Eugenie Bouchard & “Twirlgate”

I’m a wee bit behind on this story (skiing vacation last week!) but I came across this story on the CBC and I can’t help but comment and bring it up to you.

young-talent-tennis-star-Eugenie-Bouchard-cover-4Eugenie Bouchard:  apparently, a super hot item in the tennis world (as I am not a follower of tennis, I do have to take the various news articles’ information at face value).  As a 20 year old, 5’10 blonde, she’s turning quite a few heads…and making sports interviewers ask ridiculous questions.  The cause of the recent furor is a male interviewer asking her to twirl and to “tell us about the outfit”.  As a note, in an earlier interview, Ms. Bouchard did express how much she liked Serena Williams’ tennis outfit and, supposedly, Ms. Williams is known for giving her audience a twirl at the end of matches.  None the less, asking for a twirl is nothing less than an outright sexist remark.  Focus on her tennis, talk about her strategy, ask how she prepares:  there are a litany of questions that can be asked…just refer to any interview of her male counterparts.

The issue is not so much about asking her to twirl – this particular questions is not horribly offensive.  The issue is that her male colleagues would not be subjected to such asinine questioning.  They are not, as Ms. Bouchard lightheartedly jests, asking the male competitors to flex their muscles.  They are also not asking the men who they wish they could date.  Wait, what?  Yes folks, in yet another example of interview dumb-assery, Ms. Bouchard was actually asked who she wished she could date.  Once again, it’s not the particular question but the concept that focusing on anything other than her athletic feats is deemed appropriate for women but not men.  It sends the message that our talents and strengths as female athletes are simply not enough or not interesting enough to capture audiences.

What do you think?  Is asking for a twirl and appropriate question?


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