So I’m watching a replay of this year’s Lingerie Football League Lingerie Bowl between the Los Angeles Temptation and the Chicago Bliss. Didn’t watch right till the end, but I’m pretty sure the final score was Butt Cheeks 32, Dignity 0.

Later, without flicking the remote, I watched Bikini Beach. Whoa. This lascivious grey-haired, stubbled-faced dude was “interviewing” bikini-clad women in a booty-shaking comp that was like pole dancing, minus the pole. At one point, he actually felt the contestants’ breasts to test their firmness, or silicon content, or lactative potential, or whatever the hell.


Both of these shows were on Fuel TV, the action sports channel which is beamed into 26 million American households and plenty here too. Switch to Channel 516 on your Foxtel at any given moment and you’ll likely see one of three things: snowboarding, motocross or boobs. Probably all three.

I actually enjoy a lot of Fuel TV’s content. Its afternoon variety program, Attack of the Show, is one of the quirkiest, cleverest shows on telly. I also want to make it clear that I’ve no moral objection to moobs, boobs, or even pubes being metaphorically stuffed down my throat - not during grown-up hours, anyway.

What I don’t get is why random girls in bikinis are as familiar a part of action sports coverage as the ubiquitous death metal soundtrack. One minute, you’re watching a designer dread-head shred the wild Chugach Range in Valdez, Alaska. The next, it’s jiggy jiggy time.

Mainstream sports often cop flak for being inherently sexist, with their cheergirls and whatnot. But if mainstream sport is a cake, cheerleaders are merely the icing. Action sports are an entire cake shaped like a bikini babe, with pink jellybeans for nipples and a few well-placed stripes of licorice.

Thankfully, there are some women in action sports who’ve fought and transcended the sexist landscape. Snowboarder Torah Bright and surfer Layne Beachley have made women’s action sports both wholesome and empowering. They are doers, not wallpaper.

But for the most part, the culture of action sports is still one where women are ogled, not admired. As an example, turn on Fuel TV any afternoon and watch the televisual spakfilla in skimpy bikinis known as the “Smokin’ Hotties”.

What’s the message here? That women - like steep mountains and huge waves and gnarly skateboard ramps - are objects to stare at with awe, and hopefully conquer one day?

Happy Easter. I’ll be sticking to bunnies of the chocolate variety. Well, as soon as I’ve finished watching the replay of the San Diego Seduction vs Dallas Desire match.

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32 comments

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    • acker says:

      07:10am | 05/04/10

      Probably a bit of over kill with the skimpy outfits, but on a straight out womens sport stand point I notice that the AFL is starting to get pretty serious about establishing a national full contact open womens competition.

    • Coxy says:

      07:14am | 05/04/10

      I’m subscribing to Fuel

    • Anne says:

      07:15am | 05/04/10

      Look down to the southern hemisphere and it can be summed up in three words… Cronulla Sharks Cheerleaders.

    • Dingo_aus says:

      07:10am | 05/04/10

      All televised sport is only as valuable as the advertising dollars it can bring in.  There is no intrinsic value beyond the entertainment value.

      Look at how small the ground crowds are when Australian cricketers are winning too easily. 

      This is just another form of entertainment.  If some people think it is morally so be it but no one died and made them God of good taste to enforce their will on others.

    • Eric says:

      10:37am | 05/04/10

      What’s “sexist” about this?

      It’s just people doing what they like to do, and other people looking at them.

    • KH says:

      09:07am | 06/04/10

      I can understand why you can’t see what is wrong with it, Eric.
      You will never know what it is like to have to deal with this every day.  You will never have to feel the kind of deep humiliation that comes with rubbish like this being shoved in your face, a humiliation that isn’t directly about you, but about your very being.  You will never have to see every news stand with cheap looking slags in skimpy bikinis everywhere, to remind you that you are second class, as if the life long indoctrination hasn’t already made you feel somehow less.  You will never have to suffer the humiliation of knowing you have the same job as the guy next to you, you work just as hard,  but he gets paid $20K more - since I don’t have children to ‘distract’ me and he does, its all the more galling.  You will never know what it is like to feel the kind of frustration that comes when you are talked over in meetings, or have comments made about your clothing by some fat guy in a crumpled suit and a stained tie.  You will never know how tiring it is to have to fight for respect, all the time, while men just get given it, without having to ask.
      Most women are worth more than what they look like, but sadly there are just too many people like you, Eric.

    • Eric says:

      10:36am | 06/04/10

      KH.

