Saturday, June 11, 2011

Why Fifa's ban of the Iranian soccer team is anti-feminist

I haven't blogged in ages, because I had a bit of a computer crash in March, and have been struggling to catch up ever since. But I finally seem to be back on track.
So first post now that I'm back is this analysis on Fifa's decision to ban the Iranian women's national soccer team from competing because their uniforms include hijabs and full-body tracksuits. As the author pointed out, Sep Blatter, who enacted this ban, recently suggested that the solution to promoting women's soccer would be having the players wear tight hot pants rather than the conventional shorts. Not giving them more air-time, better promotions deals and increased visibility. Hot pants. I think the solution would be replacing the idiot president of Fifa, but what do I know.
I believe fervently that modesty legislation or even just recommendations construct women as victims and men as perpetrators, and thus perpetuate sexual violence and discrimination. But when I was in high school, having to wear a skirt that left a good amount of my leg exposed, and was capable of blowing or flipping up an inopportune moment was a real source of anxiety to me, and a hindrance to free movement. Under some circumstances, choosing to cover up our bodies is as much a matter of comfort and practicality as choosing to uncover them at other times, and attempting to legislate uncovering when their really is no justifiable practical reason, like this, is sexual harassment.