11 thoughts on “A woman, but not tall, skinny and blonde?

  1. Unbelievable….reading that link: Public Shaming………how revealing of the horribly sick culture we live in……….and probably sports, being an exceptionally male-dominated arena, shows a shocking representation of the amount of distorted, truly sick people in our culture.

    Which reminds me, this link is just one more revelation which says so much more than all the theoretic research and academic debates over so-called ‘differences’ between the sexes…….

    those comments speak for themselves……..there’s really no need to argue and ‘prove’ women’s worthiness a million times over……..better simply to support women’s healing and encourage men to heal whatever parts of our cultural traumas we allow to control and direct our lives toward oblivion.

  2. Inverdale = meathead sports analyst with Z-E-R-O clue about life beyond who’s-gonna-win-the-conference (grunting noises.)

    I was annoyed by his “apology” (at least the one I saw) where he tried to squirm out of his part by saying it was the “public perception” of tennis players that is all-powerful (who does he think contributes to that perception?), and here he was just the good guy trying to point out how she bucked the system. Then he made it worse by saying she’s a role model for everyone who is not “born with all the attributes of natural athletes” as if there were a single person in the entire tournament (and the winner!) who is not a “natural athlete.”

    Hopefully he was more thoughtful in his private apology (or gave a different and better one, I didn’t see.)

  3. Serena Williams isn’t exactly tall, blonde, and skinny. Tennis fans, including Wimbledon fans, appear to have embraced her.

  4. Disgusting. But in fact, it’s relatively unusual in recent years for a skinny blonde to win the Ladies’ Singles at Wimbledon, and there aren’t that many of them among world-class players (have there ever been?). At any rate, I think what we’re seeing here is actually closer to a form of tall poppy syndrome (often seasoned with a dash of nationalism) that I see a lot of among followers of pro tennis and that, for all its ugliness, is surprisingly undiscriminating about sex, complexion or morphology.

    With very few exceptions, almost everyone who rises to the upper echelons of pro tennis (whether the gentlemen’s or ladies’ circuit) is excoriated by a vocal segment of the intarwebz for their appearance. Those on the hardy side are called fat. Those on the skinny side may also be called fat. The really skinny are likely to be called scrawny or anorexic. Faces of well above-average comeliness are called ugly, and God help the less than well above-average. Nearly no one is spared this equal-opportunity nastiness (poor Federer, poor Stepanek, even poor Murray when he’s not winning one for the home team), not even tall skinny blondes (alas, poor Azarenka!). The list could go on and on.

    More generally and also regrettably, for an outstanding French athlete – whether you’re Serge Betsen, Amelie Mauresmo, Zinedine Zidane, or whoever – victories on British soil carry an elevated risk of having some faction of locals loudly compare your appearance to a dog’s breakfast.

  5. It’s the aristocratic thing. If you’re poor and in danger of famine you’re genetically programmed to store fat. And you can’t afford to be too tall. Tallness and slimness is the genetic marker for people who didn’t have to worry about famine–the hereditary aristocracy. I’m short and fat.

  6. My current role-model for under-appreciated athletic excellence is Inbee Park in women’s golf (still called the Ladies PGA; how eye-rolling; but since we still have a world-known team called Redskins why should I be surprised?). What’s she done? Just won six tournaments thus far this season, all three women’s majors thus far, #1 in the world, poised to win the women’s grand slam if she wins the British Open.

    I love her very unorthodox swing. It truly looks like she swings in slo-mo, until she strikes the ball. Awesome.

    But why is she not getting Tiger Woods-type hype?

    More of the same.

  7. What I find puzzling, not just about this episode but about attitudes and behavior generally is the move from I don’t find you attractive (sexually or otherwise) to I want you to lose, I resent your success. Ok, you don’t want to screw this tennis player. What skin is it off your nose if she wins? It’s the flip side of the celebrity phenomenon. People admire actors, professional athletes, Princess Di or whatever and want them to be rich–don’t resent their inflated salaries and over-the-top lifestyles but actually want them to have them, when that doesn’t benefit them in any way.

    What am I missing here? I resent celebrities, Princess Di at al.–because of the pure dumb luck of being attractive, they get goodies. And it also seems reasonable to want people who lost the draw, the unattractive, to do better to even things out. I wonder about the empirical facts of the matter–how do most people see it: want the lucky to get further benefits and the unlucky to lose out altogether or want the unlucky compensated? Project for experimental philosophy?

  8. Excellent questions (and issues addressed) in comment #10! Notice, however, that although experimental philosophy seems well suited to exploring how and why different groups of people do or do not “see it” in different ways under different conditions, axiology and substantive work in normative ethics/social and political philosophy seems well suited to articulating and evaluating arguments for and against different reasons why people should or should not see such things in certain ways (rather than others) under various conditions. Work by Richard Arneson and especially Shelly Kagan on related topics, for instance, directly address relevant matters. Elizabeth Anderson, Susan Hurley, and Serena Olsaretti also have excellent work in these areas. Many more too, depending which aspects of these issues we focus on – what kinds of moral responsibility, desert, luck, conceptions of distributive justice, relational (or competing conceptions of) egalitarianism, and autonomy, for instance.

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