[Content Note: Misogyny; rape culture; objectification; racism.]
Last night, during some sporting event between two institutions about whom I couldn't care less, including one that is currently enjoying national indifference to its sports-related rape scandal because the victims are adult women, Jess caught a gross bit of banter between commentators Brent Musburger and Kirk Herbstreit, who were leering over Katherine Webb and Dee Dee Bonner, who are respectively the girlfriend and mother of Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron.
"If you're a youngster at Alabama, start getting the football out and start throwing it around the backyard with Pop," observed Musburger, after the men had drooled over the two women.
Jess makes all the great points about how demeaning the sexual objectification of Webb and Bonner is, and how potentially alienating to women (and men) watching.
I want to additionally note that, in one fell swoop, Musburger draws the boundaries around football as a space for straight men whose reward for throwing around a ball with "Pop" (because Ma would get her girl cooties all over it) is beautiful light-skinned women (because the Objectification Cam never lingers on dark-skinned girlfriends and dark-skinned mothers, while commentators sexualize them and talk about them like trophies).
Heterocentrism. Sexual objectification. Treating women like prized property to which men who are talented at ball-sports are entitled. Men throw around footballs together. Women are there to service the men. That is, if they're pretty enough. Dehumanization by pedestal or invisibility—ladies' choice! Either way, the point is that women have more in common with the football, a plaything, than they do with the men.
Yeah, it's a real mystery why male athletes imagine they can rape women and get away with it.