Cheers and Jeers

Kudos to USA Today for Nonsexist Olympics Photos

Monday, September 18, 2000

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In a departure from our usual practice of pointing out the outrageous, egregious, misogynist and downright unjust, Women's Enews this week wishes to give credit where it is due, especially to those who turn the table on stereotypes. Women's Enews congratulates USA Today for its special Olympics kickoff section September 16.

What was remarkable? The total absence of sexist, or sexualized photos of U.S. women athletes or photos carrying ambivalent messages, such as: She is a dynamite athlete and she's ultra feminine--a wife and mother--definitely not a lesbian.

For years we have been accustomed to seeing the worst fare: photos which objectify, eroticize and trivialize competent, powerful women.

USA Today showed women Olympic competitors as talented, hardworking athletes. Full stop. That's the way men are almost always portrayed, and the way it should be for women.

The cover photo shows Marion Jones, a competitor for five gold medals in track and field, challenging the records of Jessie Owens and Carl Lewis who each won four golds. Inside: Women in rowing, soccer and weight lifting look simply like sweating athletes doing what athletes do.

Good photos, good journalism, USA Today.

 
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