Joy Niemack

Only Objects

Joy Niemack
Joy Niemack

By Joy Niemack

I’ve been sitting on this video for a couple of weeks thinking where should I begin? And I wondered why should I say anything when there have been a whole string of criticism around it already. As I begun to reassess even my own views on feminism and sexism I came across this article with regards to a Norwegian citizen, raped and arrested for reporting the rape (read more here). I felt sick to my stomach with anger. How could such stuff still happen in 2013? How is it that there are still such practices in existence? So I come back to this Roxy Pro video and realise it is all part of the reason why females are still treated as the lesser sex.

Roxy Pro has gotten people talking, but for all the wrong reasons. The ASP World Surfing tour posted their 1.47 minute promo video of one of their female surfers getting ready to take on the ways. And when I say ‘getting ready’ I really mean watching her wake up, get dressed and arriving at the beach. It includes all of 20 seconds of surfing. Watch it here

At first I wasn’t quite sure if I had clicked on an ad for a clothing or technology brand or an upcoming swimsuit shoot. It is just panning shots objectifying a female. While I think that people who have fine physiques should be admired for it, I wonder what consequences it has for sports?

I’ve watched my fair share of sports videos and promos from NHL to NFL drafts to rugby, F1 and soccer, most include the actual sport. The promo usual shows why it will be an exciting season, includes action shots of the sport, or the company takes a quirky outlook on it. But there is always the sport. It’s never seems sexualised in the male versions.  So why are women’s sport videos and promos so different? Why not show the epic battles between Stephanie Gilmore and Sally Fitzgibbons or the sick moves of Carissa Moore. Why does it have to include panning and lingering shots of specific areas of a female body? Is that the only reason you will watch the competition? I know they spend a majority of their day and career in swimwear and swimsuits and have very admirable physiques, but so do Kelly Slater, Jordy Smith and other male surfers, why should female competitors be treated differently?

Sex sells, but what’s this telling our female athletes? That they are only watched if they are hot? That this is the only reason they exist in the sporting arena and not because of their physical capabilities? This brings up the Marion Bartoli I came across recently. So she doesn’t look like Maria Sharapova, but she plays a mean tennis match.

Yes we admire sports men and women’s incredible physiques but is this what sport has really come to? This is the reason I am going to speak out and will not stop speaking out until people get the picture. Women are people too. We all come in different shapes and sizes yes, but we aren’t just bodies, we have minds too. We aren’t just objects, we can compete too. I don’t want our female competitors only taken note of because of their appearance. Take note!

Watch the parody

Also read All Sexy, No Surfing


2 thoughts on “Only Objects”

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