#Bartoli and #Sexualization

When will women cease to be viewed only as sexual objects? This article demonstrates how this kind of bigotry still infects our medias

Dr. Jennifer W. Shewmaker

Marion Bartoli wins the Wimbledon championship. The crowd cheers, she celebrates and rushes to hug her father and former coach. And BBC Sport announcer John Inverdale chooses that moment to comment upon what he considers Bartoli’s lack of good looks. On Twitter and other social media sites, tennis fans let loose with attacks on the player’s looks, sexual attractiveness, even questioning her biological sex.

This is what sexualization looks like. It is assigning all of the value that a woman has to her physical attractiveness. It is discounting her achievements because, no matter her level of physical prowess, intelligence, or strength, she is not meeting the primary expectation of a woman: to be sexy. When female athletes, politicians, activists, and others in the public eye cannot achieve anything without having their physical appearance commented upon, we know that sexualization and objectification are alive and well. And it hurts all…

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