Megan Rosker asks: “Could it be that in the 21st century women still thrive on being recognized for flashing their breasts around on the nine yard line?”
When I stumbled on to the Lingerie Football League website the other night, I was shocked. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Women dressed in football pads and lingerie- was this a joke? Writing for The Good Men Project, I often find myself having many theoretical discussion about how things ought to go, how we would all like them to be, how society was in the past and how it might shift in the future, but here in front of me was something very un-theoretical. The LFL is what is happening right now in our culture. It took a moment for my brain to drift down from the place of lofty visions of social equality and realize that despite all our talk, we still have a lot of unraveling to do when it comes to what we understand about our sexuality.
Could it be that in the 21st century women are still thriving on being recognized for flashing their breasts around on the nine yard line? Could it be that while watching this sporting spectacle men still so easily tap into their lust to be the alpha male, that they still fantasize about being the “leader of the pack”? It all sounds barbaric when talked about so bluntly, but perhaps these base instincts are not so far from the surface of our lives.
Whether we like these habits or not, they have been part of our lives for a very long time. Roman women were dressing in scantily clad armor and fighting for largely male audiences in 60 CE. Many of the women that fought were wealthy women. They wanted the approval and the notoriety of fighting and being lusted after, not the money. Sound familiar? As Hugo Schywzer pointed out in the discussion of Tom Matlack’s post about the LFL, these women are being paid peanuts. But they aren’t doing it for the money. Just as the Roman women did it centuries ago, they perform this act for the notoriety, for the feeling of power they experience when they walk into a stadium clouded with lust.
The members of the audience, whether male or female, dominate the athletes with their approval. Unlike a professional female soccer ball player or a member of the WNBA, I hardly think these women would be running about in their lingerie without an audience. The athletes and the audience in this case are completely codependent.
An entity like the LFL exploits these well worn sexual habits between men and women. In order to move past them, we would need to start speaking more honestly about our sexual needs. Instead of mixing sex into sports, why not have a clear conversation about the needs that are being met for men and women during an LFL game? Could we begin to talk about how we feel when want to express our most basic sexual lust?
I think secretly we all know this is what is at play in a lingerie football game, but it is hard for both men and women to look such animalistic behaviors in the face when we have been breed to be civilized, courteous and polite sexually. The LFL gives men and women a chance to step out of the role of cubicle guy and cubicle girl or manager guy and manger girl. The LFL allows both men and women to experience the rush of the Roman warrior, the lust of the pack leader and the satisfaction of the conquest, all on a Sunday afternoon.