      You will never know what it’s like to go through your entire life portrayed as the bad guy because you’re male. You will never have to put up with endless feminist propaganda showing you as a rapist, abuser, exploiter, and so on just because you are male.

      You will never have your life ruined by a false accusation, while the accuser gets to hide in anonymity. You will never have your children, house and money legally stolen from you by someone you thought you loved.

      Yet you get offended all because someone depicts females as desirable, in a positive way! If women were depicted the way men are in popular media, I don’t think you could cope.

    • KH says:

      11:05am | 06/04/10

      What a load of rubbish.  This is entirely in your imagination - Have another look Eric.  Who reads the news most nights? Which gender makes up the vast majority of the government? Which gender makes up most of the management in any reasonably sized company?  Which gender is largely running the show in most, if not all countries on the planet?  Yes, there are some bad men, and there are some bad women - there always will be.  The bad men don’t seem to have much effect on the ability of the law abiding majority of men from being successful, do they?  So in the last 40 years some women have pointed out that the sun doesn’t shine out of your butts - Doesn’t make up for last 2000 years though.

    • Eric says:

      11:16am | 06/04/10

      Sigh. I’ve been over this before, KH, but you feminists will never stop with your misandrist propaganda.

      Yes, it’s true that men do most of the value-adding work in society. But it’s women who spend most of the money and enjoy most of the benefits.

      It’s men who pay most of the taxes, and women who collect most of the pensions and health benefits. Men, after all, live seven years less than women on average, and they spend a lot more of that time working. And in the end, it’s the women who gain the most, as they always do.

      Western women are the most pampered, privileged class in the most wealthy society in the whole history of this planet. You’re on top of the world, but still you whinge about it. Endlessly.

    • Adam Diver says:

      12:39pm | 06/04/10

      Wow, I felt that I had to address this one.


      You will never know what it is like to have to deal with this every day. You will never have to feel the kind of deep humiliation that comes with rubbish like this being shoved in your face, a humiliation that isn’t directly about you, but about your very being. You will never have to see every news stand with cheap looking slags in skimpy bikinis everywhere, to remind you that you are second class, as if the life long indoctrination hasn’t already made you feel somehow less.
      - Don’t think men are immune to seeing images of perfect specimens of our sex. But the issue here is you have the problem because you are insecure and therefore admitting the differences (or weaknesses) of the fairer sex.

      You will never have to suffer the humiliation of knowing you have the same job as the guy next to you, you work just as hard, but he gets paid $20K more - since I don’t have children to ‘distract’ me and he does, its all the more galling.
      - I have never seen this in any industry I have worked at. All flat rates, and I am sure if you have proof of this difference in pay you could ask for a pay rise or take it to the relevent ombudsmen or tribunal, or you could just whinge on online forums.

      You will never know what it is like to feel the kind of frustration that comes when you are talked over in meetings, or have comments made about your clothing by some fat guy in a crumpled suit and a stained tie.
      - The meetings is an individual case not a nation wide standard. Comments about clothing would be predominantly from women on women so dont even trot that line out. New idea and other such garbage magazines, sales always go through the roof when the best and worse dressed list of red carpet events get reported and I can assure you their customers are predominantly female.

      Who reads the news most nights? Men because they rate better.
      Which gender makes up the vast majority of the government? Men, because more men want to be in politics than women. Its a crap job anyway in many aspects.
      Which gender makes up most of the management in any reasonably sized company? Men, because less women take up long-term careers. Generally because they want to have a family. Cant change biology.
      Which gender is largely running the show in most, if not all countries on the planet? Men, see answer above.
      So in the last 40 years some women have pointed out that the sun doesn’t shine out of your butts - Doesn’t make up for last 2000 years though.
      - Not sure what you want here, perhaps history should be re-written or perhaps we should over-compensate for the past.

    • Paul says:

      11:39am | 05/04/10

      So many people seem to take a perverse pride in their own stupidity these days.

    • Old Bert says:

      01:58pm | 05/04/10

      Paul, I’m reliably informed by an unseen dentist, that these footballers, more arse seen than (foot?) ball, are mostly undergrads studying for a PHd in quantam physics, on their way to contributing to the Big Bang Theory. You should be ashamed!

    • Lauren says:

      12:12pm | 05/04/10

      I cannot for the life of me think why women like those in the video would willingly want to do… that. Then again, I can’t understand cheerleading either, eurgh.

      I’m no prude either - I’ve been to Amsterdamn on a contiki tour - but these women look like bloody idiots.

