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"They never do this to men": College women athletes' responses to sexualized images of professional female athletes
Unformatted Document Text:  the beauty of muscles, not promote sex appeal (Carty, 2005). Some third-wave feminists argue that exposing the female body for commercial gain is not objectification, but is empowering and liberating (Carty, 2005). But from a second-wave feminist perspective, these nude poses are regarded as avenues that strip the athletes of integrity while marketing them as objects of “male fantasy” (Carty, 2005). Unfortunately for women who pose to draw attention to their sport, the practice fails to translate into game attendance or ticket purchase by men who look at images of sexy bodies (Blount, 2007). However, Sullivan (1999) argues that though the “male-dominated, boorish, belching and beer-bellied sports media” can sometimes be faulted for objectification, it cannot take the blame for “objectification without objection.” He writes that “daughters of Title IX” are “strong, smart, capable, achievement-oriented athletes,” who “make choices and to put their personalities--and other assets--on exhibit.” Some female athletes have chosen to pose nude or suggestively in order to prove their heterosexuality (Shughart, 2003). Nelson (1998) states that these women use femininity as a “shield” and defense” to accusations such as “man-hater” and “lesbian,” which, according to Carty (2005), are pervasive in the sports world. Some female athletes thus exaggerate or emphasize their femininity because they believe it “softens the female athlete’s perceived gender role inconsistency while some have been known to require the services of media consultants to guide them on appropriate ways of dressing and behaving in feminine ways during public appearances” (Carty, 2005; Felshin, 1974, as cited in Plymire & Forman, 2000; Knight & Giuliano Lenskyj, 2001; 1994 as cited in Plymire & Forman, 2000; Shugart, 2003). “Young white athletes” in particular are reported to reject the lesbian stereotype usually associated with female athletes by methods such as growing long hair, wearing make-up or wearing dresses and

Authors: Everbach, Tracy. and Mumah, Jenny.
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the beauty of muscles, not promote sex appeal (Carty, 2005). Some third-wave feminists argue 
that exposing the female body for commercial gain is not objectification, but is empowering and 
liberating (Carty, 2005). But from a second-wave feminist perspective, these nude poses are 
regarded as avenues that strip the athletes of integrity while marketing them as objects of “male 
fantasy” (Carty, 2005). Unfortunately for women who pose to draw attention to their sport, the 
practice fails to translate into game attendance or ticket purchase by men who look at images of 
sexy bodies (Blount, 2007). However, Sullivan (1999) argues that though the “male-dominated, 
boorish, belching and beer-bellied sports media” can sometimes be faulted for objectification, it 
cannot take the blame for “objectification without objection.” He writes that “daughters of Title 
IX” are “strong, smart, capable, achievement-oriented athletes,” who “make choices and to put 
their personalities--and other assets--on exhibit.”
Some female athletes have chosen to pose nude or suggestively in order to prove their 
heterosexuality (Shughart, 2003). Nelson (1998) states that these women use femininity as a 
“shield” and defense” to accusations such as “man-hater” and “lesbian,” which, according to 
Carty (2005), are pervasive in the sports world. Some female athletes thus exaggerate or 
emphasize their femininity because they believe it “softens the female athlete’s perceived gender 
role inconsistency while some have been known to require the services of media consultants to 
guide them on appropriate ways of dressing and behaving in feminine ways during public 
appearances” (Carty, 2005; Felshin, 1974, as cited in Plymire & Forman, 2000; Knight & 
Giuliano Lenskyj, 2001; 1994 as cited in Plymire & Forman, 2000; Shugart, 2003). “Young 
white athletes” in particular are reported to reject the lesbian stereotype usually associated with 
female athletes by methods such as growing long hair, wearing make-up or wearing dresses and 


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