Just when I think women’s sports are making some progress, some goofball comes up with an Assinine (or Backasswards, take your pick) proposal that reminds me how long the slog toward sex equality in sport is. The step forward in this case is the inclusion of women’s boxing in the 2012 Olympics. The step back is the proposal by the Amateur International Boxing Association (AIBA) that the women’s boxers should wear skirts. They even provided the skirts.
Why skirts you may ask? Apparently some people are having some difficulty telling the difference between men and women in the boxing ring. Thank goodness the AIBA has come to the rescue of the gender confused and disoriented spectators who are panicking about their inability to distinguish men from women in the ring. Skirts should do the trick. That is unless Scottish male boxers decide to wear kilts.
The Polish and Romanian teams were actually required to wear skirts at last week’s European Championships. “By wearing skirts, in my opinion, it gives a good impression, a womanly impression,” Poland coach Leszek Piotrowski told BBC Sport. “Wearing shorts is not a good way for women boxers to dress.” Really?
“At the world championships in Barbados, Romania wore skirts from AIBA. We decided to design our own, they’re more elegant.”
Elegant? That’s the look I am sure women boxers will be going for at the Olympics as they deliver a vicious left hook to the jaw.
It will be a great day when women athletes can just be athletes without having to demonstrate their femininity and heterosex appeal, But, alas, it seems we are not there yet. Not even close.