Good news and bad news for women at the 2012 Olympics

I don’t generally pay much attention to the Olympic Games. For me, it seems like a lot of money spent on an event that could bring the world together, but instead creates yet even more nationalistic behavior. This time around, however is a different story. The feminist in me is thrilled to see history (her-story) being made. This year marks the first time that all the attending countries have women athletes competing. This is a particularly encouraging step for women in Arab countries.

Saudi Arabia has two women in the games. Wodjan Ali Seraj Abdulrahim Shahrkhani in judo and 800-meter runner Sarah Attar.

Sarah Attar

Wodjan Ali Seraj Abdulrahim Shahrkhani

Qatar has one competing woman, a swimmer by the name of Nada Mohammed Wafa.

Nada Mohammed Wafa

Even Brunei has entered a female athlete with runner/hurdler Maziah Mahusin.

Maziah Mahusin

There are women from every imaginable background in London this year. One of the most inspirational and controversial has got to be Malaysian shooter, Nur Suryani Mohamed Taibi who is eight months pregnant. Sadly, she recently ended her bid for the gold when she finished 34th in the qualifying rounds.

Nur Suryani Mohamed Taibi

Yes, it seems women are making great strides in sports, a field once dominated by men and this is a wonderful thing. But just so women worldwide don’t forget that we are, first and foremost, objects to be lusted after, Yahoo Sports posted an article praising the Dutch women’s field hockey team for being the best looking female athletes at the Olympics… complete with photo gallery. Now I expect men to notice a pretty woman, but to make this a news story is just plain insulting. Yes, it’s another case of one step forward, two hundred years back. If you want to read what the yahoos at Yahoo have to say on the subject, click here

I wish every woman at this year’s Olympic Games the very best of luck in their respective competitions and say to them, thank you for inspiring the next generation.

9 thoughts on “Good news and bad news for women at the 2012 Olympics

  1. This is the first time that the U.S. has sent more female athletes than male ones (269 to 261). Hooray for progress where we can find it! In other good news, at least the female water polo players didn’t have to have their countries’ names pasted across their fannies like the guys did. There has got to be a better way.

    1. I think that this is a major step forward, Unfortunately we all have to crawl before we walk, baby steps. Great blog!

  2. Wow, I had no idea that the women outnumbered the men from the U.S. that’s a pretty cool stat. I agree about the water polo players, but at least it’s not some company sponsor on their butt… could be worse.

  3. If only they would change the clothing women are to wear in beach volleyball. The difference between the men and women is outrageous. If the men can wear shorts and a shirt I see no reason why the women should be in bikinis.

    1. Have you been watching beach volleyball? Hardly any of them are wearing bikinis. It’s cold in London!

  4. Saudi Arabia has women’s judo? I had no idea. But yeah, sounds about par for the course. Sex sells, so news stories will include their slice of dehumanizing sex. Bluh.

    1. Not really. They really just picked two random athletes to comply with the IOC’s request that they include women. This judo representative, at least, was not very good at all, and doesn’t really shed a positive light on the possibility that there could be any better than her.

  5. How could anyone take anything named “Yahoo” seriously? Seriously, very interesting piece and another lesson learned for this old sexist (that really was just a joke, the sexist part, not the lesson learned part).

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