The Weekly Whims Of HatManJim: Is the Lingerie Football League Offensive?January 30, 2010 No Comments
A weather-beaten eye cast over the media: HatManJim looks at a story in the headlines and as a feminist with a penis (Menimist? Femi-meni-mist? I just believe in women’s rights, I’m not having gender-reassignment. OK?), attempts to map the sexism inherent in the press, without inadvertently saying anything lecherous about breasts.
Sexism, eh? Sometimes I go looking for it. If a week has passed without anything worthy of my comment in this column I’ll actually have to get off my backside and do some research on what has been happening in the world recently. Of course, the danger is, whilst looking for something to comment about for the feminist website I write for, suddenly I start casting an exaggerated, feminist eye over things. Perhaps I start to over-project. Not every issue involving women necessarily ties into centuries of male oppression or the objectification of the female form in modern, capitalist culture.
So at first my reaction was confused when my weekly trawl of web women’s issues alerted me to the existence of the Lingerie Football League (LFL).
Women playing full-contact American football? In bikinis? Maybe once you get over how ridiculous and un-PC it initially sounds, it’s empowering. Um, like American Gladiators.
No. On reflection, it is just ridiculous. God bless America – it’s given the world lots of great things: Walt Whitman, rock ‘n’ roll, Woodie Guthrie and… um… my girlfriend. But, like the death penalty it’s hard to explain or excuse how the most powerful “civilized” country in the world can think the Lingerie Football League is acceptable.
It doesn’t even look particularly erotic or sexual (possibly something to do with the helmets). The kits, although revealing, actually also look a bit more practical (sports bra, pants) than what I would consider lingerie (basque, hold-ups, garter… just some of the things I wear in private… ahem).
But then I’m not sure how much of a turn-on it’s actually supposed to be. The beer swilling male fans take a genuine interest in the sport side of it but this version allows them the added heterosexual boost of seeing it performed by hot chicks rather than burly guys. For some reason I imagine the members of the crowd hi-fiving each other as the teams come out.
It doesn’t even seem to be done with any concept of self-awareness or irony. The website gives stats on each team indicating that some people might actually care. Also, lots and lots of pictures of all the players. A lot of them all look quite similar. They all seem to pout a bit.
The whole thing might be offensive to women. I’m not sure. I’m more offended about how goofy it is. I mean, really? Who comes up with this shit?
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