Friday, May 27, 2011

When skirts bring you fame and money!

(Amazing how women's attires grab so much attention in the world. If only half of that was directed towards women themselves.) 

Doesn't the shuttlecock resemble a skirt? 
A month ago, The Badminton World Federation had introduced a new rule for elite players of the game: Wear skirts or dresses to "create a more attractive presentation". Or more blatantly put, a few days ago - 
"The reason we want the skirt regulation is to promote women's events, which are getting less and less popular. The bottom line is: they could earn more sponsorships and more money," said the BWF.
The rule drew heaps of scorn from badminton players, game officials and women around the world and its enforcement was delayed by a month. Tomorrow is the day when the matter will hopefully be put to rest in the organization's annual general meeting in China. 

Apart from the glaring, though persistently-denied sexism in the issue, telling top female players what to wear curbs their freedom to decide what best suits them and their game. Hong Kong player Chau Hoi Wah said shorts are more comfortable and "more appropriate" when stretching for a shot. An American badminton player by the name of May, said skirts made her feel self-conscious. 

But don' fret. The BWF has a provision for that: Players can wear shorts or trousers underneath the skirt.
"We just want them to look feminine and have a nice presentation so women will be more popular,” the BWF said. It adds, some women compete in oversize shorts and long pants and appear “baggy, almost like men.” 
Are people watching the sport for the game or the women playing it? Which makes me wonder why women's tennis is more popular than women's badminton? (Not that men's badminton is a sensation either. But that's not important.

So is it just because tennis women dress hotter and nobody really cares about the game itself? Because if you think what's better for the game, here's a valid argument -
“You sweat a lot doing badminton at a really high level. Sometimes, clothing sticks to you. Adding another layer does not enhance performance. It detracts. It counters the basic argument that they’re trying to generate more interest in women.” explains Janice Forsyth, director of the International Centre for Olympic Studies at the University of Western Ontario to The New York Times.
As neither the BWF nor the respective sports authorities of various countries could come up with better ways to channelise funds to the sport or make it more popular, dressing up female players was the next best option. 

The rule would come into force on June 1, 2011. 


  1. And interesting it is :) I remember we were discussing this topic.. on the same day when it came on wires.. PTI i guess :P Yeah its utter foolishness... they could use their mind for better purpose.. like improving the infrastructure... I still remember Sania skirts and T-shirts issue.

  2. Aah men agree too :D jk

    Ya I remember. As I read more and more about the justifications being given by the BWF, I felt more disgusted. It reminded me of Jayanta Mahapatra's poem "Hunger" - where a fisherman pimps his daughter because of poverty and hunger. Though I am going too extreme, think who the fisherman and daughter is in this case.


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