The athlete as object: Why is it acceptable for women to sexualize?

With All-Star centerfielder Grady Sizemore now back in the lineup, the Cleveland Indians have another great addition to their surprisingly potent offense, but not everyone sees it like that.


With All-Star centerfielder Grady Sizemore now back in the lineup, the Cleveland Indians have another great addition to their surprisingly potent offense, but not everyone sees it like that.

For many women in the Cleveland area, this is now a chance for them to go to the ballpark and see their favorite baseball player; these women call themselves Grady’s Ladies.

Grady’s Ladies is a fan club devoted to Grady Sizemore, and maybe devoted to him a little too much. I say that with the utmost respect, but they are not true fans of baseball, merely fans of how attractive Sizemore is.

The only real reason some of the fans of that group go to the games is to objectify Sizemore in his uniform — not to watch his skills as a player.

Another prime example of women viewing sports stars as sex objects is running back Peyton Hillis of the Cleveland Browns.

Hillis, the Browns’ leading rusher with 1,177 yards, is one of two finalists left to grace the cover of the popular NFL football game Madden ‘11.

Hillis had the best season of his career this year, quickly becoming a fan favorite.

The main issue with Browns fans this year is that some of the women only went to watch the Browns for one reason and one reason only –to watch Hillis play. They watched him play not for his skills as a football player, but for his looks.

The real issue that should be addressed is the fact that socially, it is okay for women to go to sporting events and not really watch the game, but to check out the attractive athletes; however, if men do this, it is taboo.

The real question that I ask is why do people overlook women for going to games just to sexually objectify the athletes but if a man was to go to a volleyball or soccer game to do the same thing he would be perceived as a creeper.

There should be no social stigma for men who do this if women are just as guilty of doing the same thing.

With that being said, not all women go to sports games to objectify the athletes, but it does seem that it occurs more often with them.

Another issue that should be brought up is how certain media outlets, such as Bleacher Report, promote sex symbols in sports.

If you have never read an article from Bleacher Report, they provide slide shows on sports topics, but they also do a regular slide show on sex symbols in sports.

Usually, the slide show features the person they are talking about, male or female, and then begins to talk about how attractive the person is and why he/she made it at this spot.

I personally think that this is not a good way of going about covering sports, because really this is not sports but a tactic to gain more readers, not to mention that it promotes sexual objectification in sports, and that is not what sports is about.

In the long run, I think something needs to be addressed regarding these issues, but maybe it will never get fixed because, after all, sex sells.