So it's that time of year, when we start shopping for our 2014 calendars. Some people like cute kittens, others like peaceful scenes to grace their monthly agenda, sports heroes, or the swimsuit and muscle calendars. Well if you're looking for your new calendar, the Oxford Women's Rugby Team one is making headlines from the Daily Mail to the ESPN Scrum Zone.
According to the Dail Mail, who spoke with members of the of the team, they say that the calendar is not distasteful or trying to sexualize or degrade the women, instead
'What we're doing is celebrating strong women,' she said. 'These girls are athletics, these are their body shapes, and they should be celebrated.'
The team's motto is "Back Yourself", and after the women's team helped support the men's team with their calendar sales for many year, they decided that they should do their own. They feel that the calendar will address stereotypes about female players and that there are
...girls of all shapes and sizes, and studying all types of academic subject.
Now, many teams have done calendars, and shown off their athleticism for local clubs fundraising, like Alabama Women. Other women's clubs have definitely used their sexuality themselves to sell their calendars. What I don't like is that women's rugby stories only seem to hold importance for certain news outlets when it involved nudity or some blow away score or rare event. ESPN Scrum has ZERO female rugby players in their back drop. The have no news feed for female teams, not a single video or picture or headline has anything about women's rugby. Yet today's top trending ESPN Scrumzone story? College girls bare it all for a calendar. In their interview with the Daily Mail, they didn't really say what stereotypes they were trying to stop. The article mentioned it but didn't really cover that part of the calendar, it focused on the majority of the article being the pictures and the rest was filler about how cold it was being nude.
The calendar is pretty tasteful, and it is for a good cause (money raised goes to Mind Your Head, Oxford's mental health awareness campaign.), however I hate that the time Women's Rugby is a leading story is when it's something NOT game related. From the pictures I've seen, I don't see any equality or stereotype issues being addressed. They all look slim, fit and the same size. Every team I know has players of all different shapes and sizes, long hair or short, tattoos, and professional. So to the female teams, who address equality every day, just by wearing your jacket, or marching in the Pride Parades in your city, or helping out with youth clinics and encouraging young girls to try the sport, I applaud you. You might not be making headlines, but you are making a positive impact, the right way to address stereotypes.