Frank Deford for NPR: From Obscurity to the Olympics Back to Obscurity.
Jessica (@scatx) absolutely destroyed this article on Twitter yesterday (a sample: "'Can you even name a gymnast?' Your problem is that they are getting attention only once every 4 yrs so instead they should get none? Also, the answer to that question was YES."), during which she observed: "Is there more of a time that women's sports are praised and followed than during the Olympics?"
And to that I'd add: Or when men's sports frequently coded as "feminine" (gymnastics, trampoline, equestrian events, ice skating in the winter games, etc.) and/or are not directly physical, aggressive contests (swimming vs. American football) are given so much attention?
There are legitimate criticisms to be made about the Olympics, and privilege, and indulgent displays in a context of global need, and other things, but many of the harrumphy grump pieces like Deford's that you'll being seeing over the next couple of weeks will justify their hostility with some variation on "unseriousness" or "frivolity" or "useless sports," which is simply coded misogyny.
Posted by Melissa McEwan at Thursday, July 26, 2012