Monday, March 21, 2011

Lesbians and Lingerie Football: No Muffin Tops Need Apply

I have not written about the Lingerie Football League because, well, I find it offensive. I am sure not many regular readers will be surprised by this. The league focuses on everything I find demeaning and insulting about media portrayals of women athletes: They must be perceived as sexy to men to get any ink. The LFL is predicated on this belief. The women are playing in skimpy sexy underwear topped off by shoulder pads and helmets. There is lots of skin, lots of T & A, probably lots of wardrobe malfunctions, which I am sure lure the fans like crashes lure NASCAR fans. The team names are things like Bliss, Desire, Temptation and Fantasy. It seems clear that the players are chosen for their appearance and heterosexiness as much as their football skills. Every one of them on the LFL web site has large breasts and small butts. Not one has muffin top or love handles. This is easy to see because that is what the photos focus on: lots of skin.

The video on the web site shows game action and, I will admit that what they feature there suggests that the women can play ball. There are lots of hard hits too. I worried if the helmets they wear provide enough protection given what we know now about concussions in sport. Hitting the turf in their skimpy “uniforms” looked painful too.

It actually felt a little creepy to watch the video. The uniforms are ridiculous – shoulder pads, helmets, thong underwear and push up bras. Are men really so shallow that this is necessary to get them to go watch women play sports?

So why am I writing about this? Well, one of the players has come out as a lesbian and she and other players from the LFL will be in Palm Springs for “lesbian spring break.” Any lesbian worth her rainbow tattoo knows that thousands of lesbians migrate to Palm Springs to participate in parties and events that go on at the same time that the annual LPGA golf tournament is happening there. This tournament used to be called the Dinah Shore Nabisco and lesbians have been flocking to Palm Springs for years to party during the tournament though it is questionable how many actually watch the golf or even know a five iron from a sand wedge. Anyway, Amber Elizabeth will be there and so will some other players apparently. I guess the LFL sees lesbians as another potential market for their pigskin and woman skin events. Maybe some of us are.

If I sound like a cranky old feminist lesbian, maybe it is because I feel like one. I am usually the first to celebrate when lesbian athletes and coaches come out publicly. It is a good thing for the women who are choosing to live their lives honestly and it helps to challenge the prejudice against lesbians that still lingers in women’s sports. I suppose you could say that an openly lesbian lingerie football player is breaking a stereotype too, I’ll give you that. However, it doesn’t feel like a step forward for lesbians or women’s sports to me when any woman athlete, regardless of her sexual orientation, has to pander to beer drinking heterosexual men’s sex fantasies in order get attention.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am so offended by this spectacle of a business.. I can't even respond.. I don't know how you even engaged with this topic long enough to write the article. I feel like I lost a few brain cells just watching the video promo. Ugh. I need a cleansing experience.

Dissertation Writing Help said...

Preservatives are the best and great of the league,mainly the news you told that the women are playing in skimpy topped off by shoulder pads and helmets,so this is strange and amazing to see,and the structure is also sort of handy and good,so good to see whole of the details and the tournament is really good and for the team this is a good opportunity to show the skills and make the full effort.

Elizabeth P. said...

I would become far too angry/disgusted if I watched even 1 minute of this lingerie/male fantasy/humiliation-athon. As always, thank you Ms.Griffin for your sharing your thoughts.

Helen said...

Hi Pat,
I had the opportunity to interview you a while back for SheWired.com. (Great interview, BTW).
In writing sports for that site I've covered the Lingerie Football league and the Womens' Tackle Football league, both for a majority lesbian audience. In my mind there's room for scantily clad running backs and butch linebackers both appealing to lesbians, so I'm glad to see an out player and an appearance at a major lesbian event. Do I wish they'd invite the N.Y Sharks Tackle team next year...sure. I'll keep hoping. Thanks for another great article,
Helen Wortham

circulon pans said...

Maybe to counter this they should have a league where men just play in their jock straps!

On second thoughts nobody wants to see that.

Viagra Online without prescription said...

I love the league and they actually play some good games.

Hostpph said...

The right word about it is marketing. Even though we don't like it. Sexy women sell a lot and they focus in that because at the end of the day. it is a business. The main point is if they should focus in other things to sell and if they are willing to do it.

Anonymous said...

Don't like it?
Don't watch.
Simple.

Anonymous said...

I think its funny to c you angry used up dykes bitchin bout something they can't change. Haha