Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Leinster ladies are not bruisers

FLICKING through the Evening Herald this evening, I was gobsmacked by an article concerning the latest fundraising calendar produced by Leinster Ladies rugby.

Rugger titlation

One line in particular really got my goat "it's not just a gratuitous piece of titillation, the project is designed to raise money".

Ehm yeah right, however it is most certainly gratuitous and certainly titillating for those who are into that and I am sure there are many, but come on, call a spade a spade. Titillation, titillation, titillation, oh and gratuitous, gratuitous, gratuitous.

The photographs look to be nicely shot and nicely lit with nubile women with great figures only what is it that is wrong, oh yes, there are no faces, just arses, boobs, etc, etc.

Now I do realise that maybe the women would not agree to take part unless their face was covered, maybe some would.

But this brings me to one of the most fundamental arguments against pornography where women’s bodies or should I say parts of women’s bodies are objectified (and no I am not saying this calendar is pornography but it is not a calendar celebrating women in sport, women's bits maybe but not women in sport).

Is this good for women’s rugby? Well it might increase their coffers somewhat but no – it is a massive backward step for women being taken seriously in rugby. But at least the players have lovely pictures of their arses!

Oh the article finishes with the line “the calendar... certainly proves that not all rugby-playing women are hearty bruisers”.

Cos we all know that being a bruiser is a bad thing in rugby. Well thank God for that, here was me complaining about women being objectified but at least they are not hearty bruisers!

And if you want to purchase the calendar, here’s the address. *sigh*

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ainelivia said...

Oh my god how things have changed. I remember in the not too distant past, home on holiday there was a Beach Party organised in a hotel outside Dundalk. The following morning, I had to listen to the local Rev. lambast his parishioners from the pulpit (mainly his female parishioners it must be said) on the state of undress that many of them had been in the night before and how this was laid before the men who were there (men of course having no control over their actions) and how we women had this terrible responsibility as wives and mothers.... yeah it went on. Being home on holiday and not having actually been at the party, I felt I shouldn't really have to listen to this crap. So I had the temerity to get up in the middle of the sermon, get out of the pew and leave the church.

This priest and I know each other since way back. I think he needs re-education, especially for the last century at the very least. Later, he came up to me outside the Church all friendly like. "Were you not feeling well, I saw you had to leave?" "No", I replied. "Listening to all that tripe about women, no, I wasn't feeling well. You see I've spent the last twenty years or so not having to listen to the sexist projections of men, who reputedly have never had sex in their lives. It's all about what goes on in their imaginations, not what women are actually doing. And besides I wasn't at the party, so it would only be your opinion, and I always like to hear both sides of the story before I judge." If he had been red in the face during the so called sermon, he was surely purple now. I imagine that I was very shortly after excommunicated in my absence and no-one's bothered to tell me.

Anonymous said...

As a participant in the calendar, I'm quite saddened by your attitude to it although you read the Evening Herald so it seems your standards are quite different to mine in a lot of respects.

As a rugby player I've been told I'm gay, hefty, a bruiser and that I'm not very feminine. Everyone participating in the calendar is a rugby player in Leinster, all are different shapes and sizes and most of all they all are beautiful women.

To even compare it to pronography is a joke. The contributer to the article acknowledges the fact that it is titilation, but it is also hoped that it'll remove the stereotype that all of us who participate in a sport that we love and work hard for are not butch "bruisers". You've no idea, clearly, what would have motivated people to produce and participate in the calendar.

Maybe if you bother to look at the calendar when it's released you'll realise that the pictures in the Herald are only a sample of the type of women who participated in it.

If it raises funds because of the hot women in it well and good, if it changes some people's attitudes even better!

You've clearly no idea what it's like as a rugby player in this country to work your arse off week in, week out for little, or no reward other than the enjoyment of playing, because no matter what you achieve you'll always be outshone, outsupported and outfunded by the men's team.

Try and look at it from that point of view ...

God knows you should be at least a little open minded.

Red Mum said...

Wow that is quite a rant there, ever considered starting a blog?

I obviously hit some nerve with you but unlike yourself I won’t throw insults at you because I do not agree with you.

You are obviously one of the visitors to the site who came here after searching for the calendar on Google.

I would recommend that you should read over the post again because contrary to the main thrust of your argument nowhere in my post is there is negativity towards women in sports, none at all.

In fact despite disagreeing fundamentally with the calendar, I acknowledged that it “might increase the coffers’ and even offered a link to where visitors here can purchase the calendar.
So despite reading the Evening Herald and having standards different to you (Miaow, give that anonymous calendar girl a saucer of milk) I have actually pointed people in the direction of where to buy it. Mmhh.

