Unequal women in Olympic media reports

This is speed skating, between Ireen Wust from the Netherlands, and Martina Sablikova from the Czech Republic; two women medal contenders also for Vancouver.

From the University of Alberta in Canada:

Sexist Olympic coverage

January 20, 2010

Pirkko Markula says when it comes to the Olympics, media coverage rarely gives women equal treatment.

Markula, a professor of socio-cultural studies of sport and leisure in the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, says that instead of focusing on sporting achievements, media coverage often focuses on women’s appearance and the shape of their bodies. She says it will be interesting to see how women are perceived during the upcoming Vancouver Olympics as women are fully dressed during the winter games.

Markula contributed to a new book called Olympic Women and the Media: International Perspectives. It discusses the results compiled by a team of researchers who analyzed international newspaper coverage before and during the Olympic games in Athens in 2004.

In media coverage of athletes before the Olympics, female athletes received five per cent of the coverage, whereas male athletes got most of the attention with 87.6 per cent of the coverage. During the Olympics, females received 25.2 per cent of media coverage, where male coverage was at 40.2 per cent. …

Markula hopes the information provided in this book will bring attention to the fact that women typically get little sport coverage. She says the Olympics should be a time to celebrate the achievements of both men and women.

Vancouver Olympics and art: here.

Klezmer musician Geoff Berner slams Olympic-sized program cuts: here.

This video from Canada says about itself:

The Drink of the Death Squads

Choir performance at a transit station in Vancouver of a song by David Rovics, in front of Coke [Coca-Cola] advertising, just before transit police arrive.

Coke is an official sponsor of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver beginning Feb. 12.

Even in the virtual world, men judge women on looks: here.

No women ski jumpers at Olympics: here.

Women, gender, and sports: here. And here.

6 thoughts on “Unequal women in Olympic media reports

  1. Young girls forced to diet by society

    Health: The pressure to look attractive is a major preoccupation for young girls and has forced many to endure strict diets, a survey has shown.

    About half (47 per cent) of a group of 1,200 girls said they found the emphasis placed on physical appearance the most negative aspect of being female, according to the survey commissioned by Girlguiding UK.

    Last year the organisation found that 42 per cent of girls had been on strict diets and this year 75 per cent of those said it was to be attractive to others, with 66 per cent claiming it was because of media portrayals of women.



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