By Elaina Moradi – Moxie Intern
Olympic headlines have been making headlines. The difference in news coverage between male athletes and women athletes in Rio is becoming quite apparent and ultimately alarming. Take a look at some headlines from the past few weeks with us.
Let’s start with a look at this analysis of female vs. male behavior during the national anthem:
“Gabby Douglas criticized for not putting hand on heart during US national anthem,” read one headline from The Independent. She was harassed over social media with accusations that she “hates America.” She has even acquired the nickname “crabby Gabby.”
Meanwhile, a Radio Times headline reads, “Bradley Wiggins wacky podium face stole the show” and continues to talk about the “cheeky” face he pulled during the national anthem. He was praised for “lightening the mood.”
Boys will be boys while girls will continued to be criticized for every move they make.
And now on to the constant attention paid to the female athlete form (and I’m not talking about how well they hit a ball or land a flip):
A headline in Express reads, “Hottest seats in Rio: beach volleyball players sizzle on the sand…but is anyone watching?” The article goes on to say the “beach beauties” coped with the heat by stripping down to bikinis. Considering these athletes have been training years for this, I’m sure they’d much rather be called Olympic athletes rather than “beach beauties” wearing “bum-baring shorts.” The media has yet to release articles about the male athletes “bums” grazing cover pages.
As if that wasn’t enough, the Daily Mail published an article titled, “The rise of multiple ear piercings: Laura Trott’s got FIVE and even middle-aged women are joining the trend. But is it a winning look?” Laura Trott is Britain’s most decorated female Olympian – The article doesn’t even mention her success in snagging another gold at the Rio games.
And what did Mercury News’ print about Simone Manuel becoming the first African–American woman to win an individual swimming event at the Olympics? “Michael Phelps shares historic night with African-American.” Manuel made history while Michael Phelps was repeating it and he still made headlines over her. The original headline has since been changed and Mercury News apologized for the insensitive title.
But the sexist Olympic coverage doesn’t stop there. Last week, on Fox News’ “Sport Court” host Tamara Holder discussed how Olympic women are “sexing it up” by wearing makeup to their competitions. Her co-host Bo Dietl chimed in to say, “I think when you see an athlete, why should I have to look at some chick’s zits, or some guy’s zits on his face? Why not put a little blush on her lips and cover those zits. I like to see a person win that gold medal and go up there and look beautiful.”
Makeup is about self-expression, and it’s not a requirement. Dietl entirely missed the point of the Olympics and tried to turn an athletic competition into a beauty contest.
With the Olympic games now at an end, the Olympic headlines are too – giving the media four more years to get their shit together.