Lingerie Football League Australia

The Lingerie Football League of Australia. Or, as I like to call it, “the car crash produced when post-feminism crashes into sporting fanatics”, aka “The Glorification of the Female Body AND the Divine Act of Competitive Sport – all conveniently wrapped up with an Objectification Ribbon”.

What IS the Lingerie Football League (or the LFL)? It is women playing sport in their underwear. But, of course, it’s ‘lingerie’ – to give it that classy, exotic edge. It is, according to Wikipedia, a “women’s 7-on-7 tackle American Football League, created in 2009″. It was created in America. Of course. Duh.

It looks a little like this:

Some idiot in America clearly had the ‘brain wave’ that in order to entice men to watch women’s sport, they needed to put the women in underwear. Because this is obviously the only way to get MEN to watch WOMEN doing something other than giving oral sex (because, let’s face it, dudes will watch THAT all day*).

I have several problems with the LFL, which I shall now lay out for you in full, glorious detail:

- How does this sport actually benefit women?

Other women are playing sport (yes, gosh darn, real SPORT) and they do not do it in their underwear, last time I checked. Sure, various people have TRIED to put them in their underwear (see this great article on Olympic uniforms for Australian sportswomen) but the women have, for the most part, got their way. So how does the LFL ACTUALLY BENEFIT benefit professional sportswomen? By providing an opportunity for women to play sport? But wait, don’t they already have that?

Yes. Yes, they do.

- Does this actually harm women?

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say yes – yes, it goddamn motherf****** well does. And if you think otherwise you need to reestablish what you actually define as sexism.

How does it harm women? BECAUSE WOMEN ARE PLAYING IN THEIR UNDERWEAR. BECAUSE IT IS OBJECTIFICATION AND SEXISM AND AN AWFUL AWFUL AWFUL EXAMPLE OF POST FEMINISM AND LOOK I JUST LOST MY TEMPER EXCUSE ME.

Ahem.

Does this sport not simply invite rampant sexism and objectification? If you took these sportswomen seriously, you would not be watching them play sport IN THEIR UNDERWEAR. If you took female sport as a whole seriously, you would not be watching this – you would be watching actual sport, on another channel. You would be watching women playing American football IN THEIR CLOTHES. The main attraction of this sporting ‘event’ IS THE LACK OF CLOTHES. It is not called the ‘Women’s Football League’. It is called the ‘LINGERIE Football League’. Because it is all about the LINGERIE, and the breasts, and the butts. It is about seeing breasts and butts IN ACTION, all from the comfort of your own couch.

And how does this harm women? Sportswomen – real, honest to god sportswomen – are losing air time, and exposure (pardon the pun), and potential sponsors to this steaming pile of horse manure. Sportswomen already have to battle day to day crap about how they are just ‘naturally worse at sport than men’ – they do not need to also be told that the only way they will make it in the world is if they strip down to their lingerie and THEN try to attempt a high jump, or play a game of basketball, or shoot a bow and arrow.**

I am not calling the women who participate in this sport ‘unathletic’, or less of an athlete than other women. I just think they should be able to play this sport without having to prance around in their lingerie.

- Are the men doing it?

I shall now apply the Caitlin Moran Rule of Feminism, aka the question ‘Are the men doing it?’. This is Moran’s rule of thumb with a few things, and it is aptly applied here. ‘Are the men dressing up (or down) in teeny tiny underwear, and then running around a football field?’.

No. No, the men aren’t. Instead, they are gawping on the sidelines, having the time of their lives (okay, fine, not all men. Some men).

The men are NOT parading around in their itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny bikinis because they are the serious athletes, the ones who get paid the BIG BUCKS to play in MAJOR EVENTS. Meanwhile, these women have to pay for their own goddamn health insurance just to play in this ‘league’ (yes, I looked that up).

The final part of this entire affair that simultaneously amuses and sickens me? The denial by the founder of the LFL that the sport is nothing more than a “sick, degrading perv”.

I mean, for god’s sake. You called it the ‘Lingerie Football League’, not the ‘Women’s Football League’. To repeat: the LINGERIE FOOTBALL LEAGUE. Why not just call it “Tits and Ass Football League’ and be done with it, for god’s sake?

The final thing I am going to say on this matter? Why don’t we simply put the chairman and founder of the LFL, one Mitchell S. Mortaza, in some leather underwear, and then send him out onto a football field? I promise I’ll be on the opposing team, fully clothed and ready to take him down.

Just imagine how Mitchell S. Mortaza would look in some frilly lingerie:

I bet he’d look good in red.

*Clearly, sarcasm.

*And yes, I realise that many sportswomen’s outfits are this revealing. Sometimes it is by choice, sometimes it is not. The difference here is that they do NOT bill themselves as participating in the Lingerie Football League. They are serious athletes, and they are there to compete.