The Lingerie Football League:
A Feminist's Quagmire
|I don't even know what this is called, but I know I can't do it.|
For those of you who may not know what the LFL is, it's not entirely what it sounds like. When my friends did finally tell me where they were playing lingerie football, I was kind of horrified until I actually saw them play. And then I was horrified that they didn't have nearly enough padding for how hard everyone was hitting each other. There is a very small...loud...actually kind of large part of me that wishes they were given full uniforms so people would take the athleticism of it all more seriously. For a toughness factor, these girls have roller derby beat by a country mile, but when it comes to respectability, they're still lagging behind because it started out as a strange wet dream for really pathetic guys.
|I can't be the only one who sees how the uniforms are fairly similar in size and composition.|
Then something odd happened: people started watching for the football. The models who couldn't run, throw, or hit vanished and women with far sturdier bodies (translate--thicker) and real athletic ability took their place. This isn't to say there weren't real athletes in the early days, they were just so ridiculously good by comparison that they obliterated the lingerie models every play. The uniforms still disgust me though.
|You don't get abs like that without being an athlete; trust me, I've tried.|
|How did anyone even tell them apart without uniforms?|
One of the angles I've taken on this, and it's helped rationalize it a lot, came from the ancient Greeks. The original Olympics, which were men only, were participated in while entirely naked and often lubed with olive oil. I'm not going to get into the whole homoerotic side of this and the affinity the ancient Greeks had for all things man-love, but I am aware it exists. The point was, the greatest athletes of their era refused clothing for athletic competition at one point in human history, and it couldn't have been about turning women into sexual objects or pieces of meat, because those naked athletes were all men. When I look at the LFL uniforms and think of them more as gladiator armor designed to show off the marvel of the athletic form, which was the goal of the lack of uniforms in the games in ancient Greece and Rome (again, all men), it becomes slightly more tolerable as long as I ignore the real intent.
|This didn't match my preconceived notions either.|
|Maybe I'm just weird, but this looks like a lot of fun.|
My wish would be that the more traditional tackle football leagues for women would gain more support and get the television contracts they deserve. Or, if the LFL does have to be the face of women's football, that it'd take more of a roller derby angle to it where the women get to modify their own uniforms as they see fit and have a more active hand in how the league is run. In the meantime, I'll just have to be conflicted about it all.