Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Men in Skirts

Some newspaper recently decided that the best way to lampoon the Philadelphia Flyers (who are off at the moment chasing the hockey championship) was to [poorly] photoshop one of the players in a skirt. With the caption, "Looks like Tarzan, plays like Jane."

The initial reaction will probably be, "oh, but who cares about that ol' rag?" Well, that 'rag' just happens to be the Chicago Tribune, which just so happens to be eighth largest newspaper circulation in the United States. And this article managed to slip between the collective cracks of quite a few editors. The writers, the editors, and god knows who others looked at this article, and gave it the seal of approval.

Are we really in an age where it's still considered an insult and a slur to call someone a woman? The worst way that this paper could think of to debase the man's athletic ability is that... he plays like a woman? Oooo, scary. 'Plays like Jane' ignores the fact that women do play hockey, and with a good amount of skill.

Their apology reeks of the tired 'it was just a joke, loosen up!' excuse. It's so damn easy to sit from your position of privilege, where your gender, race, and sexuality isn't used as a general epithet for weakness or deviance or what have you, and say unto others that it's just a joke. You don't have to live with it and deal with it every day of your life.

I could go on and on, but I won't. I know most of my readers are not low watt bulbs, no, you guys are like those fancy new ones which are 50% brighter while using 30% less power. But that here, 2010, the staff of a large newspaper saw no inherent problem with using sex as a means to insult someone, and then apologised half-assed, shocks me.

Almost as bad as the completely stupid coverage of what Elena Kagan was wearing and whether she crossed her legs or not.

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