Shorts or skirts?

Right – prepare yourself for an extremely ranty and sweary post!

I almost swore outloud on the tube when I saw this one. At the Olympics this year the female boxers may be made to wear tight tops and skirts. BBC article here

So that people watching can tell them apart from men, to make them more feminine; and Romania thinks that it will make the sport ‘more elegant’.

Elegant. What. The. Fuck. This is boxing – they are not doing ballet, they are hitting the shit out of each other.

“By wearing skirts, in my opinion, it gives a good impression, a womanly impression,” Poland coach Leszek Piotrowski told BBC Sport. “Wearing shorts is not a good way for women boxers to dress.

What is up with this?

Obviously the skirts will be shorter than the shorts and if you look at the pictures they are floaty so I am sure they will fly around and show off the bum at the same time.

Does anyone want to think about the reason why this would be??


One Irish three times world champion Katie Taylor

“I won’t be wearing a mini-skirt. I don’t even wear mini-skirts on a night out, so I definitely won’t be wearing mini-skirts in the ring.”

has said that she will refuse to take part in the Olympics if this goes through. Her coach has said:

“She won’t box, simple as that,” said Peter, who like his daughter, is a devoted born-again Christian. “We’ve got morals that go above marketing. It’s discrimination. It’s obviously men making these decisions and it’s wrong.”

Good for her for standing up for her beliefs– although a female athlete is being pushed out of a sport due to the governing body being overtly sexist. It’s not like they have told the men that they need to wear speedos to show off the musculature of their legs.

Wrong, wrong, fucking wrong.

h/t to the feminist tweeters


7 thoughts on “Shorts or skirts?

  1. armaitus says:

    It’s absolutely wrong to enforce gender specific clothing on athletes – outside of comm on decency that is.

    What next?

    Tie-up bikini’s on distance runners? Shot-put in a sarong?

    That being said, participants in the original olympics were allegedly nude… I’m surprised the people behind this decision haven’t put that idea forward as a suggestion!

  2. I think they were nude so as not to trash their clothing (let’s face it they didn’t have technical fabrics they could chuck in the washing machine).

    But I could be totally wrong.

    Tie up bikinis though – Ugh ugh! and of course totally goes against my sports bras rants!

    • armaitus says:

      Absolutely! The classical greeks had conventional reasons for competing in the nude, although a part of me likes the idea of a greek sporting society focussed entirely upon the aesthetic qualities of the naked human form.

      Actually it makes more sense to me that sports fans would get excited over the oiled and chiselled physique of a top athlete than over a 6-1 derby defeat (I work with football fans 😦 and northern teams are in the ascendence amongst those afflicted).

      Ultimately, you wouldn’t perform competition martial arts in a tutu (man or woman) – unless your martial arts form of choice called for it I suppose.

      If the core reasoning for enforcing skirts upon female boxers is that they are female then I’d like to see male boxers wearing skirts in protest.

  3. having seen a couple of dance productions where the dancers were nude and spent some time backstage at the royal opera house watching the ballerinas up-close doing rehearsal (this all sounds really creepy, it isn’t I promise) I can totally appriciate the asthetic qualities of the naked human form.

    Dancers’ bodies are like machines – absolutley stunning, organic machines.

    I would love it if the male boxers wore skirts in protest, but unfortunatey I cannot see it happening anytime soon…

  4. Mike says:

    I entirely share the views of Katie Taylor and her Dad but let us remember that this is NOT a new issue. The AIBA attempted to impose this uniform at the semi-final stage of the World Championships in 2010 when the story first broke – the AIBA made it clear it was to be enforced – Taylor said NO – AIBA said then you can’t box – Taylor said OK then I won’t box so the AIBA relented and Taylor won a 3rd successive gold.

    The BBC have just re-hashed this old story.. In 2011 the AIBA decided NOT to proceed with the new uniform,but it IS OPTIONAL The only new part of the story is that The Polish Amateur Boxing Association made it compulsory that THEIR women wore skirts but it was NOT made compulsory nor is it likely to be COMPULSORY

    Men’s boxing has been losing supporters and competitors for quite some time so the AIBA desperately need women’s boxing to succeed at the London Olympics. Taylor at 25 is the World no 1 and has been for some years.She has also won the last 5 European championships and the last 4 European Union titles. as well as making over 40 International soccer appearances for Ireland in all grades.This story came about as result of last week’s European Championships in Rotterdam where Taylor easily overcame Sofya Ochigava of Russia in the final. I was covering the championships for various boxing journals and websites.

    The AIBA absolutely need Taylor (+ the other women boxers) much more than she needs them. i was in Rotterdam and out of 10 finals no one who wore a skirt won a gold medal from any of the 10 weight categories and to be honest these skirts were more of a hindrance than any help.

    IF the AIBA should make skirts compulsory – and again today they told me it was NOT even under consideration at this time having been ruled out by them earlier this year – then Taylor definitely will NOT take part and her stance will be fully supported by the vast majority of all women boxers. It would be the beginning of the end of womens amateur boxing and no one not even the AIBA would be stupid enough to damage the fledgling sport which both the AIBA and the boxers,led by Taylor, and others have been fighting to get accepted in the Olympics for past 7 or 8 years. The AIBA needs womens boxing to succeed and they know it. Equally following the “scene” in Barbados they know better than not to take on “Team Taylor” again.

    The real culprits here are POLAND and it is their association that we should all be complaining about IF as seems certain they have NOT allowed THEIR women any choice. There were also two Romanian boxers in skirts but that may have been their choice. It was optional.

    Read these two links for the ORIGINAL news story and also the 2nd link for the views of the Taylors on this issue as long ago as April 2011.
    The BBC’s is but a very ‘late news flash’!

  5. Hi Mike, thank you for your long and comprehensive comment. Obviously I have only just seen this story, where as you have been covering it for a long time.

    In that case it is even more of a hurrah! for women taking a stance and making a difference.

    And you are right, Poland should be complained about – it’s a shame that their boxers did not take a stand. Now of course I do not know anything about them- they may not be bothered, they might not feel like they would have been able to take a stand. But let’s not blame the women here – it is the fault of the people in change of boxing in Poland that should be ashamed.

    Thanks again Mike, always happy to have an expert respond.

    • Mike says:

      I’d be VERY surprised if the Polish or Romanian boxers were even consulted. I did an article for this weekend and included email contacts for Polish federation and for AIBA should any of your readers wish to make constructive comments to either or both.

      You will also see there, AIBA’s response to my query to them on subject – I think they should by now , have got the message loud and clear from the forthright responses of GB’s Nikki Adams,Tasha Jonas and Ireland’s Katie Taylor to name but three of the many boxers who have spoken out. Far too many alas have remained silent so far.In fairness some of these are from countries where they never allow any sports stars to express their views be they male or female.

      Alas ‘official’ associations do not always like to speak plainly to authorities like AIBA (and many others in sport) hence a few of the boxers with some support from websites,blogs and a few journalists continue to try and persuade the ‘powers that be’ that this is NOT a sensible proposal.

      Indeed world badminton was going down that route too until the players objected. Then-Olympics minister Hugh Robertson supported the players in that ‘battle’ saying: “Athletes should be the ones who decide what they wear on court. This is not a very 21st-century approach.”

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