Hot Chicks in Centre Court with a side of Racism. Wimbledon, I am so Disappointed.

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Beauty before talent. That is such an ugly phrase. I think everyone knows that it works that way in Middle School; it should not work that way at Wimbledon.

Yet it does.

Beauty of a player is among the things taken into consideration when deciding on the court selection at Wimbledon and it has been confirmed by All England Club spokesperson Johnny Perkins.

"Good looks are a factor," said Perkins, and added
that court selection is "a great big mixture of where the players are
in the draw, who they're playing, what their ranking is".

- Women's Tennis Blog

 

Wimbledon of all places! Of all tournaments! Wimbledon who has equal payouts for male and female champions. Tennis, of all sports... women's tennis, who celebrated Billie Jean King for being able to beat Bobby Riggs because he was a man not because of her short skirts or her breasts or because she grunted like a porn star when she was playing a tennis match.

I am outraged. I know I should just let it go. The Wimbledon committee is probably going for television ratings and advertising revenue. I understand business, I understand that women's tennis isn't necessarily what people all over the world are choosing to watch this weekend.

Wimbledon promoters called it "The Battle of the Babes" when Victoria Azarenka, seeded 8th in the tournament, took on Cristea, seeded 28th, at Centre Court on Friday. The same day, second seed Serena Williams, undoubtedly one of the great players the sport has ever seen, was relegated to play her match on the No. 2 court.

The American superstar got lost on her way to the court and was 6 minutes late for her match.

Many
of the seats on Centre Court for the "Babe" match remained empty.
Die-hard tennis fans who came to the event seemed to know better -
which indicated the move had more to do with television ratings.

- Kate Nocera, New York Daily News

Maybe I am just shocked that they admitted it. Diane at Women Who Serve wasn't surprised at all. She says:

Some of you may have seen the Daily Mail feature, "Babe, set and match: Why looks count for more than talent when Wimbledon decides which girls will play on Centre Court."
The title of the story itself is sexist, since the majority of the
players are women, but one would not expect the British press to care
about that. It surprises me a bit that this story has gotten so much
attention...

 

Before I sat down to write this post I was talking to my mother-in-law about it. She was surprised, but then she brought up how beautiful and athletic the William's sisters were.  I said "Yes, and they are also relegated to the second court because they aren't blonde haired and blue eyed."

So here are two beautiful superstars. Venus and Serena Williams faced each other last year in the Wimbledon finals and they will do so again. Yet Serena's match took a back seat to "The Battle of the Babes". And why?

Megan has a guess.

This is wrong it so many ways, where do I start?  First of all, that
definition of attractiveness is the white, male All England Club's
definition.  Venus and Serena Williams are some of the most gorgeous
ladies out on the court.  But see, this is about being blonde and
leggy.  If you're not blonde and leggy, you're not attractive.  Never
have been, never will be....

- Megan's Minute

and so does Diane.

In other words, it came as no surprise to me at all to read about the
Centre Court selections; I find this news to be part and parcel of the
sexist culture of my nation and other nations that produce tennis
players, as well as the sexist culture of sports in general. As ugly as
the sexism is, however, there is more than sexism in play in these
selections. The "babes" selected to play on Centre Court--except in
situations in which the selections are default--like the "babes"
selected as the tour's hottest women on the Australian Open website,
have one thing in common--their skin color. Serena Williams is not a
babe. Li Na is not a babe. There are a lot of people, incidentally, who
think these two women are beautiful, but they do not qualify for "babe"
status. And while I realize that consideration of beauty is very
subjective, it is hardly a coincidence that African American and Asian
women do not ever appear on the list. The world's most beautiful
lesbian could be on the tour, too, and--if she were out--you can be
assured she would not be on the list, either.

- Sexism at Wimbledon - Not so Shocking

I agree with them.

It makes me sad. It makes me sick. Fortunately, for Wimbledon and for the WTA no matter who they put in the spotlight, the cream still rises and I will still be watching the Williams sisters battle it out. Even if the Wimbledon Committee would rather see Gisela Dulko play against Victoria Azarenka I can't wait to see Venus and Serena again. They are the best and that is why I will be tuning in to the finals.

 

Contributing Editor Sarah also blogs at Sarah and the Goon Squad, Draft Day Suit and MamaPop.

 

 

 

 

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