Female Football Players Clad In Underwear Want To Be Taken Seriously

Sex can sell almost anything in our culture, so football shouldn’t be any different. At least, that’s what the Lingerie Football League, LFL, is banking on. The idea for the LFL was hatched from the “Lingerie Bowl,” a half-time show featuring scantily dressed women that is broadcast during the Super Bowl. The league, which opens its debut season Sept. 4, has 10 teams (with names like San Diego Seduction, Dallas Desire, and Los Angeles Temptation) competing in seven-a-side, full-contact football. The players want to be respected even though they wear sports bras, tiny boyshorts, and protective gear. They say they’re playing real football, regardless of their attire, and those who tried out and couldn’t play didn’t make the cut. But even though these women are competing in a sport that often excludes women professionally, feminists are still bothered by the concept of fierce women running around with little clothing. Here’s what feminist writer Courtney Martin wrote on Feministing.com: “This is objectification at its most pernicious — give women an opportunity to participate in a sport that they haven’t had the chance to do for pay and publicly previously, but only let them do it if they are stereotypically pretty and willing to do it in their underwear.”

True, it is objectification, but sports are in general, regardless of the sex of the players. Professional athletes are practically put on auction blocks when it’s draft season and they’re only valued for how fast they can run, how far they can shoot or hit, and how hard they tackle. It’s sad, but I doubt anyone, except die-hard women’s football fans, would watch the LFL play if the players weren’t dressed in underwear. That being said, I can tell these women bring it on the football field from looking at the photos. I hope the teams have excellent medics in their employ because those outfits protect very little skin. [Reuters]