As everyone knows, there is no better season than summer Olympic season. It combines all that is good in the world–the ability to watch athletic achievements that most of us can only dream of while sitting on our couch, Bob Costas, Ryan Lochte getting robbed at gunpoint and being like “whatever,” etc. It’s all there. I just got back from Paris (which I am contractually obligated to mention at least seven times a day at inappropriate intervals until everyone in my life resents me fully), where the only Olympic sport that seemed to be on television was men’s handball. Still, though, I know the important things–Simone Biles is a gymnastic superhuman who is too talented to truly be of this world, Katie Ledecky is a swimming superhuman who is too talented to truly be of this world, and Michael Phelps won his 23rd gold medal (and is also a meme, which is more important, probably). There has also, unfortunately, been a lot of objectively sexist commentary in the coverage of the Olympics.
This might not be surprising, exactly, since sexism is not anything new, especially when it comes to the presentation of women in the media. It is particularly discouraging, however,that it has been so very evident at these Olympic games, which women have dominated in pretty much every sport. Anyway, check out these ways that the Olympics are actually sexist:
1. This headline, which sums up…everything:
I can't think of anything that's better summed up what it's like to be a womanpic.twitter.com/PbTItCJBcr
— Ali V. (@alivingiano) August 15, 2016
2. This tweet, which is a fun ball of sexism, racism, and Islamophobia all in one (also, Germany requires that its athletes wear the bikini while the woman wearing the hijab chose to do so, FWIW):
Which vision for women do you want? One where women are empowered or suppressed? East VS West. Choose correctly. pic.twitter.com/SIKnNp1Ptr
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) August 9, 2016
3. The fact that, according to an NBC commentator, the credit for Hungarian swimmer Karina Hosszu’s record-breaking Individual Medley time should go to her…husband:
< lang="en" dir="ltr">Wait what did I just watch? Hosszu smashes WR & NBC cuts to husband coach w/ "and there's the person responsible for her performance"?!??— Cameron Esposito (@cameronesposito) August 7, 2016
4. Most of the coverage on Ibtihaj Muhammad, a fencer from the US, focused on the fact that she wore a hijab:
Congratulations to Ibtihaj Muhammad, first US Olympian to wear hijab, for her bronze medal in women’s fencing.
— Dr. Jill Stein (@DrJillStein) August 13, 2016
5. And that most of the coverage on Corey Cogdall’s third place trap shooting finish focused on the fact that she is married to a lineman for the Bears:
— Chicago Tribune (@chicagotribune) August 7, 2016
6. The fact that people seemed genuinely surprised that Dana Vollmer, a US swimmer who won bronze in the 100-meter butterfly and silver in the 4×100-meter free relay, could actually swim after having a baby:
— Karen M Valenzuela (@VictoriaNoir89) August 7, 2016
7. This BBC interviewer, who couldn’t seem to remember that Venus and Serena Williams exist (fortunately, Andy Murray did):
8. These men on Fox News’ Sports Court who have literally no power over what female Olympians do, but are somehow of the belief that they should all wear makeup:
Dear @FoxNews, for a network whose head is in trouble for harassment, airing sexist crap like the makeup segment on Sports Court is idiotic.
— Far D (@fardareismai2) August 16, 2016
9. Saying that Katie Ledecky “swims like a man” as a means of saying she is a powerful swimmer. Let’s just say she swims like, I don’t know, Katie Ledecky, hmmm?
"Katie Ledecky swims like a man."
No, she swims like Katie Ledecky, who is a woman, ergo: she swims like a woman. Fast.#RioOlympics2016
— Charles Clymer (@cmclymer) August 8, 2016
10. When Fu Yuanhi, a Chinese swimmer, mentioned that she didn’t swim as well as she hoped she might since she was on her period, and shocked a bunch of people who literally didn’t think it was possible for a woman to swim while on her period:
— Shanghaiist.com (@shanghaiist) August 15, 2016
11. And, finally, this guy who felt it necessary to mansplain cycling to an Olympic cyclist:
And today in 'Men on the Internet' this helpful guy mansplains cycling to an Olympic athlete pic.twitter.com/39qwnXz6HR
— Beggie Smalls (@beggie_smalls) August 8, 2016
What do you think of the Olympics coverage? Are there any super sexist moments I missed? Let us know in the comments!