Want to avoid gaffes when reporting on female athletes? Do write on the athletics they did. Dont bring their makeup, very small shorts and marital status into it
As ever, this years Olympics an international bacchanal of physical perfection and triumphant will swaddled in human rights abuses and environmental catastrophe are providing fuel for public delight and disdain in abundance. Constructing a strong showing in the scorn category already is the press, which, less than a week in, has been possible to insult, demean and erase female athletes in a cornucopia of bungles.
The Chicago Tribune announced American trap shooter Corey Cogdell-Unreins medal win with the headline Wife of a Bears lineman wins a bronze medal today in Rio Olympics , not even bothering to mention her name. In the afterglow of Katinka Hosszus world-record-breaking swimming, NBC sportscaster Dan Hicks pointed out Hosszus spouse and gushed: And theres the man responsible. Another NBC commentator described the powerhouse US female gymnastics team as looking as though they might as well be standing in the middle of a mall. People Magazine called Simone Biles the Michael Jordan of gymnastics, as though we cant possibly comprehend female greatness without a male proxy. Rightwing media co-opted Ginny Thrashers gold medal win in the 10 -metre air rifle competition, dubbing her a girl with a firearm, as a cudgel in their crusade against gun safety. In a Twitter exchange that rapidly went viral, Dutch cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten lamented her traumata after a accident, inspiring some random man to explain to her how to ride a bike: First lesson in bicycling, keep your bike steady whether fast or slow.
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