About This Blog

About My Blog: One Sport Voice
This blog reflects my critical perspective and voice on all things sport (see the “critical” link to find out more about this perspective). A critical perspective is not the same as being critical. The name choice for this blog is personal and intentional—LaVoi (pronounced La Vwah) means “the voice” in French. Therefore I am literally and figuratively—One Sport Voice. I am a critical thinker, scholar, and researcher of girls & women in sport, youth sport, and coach & sport parent education.

My goal with this blog is to perhaps help readers see the issues I write about with a different perspective (not necessarily one that you agree with) and to provide those who have a similar perspective a place to find a kindred spirit. It is a place for me to explore ideas. Although I am one voice, many of the ideas in this blog begin with conversations with colleagues, friends, undergraduate and graduate students, and family, or an observation that usually starts with “Can you believe that…?” or “Really? Again!” or “Did you see…?”. This blog is also about disseminating research information in a more timely and accessible way.
wordle 3 blog
Views expressed in this blog are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs of the U of M, my graduate students, the Tucker Center or the MNYSRC. If you would like to re-post material in this blog, please include the link and ©2009 N.M. LaVoi.

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4 responses

4 02 2010
pov

It seems that a major theme of your writing is what you call sexualization. As if the fact that heterosexual men find healthy, fit and successful women athletes attractive is something to be condemned. That take on things is made even more interesting by the fact that, historically, women athletes were considered to be doing something manly and were frowned upon. It is one thing when a man is unable, or unwilling to, appreciate the abilities of a woman athlete but many of us like these women because they shred and shred hard.

5 02 2010
J. Wharlon

Alexander King said it best whe he stated, “Some people see indecency in the bare crotch of a tree.”

J.

10 02 2010
Marty

At first I thought the whole Vonn cover thing was much ado about nothing. But I’ve been thinking about it, and a colleague pointed people to your followup blog. Then I read this column by Bill Plaschke of the L.A. Times. Definitely food for thought.

BC-OLY-PLASCHKE-COLUMN:LA 02-10

With Lindsey Vonn, is it the shin or the skin? 1/8BC-OLY-PLASCHKE-COLUMN:LA 3/8
By Bill Plaschke
Los Angeles Times

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — The athlete on the stage is
talking about playing in pain.
The babe on the Web site is standing on the side of a
mountain in a white bikini and red snow boots.
The athlete on the stage is talking about dealing with the
pressure of a debilitating shin injury and suffocating Olympic hopes.
The babe on the Web site is posing seductively in a white fur
wrap too small for her chest and hot pants too tight for her bottom.
Only in American women’s sports would these two divergent
creatures be the same person. Only at the Olympics would such a mix of
messages be celebrated.
Meet Lindsey Vonn, the U.S. Olympic team’s star skier.
Or is it cover girl?
On a day when Vonn revealed uncertainty whether she can even
ski in these games after suffering a recent deep shin bruise, she
exposed a lot more as a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model.
In one moment Wednesday, a woman who has earned a U.S.
women’s record 31 World Cup victories while enduring everything from a
sliced tongue to a battered back was talking about hobbling down
Whistler Mountain for her five events.
“It’s just managing the pain,” she said. “It’s a matter of
dealing with the pain.”
The next moment, she was talking about baring her body for an
annual magazine swimsuit issue and Web site that is famous for its
perfect flesh.
“It was a wonderful opportunity,” she said. “I was honored.”
Sadly, she’s right. The state of women’s athletics in America
is such that while success is based on ability, popularity is based on
beauty. It’s the same at the Olympics, where the only women here who
are guaranteed popularity are the ones who compete while wearing
dresses.
If you’re not a figure skater and you want to cash in on four
years of hard work and somebody asks you to pose for a magazine whose
great majority of readers are men, maybe you do it.
You do it even though hanging out half-naked on pages with
skimpy models trivializes your strength and skill. You do it even
though offering up your body as an object for male consumption is
diametrically opposed to the female empowerment symbolized by your
sport.
It stinks, but you do it.
In Wednesday’s pre-Olympic news conference, Vonn’s teammates
initially embraced her decision.
“It was awesome, it was great to see Lindsey in a bikini,
I’ll have to have her sign my copy,” said teammate Julia Mancuso,
defending gold medalist in the women’s giant slalom. “It’s really
important for all of us to embrace our femininity. It’s nice to be
appreciated for more than just our sports.”
But later, Mancuso admitted it was “weird” that while Vonn
has never won an Olympic medal of any sort, it was Vonn who was on the
cover of the Sports Illustrated preview, then later in the swimsuit
issue.
“It was disappointing… when I won my gold medal in Turin, I
didn’t get a lot of press,” Mancuso said. “I didn’t get the cover of
SI.”
Not only that, but during the news conference, even though
Mancuso was sitting on Vonn’s left, it was as if she didn’t even exist,
all the cameras and initial questions being focused on the woman with
the flowing blond hair and sparkling smile.
“The attitude of our team is that everyone should be
promoted,” Mancuso said. “So, yeah, it’s a little disappointing.”
It’s America. Women athletes are granted equal access to
fields and funds, but you can’t legalize perception. The most famous
female athletes are the prettiest female athletes, period.
The women have their own professional basketball league, but
when is the last time you’ve seen gritty MVP Diana Taurasi doing any
commercials? In the last decade, the U.S. women’s soccer team has made
a lasting impact on many lives, but didn’t the fever really start when
one of them celebrated a World Cup winning goal by taking off her
shirt?
Vonn, with 10 sponsors to feed, posed for the photos because
it was good business. A shame, but true, even as her teammates were
trying to rationalize the spread as being a great example to…
children?
“I think it’s great, little girls can see a beautiful,
athletic, strong powerful female body among all these rail-thin
models,” Kaylin Richardson said.
Um, little girls aren’t reading that issue of that magazine.
There are lots of other female-centered publications in which Vonn, as
well as fellow Sports Illustrated Olympic posers Lacy Schnoor and
Hannah Teeter, could have shown off their bodies.
This was not about being role models. This was about earning
the respect, and riches, that they would have not received otherwise.
“Some people say you are objectifying your body,” Richardson
said. “I think it’s more of a celebration.”
A woman who could potentially be the Winter Olympics’ most
decorated athlete will also be its most Googled, by folks who care
nothing about her athleticism and everything about her breasts.
Whoopee.
———
(c) 2010, Los Angeles Times.
Visit the Los Angeles Times on the Internet at
http://www.latimes.com/
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

AMX-2010-02-10T22:59:00-05:00

11 02 2010
John Houghton

I came across this website looking for an article . Christine Brennan “Girls and Women in sports. It is in USA Today. I’m not sure if it is new but it looked to be worth following. John Houghton

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