Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Things That Piss Me Off Tuesday (okay, Wednesday) - the Olympics, as told by mansplainers, edition

Before I go any further, I have to confess to you guys that I love the Olympics. I love everything it stands for, I love the idea of world peace and unity in the name of sport. I love hearing about the stories of athletes like Yusra Mardini, the teenage refugee who dragged a sinking boat full of people to safety before swimming her way to this international event.  Seriously, if you haven't heard of her, please go read. She is amazing, and I tried to advocate for her winning all the medals before the games even began.

I love it. The spectacle, the study in what other nations excel in. The awkward hugs and high fives given by athletes who don't speak the same language, but know exactly what they're saying even without words. It's all just damn good stuff.

I'm totally deliberately not talking about the corruption and the displacement of people in the areas where the games occur, I'm ignoring Zika and the water pollution and the unsafe courses and the violence in the area and the general political unrest too.

I see all those things. I have railed against them in the past and will keep doing so for as long as people will keep reading my rants. Today, though, is reserved for the misogyny of these games.

The misogyny that becomes evident almost immediately upon turning on the television to watch the coverage, naturally brought to you by the networks of NBC. They "know" that women watch the Olympics more than men, that women don't actually like to watch the "sports" and that we'd rather see endless commercials. Which is why there are approximately 47 minutes of commercial for every 2 minutes of action.

I'm being flippant and exaggerating, obviously, but the point remains. They deliberately show more commercials because they think us womenfolk don't actually want to watch sports.


We'd apparently rather watch the same clip of sweeping landscapes, where some voice over actor glosses over the controversies inherent in the games. Hear about this athlete's third uncle, twice removed. Watch 20 minute warm-up sessions, but then cut before scores are posted.

Oh, and we'd clearly never want to watch any of the athletes from other nations compete because this is AMERICA, and we only want to watch AMERICANS. Duh.

This is what NBC believes, and the coverage reflects it in gross detail.

They're even posting spoilers of the events they intend to hold for prime time, which doesn't end until 11 or midnight depending on your time zone. TOO BAD KIDS, you can't stay up late enough to actually watch the gymnastics we've been shoving down your throats with "previews" for weeks.

That's okay, the women's gymnastic team just looks like a bunch of girls hanging out at the mall anyway. NBD.

As if the general coverage issues aren't bad enough, this year will likely be remembered as the year that women kicked ass, but only because of their husbands, or because they swim like men, and they're only worth mentioning even though they won a medal because they're married to a football player.


These women are kickass athletes and this is the headline? This is the immediate commentary on her victory? How does she do it all? THANK GOD SHE HAS HER HUSBAND. She can't possibly be both this fast in the water and have a vagina??? There must be some explanation!!!

Katinka Hosszu and Katie Ledecky are amazing swimmers. The ones actually in the water, doing the swimming. Like women.

Corey Cogdell-Unrein won a bronze medal in trap shooting. Like a boss. One who also chose to be married, as if that is the most interesting thing about her.

It's also going to be known as the year of the mansplainer, because almost as soon as Annemiek Van Vleuten posted an update on her condition to her Twitter account, a man-hero rode in on his bike (well, I assume that asshat knows how to ride a bike) to inform her that the first rule of cycling is to keep your bike steady.


I bet she didn't already know that since she's a fucking Olympic cyclist.

I also bet he didn't feel compelled to school the several MALE cyclists that crashed in the same spot the day prior.

I've been dealing with mansplainers all damn week on my Facebook page, and my new strategy to annoy them (and to essentially refuse to engage with them because really, they're just trying to help my tiny little female mind understand things) is to use this emoji:

It's basically my way of saying fuck you dude I think you're hilarious but I'm not going to sit here and argue with you about shit.

Nope. All the nope.

I had a few friends employ this technique just today. It went amazing, I have to say.

Anyway, I just needed to complain.

I'm probably fact, I'm sure that's what it must be....

And if I'm not sure, some man will be along shortly to let me know.


This is my favorite thing on the internet today, a piece written about Michael Phelps as though he was a female athlete. Sounds pretty ridiculous, right? Because it is. Go. Laugh. Slow clap.


OH! Also.

Since you're still here. You don't have to put your hand over your heart during The National Anthem...and you don't have to do it during the Pledge of Allegiance either! Facts are fun! So Gabby Douglas critics, have all the seats.

I'm really going to go now....

There I go again, changing my mind. Such a girl. ;)


  1. Well...all of the medals Canada has so far have all come from girls/women! #LikeAGirl

    I think that hashtag needs to be a thing...jussayin...

  2. This post is amazing and made me laugh after a very frustrating day dealing with misogyny. It also mirrors my frustration with a different mansplaining Olympic event that has recently been going down... the new Ghostbusters. In case you were wondering, the fact they remade Oceans 11 is totes ok, because that was generational (and full of men) but the Ghostbusters thing defies logic... 30 years later. That's not a generation is it? I was mansplained that I'm offended and being silly because I thought the inappropriate comments made regarding this situation were, well, inappropriate. Yay misogyny!


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