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Opinion: Rudy Giuliani's disgusting 'funny story' about Michelle Wie

February 23, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 33.1%. 2 min read.

It took Trump's former lawyer running his mouth again to remind us that women -- whether on the golf course (like 5-time LPGA winner Wie) or the pitch -- face the same scrutiny women do just walking down the street, writes Amy Bass; their appearance, indeed their sheer physical existence, serving as a site onto which socially entrenched ideas and beliefs about gender are mapped, reaffirmed and contested. Fortunately, Wie knew just how to slap down Giuliani's retrograde 'joke.'

Women challenge dominant ideologies about gender with their very presence in sports, especially those who play in a realm that is always in conversation with the male version of the game: monikers such as the LPGA, the Women's World Cup, the WNBA and the Lady Vols show just some of the qualifiers used to describe women's teams, telegraphing that the men are playing the normative version of a sport-- the standard "real" version.

That disrespect, coupled with juvenile sexism, perhaps made it feel only natural to someone like Giuliani to casually debase an elite female athlete as he reminisced with Bannon about the hideous misogynist Limbaugh (the man who -- among many of his sexist affronts -- once referred to Georgetown Law School student Sandra Fluke as a "slut" and "prostitute" because she advocated for improving women's access to birth control).

Ugly stories like this about women who play sports are part and parcel of the broader media representations of sport and athletes that contribute to harmful gender stereotypes, ones that ensure female athletes are presented as women first and athletes second and that largely focus on appearance, age and family life while their male counterparts enjoy depictions that emphasize power, domination and athletic worth.

Whether the international boxing federation's long discussion of whether its female athletes should wear skirts, disgraced former FIFA head Sepp Blatter's remarks about putting women's teams in tighter shorts as a way to popularize the game because "beautiful women play football nowadays," or the New York Times infamous piece on body image in women's tennis, in which descriptions of Serena William struck readers as racist and sexist, the gender police have long been catcalling from the sidelines.

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