Despite being a battleground where women athletes have proven themselves again and again, the Olympics has so far been a disappointing grocery list of misogyny.
Here is some of the bullshit we’ve been treated to this week:
- Twitter body-shamed Mexican gymnast Alexa Moreno.
- Katie Ledecky was called “the Michael Phelps of women’s swimming” after her gold medal win.
- When Corey Cogdell-Unrein won a bronze medal in trap shooting, the headline read: “Wife of a Bears’ lineman wins a bronze medal today in Rio Olympics.”
- Hungarian swimmer Katinka Hosszu shattered a world record in the 400-meter individual medley and NBC commentator Dan Hicks attributed her success to her coach/husband. Some say Hosszu’s huband may also be abusive.
All these goodies and we still have another week to go!
One beautiful beacon of hope shines through this whole mess: The India womens field hockey team’ jerseys. Where other women athletes are anonymous or only the wife of someone else, the women of India’s Olympics field hockey team wear their first names.
Typically athletes from around the world will have their country on their jerseys along with a number and their last names. Both the mens and womens field hockey teams from India, though, use their first names.
This has to do with a lot of specific name culture within India — names like “Khan” and “Patel” are tribal or caste-based and wouldn’t do much to differentiate players since the names are so common. Also because in many parts of South India, people often only use their first names and keep their father’s first names as “family names.” Last names don’t function the same as they do in other parts of the world.
Whatever the reason, it’s an interesting contrast to see these women wearing their first names obviously as others remain anonymous.
Only wish now they’d play a little better.