      Thank God for AFL. It’s far from perfect, but there are no cheerleaders - why leave cheering up for fit, attractive young girls when everyone can get involved? Yeah you have to put up with Joffa, but its still a better sight.

      Its a shame cricket is starting to turn to the dark side though…

    • cantiki says:

      02:59pm | 05/04/10

      The world would be a boring place everything wanted to do exactly the same thing.  I’d watch this, but contiki tours are my idea of hell.

    • Peter says:

      02:08pm | 06/04/10

      Lauren, if you think that being a spectator is ‘being involved’ you are kidding yourself.  You are a consumer, a passive, meaningless, consumer.

      At least the girls playing gridiron are actually doing a sport, and are being paid to do it.

    • Lauren says:

      03:01pm | 06/04/10

      Peter - just because I am the meaningless consumer does not mean I cannot get involved for cheering for my team. Also being a meaningless consumer is kinda, well, meaningless as to what I am getting that.

      Cheering for a team, IMO, is everyone’s duty, and not for those women who chose to objectify themselves. It also allows families to get involved, including young girls who go to the footy thinking “Go pies!” instead of “When I grow up I wanna be a cheerleader!” 

      Not only do cheerleaders looks bloody stupid but they exclude everyone else.

    • Futureproof says:

      01:12pm | 05/04/10

      Do these women get paid for running around in skimpy clothes - yes.  Do these women get paid well for running around in skimpy clothes - probably.  Do these women huddle together in order for brain cell interaction - yes.

    • Simon the Pieman says:

      02:25pm | 05/04/10

      Cannot see how this is any worse than the free to airs continual usage of female body parts, even the news these days requires an overly attractive female with a healthy cleavage.  It must be Channel 7,9 and 10s dream to program like Fuel.

    • 6c legs says:

      04:13pm | 05/04/10

      and people ask why Germaine, etal, are still fighting for equality…

      BTW, does Rupert own Fuel TV? (silly me, he must do for it to be getting plugged here)

    • cantiki says:

      08:05pm | 05/04/10

      I didn’t realise ANYONE was still talking about Germaine Greer.

    • Lisa says:

      05:16pm | 05/04/10

      Women are commodified, like furniture and clothes. Get over it.

    • bjs says:

      06:40pm | 05/04/10

      @ anybody who would actually let themselves be offended by this harmless nonsense

      Chill out.

    • 6c legs says:

      10:24pm | 05/04/10

      Why yes, goodness me, fancy being disapointed that there is still a huge chunk of humankind who think that all this is just “harmless nonsense”... BTW, thats always the defence of ogling males. wink

      Wonder if “bjs” will think it’s all so “harmless” if/when their girl children ‘wanna be just like the girls in the clip’ when they grow up?

      *sigh*, its 2 steps forward and 5 back…

    • Reece Richardson says:

      12:48am | 06/04/10

      Its pretty ridiculous that you make the jump that because fuel TV shows the LFL and other sexploitation programs that that makes action sports sexist, in fact most action sports are more likely to break down gender boundaries, instead of separating them into netball and football or other ‘mainstream’ sports…

    • Dave says:

      01:10am | 06/04/10

      Lingerie football is on Fuel for the same reason you wrote a blogpost on it (with a nice embedded video!). At least Fuel don’t hide behind a confected moral outrage.

    • Mr Subramanian says:

      02:10pm | 06/04/10

      Anthony’s hardly spouting a “moral outrage” line here ~ say rather reflecting on the matter. I for one am glad that South Sydney axed their cheerleading squad when Crowe and Holmes a Court took over, in favour of more family oriented action during the intervals.

    • km says:

      03:17pm | 06/04/10

      Not a souths fan by any means, but I gave them major credit for that too Mr Subramanian.

    • bullwinkle says:

      05:06pm | 06/04/10

      Wow, those girls look like they were fair dinkum. I mean, they were having a real crack.

    • Mr Subramanian says:

      10:55pm | 06/04/10

      They must be glad they’re not playing on that artifical grass stuff that rips your skin right off…

      It occurs to me that all of these women would qualify as cheerleaders, whereas if they were actually serious about the game itself, you’d get more that were, um, “more generously built” - I mean, look at any NFL game: while the backs are pretty trim, the linesmen are all Massive.

      Beach volleyball is an interesting space here too, with their bikini restrictions on competitors - they manage to be on the “more serious” side of sporting activities despite that. This: most definitely not.

    • Anon says:

      01:03am | 14/04/10

      ...I didn’t saw a lot of men playing sports in underwears. Did you?

 

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