Are you fucking kidding me? Grunting? Someone wants to ban grunting? What. The. Hell.
The recent decision of the WTA to stop women tennis players from grunting during matches is one of the most absurd, sexist regulations to recently hit professional women's sports. Not only is WTA boss Stacey Allaster so uncomfortable with the guttural noises that she has to make a statement about reducing the "noise level" on the tennis court, but now the WTA says they'll have a hand-held device that chair umpires will use to measure which grunts are over the acceptable level of noise. They're calling it the grunt-o-meter.
You've got to be kidding me.
Don't we have other nonsensical tennis-related things to be focusing our energy on? Like Serena and Venus William's cool clothing line?
Today on PTI, after Tony Kornheiser compared Maria Sharapova's grunting sounds to that of a wildebeest, he and Michael Wilbon went on to say that no women (professional) tennis players grunted so freely on the courts until Monica Seles hit the courts in the late 80s. Seles broke the grunting ceiling for the rest of the players. Did Kornheiser and Wilbon ever consider that no women tennis players grunted before Seles because we live in a rather prude society that prefers women stay soft spoken and dainty? I bet women players were relieved that they wouldn't have to keep their natural sounds at bay once they heard Seles on the court. It's totally natural to make crazy noises when you are physically exerting yourself. You should have heard me during labor!
The folks that are for this rule say that players can compete fine without making the grunting noises, but men grunt just as much. Where's their spiffy grunt-o-meter?
See? Sexism. Women have had to fight tooth and nail to get equal access to sports, and now that the playing field is (for the most part) equal, we have to hear from whiny WTA ass-hats about banning grunts?
This is about as absurd as women not being allowed to run long distance marathons in the Olympics until the 1984 games. 1984! 1984, people! Apparently, similar folks who prefer dainty, silent women were fearful that running would damage women's reproductive systems. This is why my grandma played half court basketball. Sounds ridiculous, doesn't it? The truth is that when women are athletic, we become a threat.
So now that we have Title IX, and many barriers have been bull-dozed, women are rock stars in tennis. They are in immaculate physical shape and work their butts off. I'd be freaked out if they were to play a match silently. It's like that weird Scientology silent birth thing (ok, I know I've reached my limit of two birth/labor references in this post. I'm done. I promise!)
Who in the sportscasting world will have the guts to call this what it is? Ladies and gents, the 2012 War on Women, which we thought was only about abortion and equal pay, has now hit the sports arena. Oh wait--current players will get "grandmothered" in and will not have to grunt within the confines of these illogical standards. I feel SO relieved.
We've got a lot of work ahead of us.
(special thanks to my hubby who watches PTI. otherwise, i don't think i would have known about this bull shit in the first place.)