Other bloggers have written about this topic much better than I will here, but I had a personal experience yesterday that reinforced how normal and constant sexism in women’s sport and fitness is.
I received a press release from a PR company I had worked with before about a apparel brand I had also worked with before. They had completed a study about the BBPM of the female players in a professional sport tournament and wanted me to share the results and mention how great their product is in reducing the said bounce.
BBPM = breast bounce per minute.
Now, I have blogged about the importance of wearing a sports bra before. A good one. It pains me to see women running without proper support (once the muscles are stretched they never go back, and really just the pain. Ow). I have no problem with the issue and using a recommended product to reduce it, just this message that was presented to me.
It’s been mentioned over and over how dumb John Inverdale sounded when he made inappropriate comments about the Female singles winner Marion Bartoli, and how people keep saying Andy Murray is the first British Wimbledon winner in 77 years, unless women are people too. Someone needed to stop and think before releasing more #everydaysexism into the world.
I received a very sincere apology from the PR company and apparel organisation and don’t believe they meant wrong, but that’s the point of #everydaysexism. It’s not enough to not think, do something, not think again, and then apologise. You HAVE to think about the risks and impact first. You HAVE to think about why you are making comments about women in sport and what gender assumptions are you embracing. My fav magazine on all things awesome and important, Vagenda, RT’d a blog of an incident with a company that encouraged sexual harassment of it’s employees. The quote below from it (paraphrased) really hit home with me on issues like this:
Now, it’s not [the companies] fault that society has sexualised and commodified women for centuries. It’s not their fault that some men took advantage of women in a vulnerable position by harassing them. But it is their fault that this product was approved and put out there and no one stood up to protest it.
Women’s sport and fitness is rife with so called “mistakes” of #everydaysexism and although I’m usually lucky enough to be confident enough to ignore it as water off my back, I know many who aren’t and we should not be letting people get away with speaking first and apologising* later. Let’s start putting the blame on people who do not think first about the impact of #everydaysexism.
This issue deserves so much more discussion and I haven’t even scratched the surface, it was more of a need-to-vent-about-the-experience than a balanced study on #everdaysexism in women’s sport and fitness.
*if you even consider the apology Inverdale offered a real apology – “If you were offended I apologise” is NOT the same as I’m sorry.