Tuesday, June 13, 2006
The World Cup and male objectification
It's clear I've been spending too much time with foreigners, because I've been watching "futbol" (soccer to civilized human beings) religiously during this Cup. Incidentally, I've realized that everyone I ever cheer for loses. Not having a team, because I've never watched soccer before, I chose to cheer on the countrymen of my forefathers in Poland, and they lose 2-nil. Then I figure I should root for American, and they lose 3-nil. So I've decided I will cheer for no one in general.
Anyway, comments following a recent post in a friend's blog on the creepy objectification of girls in dance recitals got me thinking about the subject of sports and male objectification. While it's definately not the same as women's objectification (men are wanted for powerful bodies for pulvarizing oppenents, instead of turning people on) and I would argue it's not nearly as bad (men's objectification leads them to be heroes (Jordan, Elway, Ruth, etc.), while women's objectification often leads them to be denigrated as unintelligent objects who offer nothing but looks), it really is a strong cultural phenomenon.
A great example is going on right now. As I'm sure most of my readers pay absolutely no attention to sports, Ben Roethlisberger, Super-Bowl winning quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, was in a motorcycle accident the other day and was in serious condition for a day or so (kids, always wear your helmets). Anyway, he's now in "fair" condition, but all of the updates on his condition during the Cup games focused on how his injuries will or will not hamper his ability to play football. Very little attention is giving to how he as a human being is doing, but there have already been several updates covering the fact that his precious knees are ok to play, so we needn't worry too much. I mean, who cares about a mouth full of broken teeth, a broken nose, and a 9-inch laceration on the back of his head? You don't need a nose or teeth to throw a ball. But this further raises the point that perhaps I'm not right in assuming men's objectification affords them status and respect, as no matter how many Super Bowls rings Big Ben wins, we still only want to know if he'll be able to win another one, not if he's going to live a healthy and happy life.
This motorcycle accident is not covered on t.v. because this person assumably cannot throw a football with a very good spiral
Oh, and just for the record, this is actually a sculpture, so don't be too grossed out
Posted by Woz at 4:14 PM