Skirts Not Required For Badminton Players. For Now.June 2, 2011 No Comments
A dress code stating that all women must wear skirts in the Badminton World Federation (BWF) starting from the Grand Prix tournaments as of June 1st recently came under fire.
Well, June 1st has come, players, sports commentators and feminists alike have protested, and the rule has now been shelved!
The new dress code was intended to attract new viewers for the sport by presenting women in a more attractive and feminine way for fans and corporate sponsors; the BWF was advised to put this in place by the international sports marketing firm Octagon Consulting.
But outrage quickly rose from the numerous Muslim players who would have needed to wear a skirt over their long pants in order to comply, which is neither practical nor attractive.
When you look at the composition of the BWF, seeing that this international committee is comprised of 23 men and only two women just makes the entire administration look like a sexist, manipulative boys’ club that is actually not so interested in the sport for the sportsmanship and skill, but for the bucks. Not quite the pretty picture they were looking for.
This was not the first time a rule like this is suggested. In 2004, Sepp Blatter, the president of FIFA, wanted female players to wear tighter shorts to promote “a more female aesthetic.”
Despite this failed attempt, the BWF is not dropping the idea of reviewing its dress code before the London 2012 Olympics in order to garner a larger audience. They’re expecting to make an announcement about it in December; this time, they’re also considering bringing changes on the men’s side.
Sertaç Sehlikoglu, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Cambridge and author of the blog Muslim Women in Sports has the perfect solution for them.
“What I would really wish is to see male players in skirts,” he said. “That would most certainly promote badminton much more than any woman’s skirt can ever do.”
There’s already enough glamourized sports around, from soccer to basketball and tennis to a certain extent. Maybe this will remind some that it’s these athletes physical prowess we should be promoting.
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