Writing this while watching the Women’s Slope Style event at the winter olympics, I feel uncomfortable. I am appalled by the sexism coming from my own friends. Almost nothing about their comments have anything to do with the athletic performance of the women on TV. Almost everything has to do with how “hot” or “sexy” they are. The majority of comments pertaining to the athletes have to do with their physical appearance. The same thing happened when we were watching other events, too. A frequent comment: “Wow she looks like a bitch!”.
This wouldn’t be such a big deal if not for the fact that this reflects our entire society and how we think of women. Rather than seeing these Olympic Athletes for their athletic ability, the women are seen as either attractive or unattractive. The sad thing is, my friends don’t even realize they’re doing it. And it makes me scared that this is probably what the rest of America is thinking, too. These are my friends. They are people I enjoy spending time with and who I chose as my friends because they are good people. So, imagine my shock and awe when, while watching the women snowboarders, such sexist things come out of their mouths.
Why is it that our culture values women only on standards of beauty?? Why are ambitious women seen as “bitchy”? Why is it that this comment is made mostly about the attractive women? You’re two options are apparently to be considered “bitchy” but pretty, or ugly. It’s upsetting because I know that this affects the way women act. We hear all of this criticism and without realizing it, it affects us. This feeling that everyone is always judging you is engrained in us, and the majority of the judging is about our appearances.
This is something that needs to change. Let’s try to create some awareness about the difference in perception between women and men. When you hear talk like this, point it out to them. Let’s start the discussion.