Sport is a whore. And female

// 20 February 2009

Remember this little spotlight on the Times’s sports coverage last year?

Well, Simon Barnes – the well-known appreciator of Russian pole vaulter Elena Isinbaeva – has written about the ongoing Allen Stanford saga. Fair enough. Except apparently the whole debacle confirms that “sport is a whore”.

This is because sport is there for the recreational pleasure of men, of course.

“When a billionaire comes a-calling, sport doesn’t waste its precious time by saying, ‘I’m not that kind of girl.’ No, one whiff of the inside of a fat wallet and sport is flat on its back with its legs in the air, shouting: ‘Come and get it.’”

That metaphor might be crass, but Barnes’s penultimate paragraph is nauseating:

“Just because you can make money from a situation, it doesn’t mean you have to. Say you are a man married to an unspeakably beautiful woman. There is a clear commercial opportunity here: you could rent her out by the hour to billionaires. But perhaps you think that she, perhaps you think that your relationship with her, perhaps you think that the whole concept of marriage, is worth more than quite a lot of money.”

Of course! An obvious business opportunity! If a man has married an “unspeakably beautiful woman”, then evidently she is then his property, and only a belief in the concept of marriage would prevent him from acting as her pimp!

Comments From You

JENNIFER DREW // Posted 20 February 2009 at 11:54 pm

No Simon Barnes you are wrong sport is a prostitutor. Why? Because it is men such as Barnes who believe women exist for men to sexually exploit and rape.

Why else would Barnes use such a misogynstic metaphor wherein he reduces women to men’s sexual property. Prostitutors are men who buy women for the purpose of rape and/or sexual exploitation. Of course Barnes could have compared this billionaire’s approach to one wherein when men see an opportunity for sexual contact with women they immediately drop their trousers and ‘assume the position.’

But then such a comparison would cause a lot of men to write in complaining of ‘sexism’ and hatred of men. Yet publishing sexual misogynistic women-hating diatribes are ignored because our dominant male culture continues to believe they alone are the ones who are not perceived as ‘sex.’

Ah the privilege of being born male and never having to be reduced to a sexualised commodity or treated as a dehumanised sexual object. Such is the difference between dominant male-defined society and oppressed female society.

Anna // Posted 22 February 2009 at 12:16 pm

Is anyone else playing anti-feminist bingo and ticking the ‘bad, unrelated analogy’ box?

David // Posted 26 February 2009 at 12:53 pm

Normally I’d agree about using misogynistic language in print, but I fail to see what’s wrong with this. I really don’t.

The comparison with prostitutes is not all that unfair, given that both survive by selling themselves to the highest bidder.

Juliet // Posted 26 February 2009 at 2:38 pm


You fail to see what’s wrong with a man regarding an ‘unspeakably beautiful woman’ he’s married to as a potential commercial opportunity?

Comparing sport to prostitution is not the big issue here, although it’s not an analogy most thinking people would choose to employ. The problem is the writer of the piece saying that a man could ‘rent out’ a woman as if she was his personal property (like a flat or a car), a commercial opportunity to be exploited or not as he sees fit, and implying that’s perfectly normal and okay. THAT is what is wrong with it.

Donna // Posted 26 February 2009 at 3:05 pm

I don’t know why the F word insists on keeping posts along the lines of…

‘So… ?’ Male opinions are great, but i’ve noticed a general trend with the men who post here?? ..

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