Today I attended the media launch of the Victorian Maidens, one of the first teams to join the newly introduced Australian Legends Football League aka LFL (formally known in the USA as the Lingerie Football League).
This gridiron league consists of elite sportswomen, who like any other professional athlete, train daily and devote their lives to gaining a spot in the highest level their sport offers.
Oh, and they wear lingerie inspired uniforms in their games (just got your attention hey boys?)
Controversy is already starting to stir and come their opening Victorian match in December, it’s going to go nuts – so I wanted to get in early with my opinion.
As a strong, educated woman, I do not take issue to this league. In fact, I support it. And here’s why:
Can somebody please explain to me why feminism must mean women covering up, and acting like men so that we may all be respected in the same way?
I think feminism should mean women have the choice. Women should be able to choose to get an education and climb the corporate ladder in the same way women should be able to make the decision to play the sport they love – and flaunt what they’ve got.
I do not believe these women playing football in their lingerie will impact the way all women in Australia are henceforth perceived. I believe we all have the right to display our bodies and use our ‘assets’ in whichever way we choose.
In fact, if these women were to bow down to the pressure of the public, and fail to follow their dream because of the way someone else thinks they should act… that would not reflect the values I believe a strong, independent woman would posses.
2) If they’ve got it, why not use it?
There is a large gender inequality in professional sports. Women’s leagues do not receive anywhere near the amount of attention, sponsorship, fan base, or glory as their male counterparts.
I’m sure there are many reasons, but the most obvious and biggest hurtle these women face, is that men are naturally built as sportsmen: Bigger, stronger, faster – and the games therefore match this standard.
These women in the LFL are elite athletes whose dream is to play in front of a packed arena, and receive the attention they deserve for being one of the best. If this means taking a different genetic quality us women posses, and using it to pack stadiums, to gain sponsors, to have matches aired on TV – I say go for it.
It’s simple marketing that is helping these women achieve their dreams, and in many ways, is bridging the gap of inequality and moving towards a sports industry were women are receiving the same benefits as men.
3) The women promote positive body image.
Today, I saw ladies standing before me in tight shorts and crop tops. They looked very, very sexy… not a skinny, boney, ‘box gap’ sexy… but a strong, athletic sexy… much sexier!
And you know what? When you see people without the photo-shop looking glass, even the fittest women with the sexiest bodies still have the odd bumps and lumps, and some things things jiggled when they ran – like any other woman.
This realistic and healthy vision of strong, confident women was completely refreshing when all I see in the media is perfect, skinny, photo-shopped females… and it’s a reality Australian women should see (although admittedly I don’t think the stadium will be packed with women!)
Women deserve the CHOICE to use their bodies as they wish, especially if it will give them more recognition in their chosen profession, and their toned, strong bodies are a refreshing sight in this ‘skinny’, ‘box gap’ culture we’ve found ourselves in.
Good on you Victorian Maidens, and good luck with the season ahead!
Do you think women should be free to play LFL, or is it demeaning and objectifying women? Comment below!