I believe somewhat in tipping points–the moment in which society says “no way; no more; too much.” Of course certain historical moments refute the concept of the tipping point; i.e. the Holocaust (uh-oh did I just lose that argument?).
But it works some times. Like when women’s reproductive rights are threatened, there seems to be a feminist resurgence.
So I thought that maybe last year with the growth of lingerie leagues (football and basketball), we might be closing in on that tipping point. The moment where people wake up and see that the sexification of women who play sports is problematic. There was definitely a response to these leagues. Dr. Nicole LaVoi did a great job commenting on these leagues. But league owners were rather brash and unapologetic in their pursuit of dollars. “Sex sells” was repeated with vigor rather than resignation.
Dennis Rodman is starting his own topless women’s basketball team. An idea he apparently got from someone else–a cabaret owner who thought a topless women’s team would cheer up people when it looked like the NBA season would be cancelled.
Women who try out for Rodman’s team have to be at least 5’10 but do not need much basketball playing experience.
So why might this NOT be a tipping point? Well for one it’s not a large endeavor that is being advertised to the public-at-large. It is happening at/through a gentlemen’s club (oh, the irony of that term). And second, this seems more like a fetish and less like an athletic event. Like those wrestling videos of yore. It’s not about the athletic prowess and it seems like it isn’t even pretending to be about that.
We shall see how much attention this thing gets.