(As an aside, you might find it better to constructively argue your point rather than resorting to groundless and pointless insults.)

Again if you read back you'll see that I have made a point of saying "and no I am not saying the calendar is pornography". I don’t believe it is but I do believe it remains titillation as reported in many other media sources, including the broadsheets (which I also read darling) which also used the same descriptions.

So my guess is that they were contained in the press release and if I had been involved in the calendar I would be remarkably bothered by this spinning as it clearly undermines the effort and time put into the sport by the women participants, who I am sure are all beautiful. Does that matter though, really?

And you are correct in saying I do not know what its like to be a woman rugby player but I do know what its like to play a team sport every weekend, training every lunchtime, training in evenings during the week over the cold winter months. I also know what its like to see the male sport get all the attention.

So does your argument convince me that women has a better image in sport because of the calendar or will enable it to be seen in the manner in which it should? Sorry it just doesn’t!

It is because I am broadminded that I feel this and obviously because I am see it from another view I feel differently to you, so yeah, we obviously do have different standards.

KnackeredKaz said...

Sorry Anonymous, I agree with Red Mum. That calendar has nothing to do with sport!

You say in your comment that we have no idea what it's like to train, play in the rain and all that when all the time the male sport gets more support, funding etc...which is fair enough, that MUST be hard and bloody frustrating, not to mention unfair and discriminatory.

But how on earth does getting your tits out prove that the female sport is equal to the male?

How on earth does showing that rugby players aren't butch bruisers but in fact 'hot women' gain you more respect?

You say in your comment that if the calendar raises money then great and if it changes attitudes then even better. But how is it going to change attitudes? It portrays women as sex objects. Women who by your own admission are dedicated sportswomen.

I honestly can't see how objectifying sportswomen is going to improve female sports or how it's viewed..if anything I would think people would say 'yeah yeah you may be good at rugby, but look at the rack on that..phwoarrrrr'. And that's the reaction your calendar is going to get, mark my words.

In fact it's a national disgrace that female rugby players feel they have to get their kit off in order to raise money, which by rights should be given to them on an equal basis to the men.

Anonymous said...

as a male fan of rugby both male and female i find this arguement petty and fruitless. i am hazarding a wild guess??? that the pr or publicist created this hype before the calanders launch and we just flock to the contreversy as they planned all along.. ps not many men watch womens rugby to perve at the "babes" but tell me how many women watch international or provincial male rugby games to see the beefy boys with the sexy legs ??? night night cats meeaaowww

Red Mum said...

ah now anonymous number two, you obviously didnt find the argument that futile or you wouldn't have even bothered participating!

And regarding the PR hype if you read my post I say as much.

Whether or not men or women oogle each other has nothing to do with the debate on the calendar, I don't think anyway.

Anonymous said...

get over it ...there are hundreds of these type calenders on sale every year and the french MALE rugby team did one earlier this year and noone cared

Anonymous said...

anonymous man says-
responses to article below:
Gobsmacked by that article? Hello? Nude exists. So do photos of it and yes, we do what Kevin Spacey does - twice daily if possible.
Okay so you may have a point about gratuitous titillation. Medal to you in the post.
Yes nowadays they can shoot good photos!
Pornography? You are loading your argument. It iz! a celebration of women in sport. You are just missing the how. It is women competing for recognition in a traditionally male sport. They are simply stating that, while they play this sport, they do not concede their feminimity! In fact they are displaying their magnificent nudity as proof.

I am a liberal man. I gave up my job for two years to mind my kids. I clean, cook, wash etc.. I love women and want their opportunities and choices to be level with the evil males. But you know what? I hold the door open for women. I examine their wonderfull physicality on a daily basis as I walk past. I admire their curves whether large or small, thin or lanky. I appreciate their physical manifestation whether badly dressed or minx-like. That is the fact. We (the human race)wouldn't procreate if it were any different.
But worry not. Just because I have been objectifying women does not mean that I have no appreciation of their intellectual, spiritual and emotional attributes. We are borne to the world naked. It is beautiful, graceful and worthy. Tell me you have never objectified a man. We would be so upset by such a thing! Gimme a break! Be gobsmacked about the fact that women continue to earn less, be promoted less, have a less than 5% representation in the construction industry etc etc. Your article comes across as prudish and moaney. Come on! Where is feminism really at now? Let us poor sods know!
BTW pornography definition: any sexually explicit writing and/or picture intended to arouse sexual desire! Eat that pal!