Ooh Tom…

I’m going to share with you a text conversation number one friend and I had the other day:

U watching men’s diving?

Yes I am !!!! Those stomach muscles …..

U wanna jump in that hot tub with them!!

Ooh Tom …

Just completely jokey, harmless banter between two best mates.

Then I saw a video on Facebook about how sexist coverage of the Olympics has been. The video opens with a voice telling us that: Olympic sportscasters comment on women’s appearance twice as often as men’s…


It goes on to say that female athletes everywhere are used to being judged for their looks…

ok…guilty again…I may have mentioned once or twice in the past, while watching a football match, that David Beckham has a good bod…oh, and when partner was trying to get me into cricket I may have said that cricketers seem to have quite nice bums…

According to the video, women are, ‘much likelier to be described as emotional, while men are described as courageous and strong.’

So, I am in a dilemma here…

Because the female coach, Taekwon-do instructor and mother to 5 girls in me wants to agree whole-hardheartedly with this video. In fact, I want to scream at the Olympic media and ask them how the hell they are able to justify this inequality? Here is yet another example of women being treated as objects…


Then I point out to myself that I am indeed guilty of all of the above with male athletes. In fact, if women are honest I think that they would agree that they too may have objectified one or two sportsmen in their lives.

It all started for me with Linford Christie’s lunchbox. According to Wikipedia: He is the only British man to have won gold medals in the 100 metres at all four major competitions open to British athletes: the Olympic Games, the World Championships, the European Championships and the Commonwealth Games. He was the first European to break the 10-second barrier in the 100 m and still holds the British record in the event. He is a former world indoor record holder over 200 metres, and a former European record holder in the 60 metres, 100 m and 4 × 100 metres relay. With 24 major championship medals including 10 gold medals, he is the most decorated British male athlete.


So, if we are agreed on this, perhaps what we are saying is that if you are responsible for reporting on sports, you have to maintain absolute professionalism at all times and never allude to anything that could be interpreted as sexist. I would certainly say that this should be the case.

Then, when I am sitting on my sofa at home watching the diving, I will turn into an absolute hypocrite and merrily say that Tom Daley has a cute arse and those teeny weeny speedos do it fabulous justice. I’m pretty sure that it’s that hot tub they all jump athletically into, that sets me off. Oh, and don’t get me started on the post-dive shower.

If partner and I are then watching the women’s beach volleyball and he texts his bestie commenting on how their bikinis show off their assets beautifully, I will also hypocritically be annoyed. “These women have trained for four fucking years to be there and all you can talk about is their tits!”

Writing this post has been hugely cathartic. What I have learnt is that women are huge hypocrites. As one of the people who commented on the video post pointed out: ‘women are the most guilty of this anyway. You have entire magazines where women point out flaws in other women’s appearance. Everything sports games, male or female, that I have watched with women turns into them commenting on the looks of the players. I’ve never heard a guy watch a movie and be like “oh yeah Seth Rogan is funny but he really needs to work out” but I can’t count how many times I’ve watched a movie with a girl and they start tearing into the lead girl because they don’t like the way they look.’

Are you guilty of this?

He goes on to say that we should get a thicker skin because the world is judging you all the time – get used to it! ‘This is why so many people shun modern feminism. Because you could be fighting serious injustice like FGM or women in countries that still aren’t allowed to vote or have any access to tampons or sanitary towels. But no, you pin your flag to stupid shit…’

Do you think this guy has a point?

I’ll leave you with a few more of his thoughts, because I think they are pretty interesting:

‘Women see it more when it happens to them than they do when it happens to men…Arguably one of the best English soccer players, Wayne Rooney, was constantly ridiculed for being ugly. Men like Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt are held up as “heart throbs” even in movies that suck…It’s just an unfortunate fact of life that we as humans judge each other all the time on looks, intelligence, everything. We are socially evolved to scruitinise each other…’

I do think that he has a point…But I’m really annoyed about it!




18 thoughts on “Ooh Tom…”

  1. Ahaha – shame on you 😉 I wrote a post on sexism for Mumsnet and if I’d had more words then I would commentated about how men haven’t escaped the sexist reporting either. I think what you are doing is different though because you are not sharing your opinions in the media as a journalist. I think as journalist you have a duty to report in a way that is unbiased as it can influence how others view things etc. #ablogginggoodtime

  2. Mmm thought provoking . We’re all guilty of judging – whether we’ll admit to it or not, but I don’t think men are subject to the same levels of scrutiny as women. I think as Emma said also , it’s at a systemic level for women due to the male dominance at all top levels of society and you know the patriarchy and all that. Tom Daly is cute as though, init. #stayclassymama

    1. I think men are subject to more scrutiny by women, but not in the media, because, it’s mainly men who run newspapers. I wish there was more equality in the media. Because we don’t see much male nudity in papers and magazines, when it’s there we jump on it! Thank you for commenting.

  3. Ooh great post! I really hear what you’re saying here. I think that as humans we do all judge on appearances – whether male or female. That being said I think that women can often be quite cutting and less censored in sharing their opinions on men. I’ve watched a few reality type shows (yep – guilty) and the women can sometimes be downright rude about a man’s appearance and insulting. It generally gets laughed off, but if a man had said those things to a woman he would be held up to account for it. Interesting read x

    1. Totally agree. My partner said that he was served in a shop by a woman who said: there you go darling, when handing him change. His point was that many women would be fuming if a man called them, ‘darling’. Thank you for your comments.

  4. I caught myself doing the same thing not just with the Olympics, but also films like Magic Mike!! I know if the shoe was on the other foot, I’d be more then peed off hubby was doing similar. There is a double standard at play here, as you say. I’m moving forward with my mouth shut! Yvadney x #DreamTeam

  5. Oh I love this post, it’s really got me thinking. I think that over the years and different stages of my life and also before and after children, my views have gone from being outraged to not giving a damn to now realising that sex, scrutiny and inequality are what drives discussions because they are present every single day in nearly everything to do. Great post and yep I’m guilty most days!

  6. Ha! Love this! I wrote a post recently about the sexist commentary aimed at female athletes, I became increasingly annoyed about it. Trouble is there is no harm to saying that someone is attractive/sexy as long as you aren’t devaluing their achievements #stayclassymama

  7. I would be lying if I said I didn’t make the odd comment on or appreciate the male figures that have been on display during sports. I know this is wrong and I wouldn’t be too impressed if the comments were directed at the female athletes… I know wrong wrong wrong. Anywho excellent post, I really enjoyed reading it and it got me thinking xx #stayclassymamma

Leave a Reply