whatever cause (mostly selling products or ideas) - with or without their approval. i can get pretty angry if another woman agrees with being part of the game and supports sexist and insulting ads or whatever. but it really hurts me, if somebody i like doesn't take this point seriously.

Olivia Princess said...

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Mosarrof Hossain said...
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