On Sunday, P!nk took to Twitter to speak out against the Norweigan female beach handball team being fined for opting to wear shorts instead of bikini bottoms.
P!nk said she was “VERY proud” of the team for “PROTESTING THE VERY SEXIST RULES ABOUT THEIR ‘uniform.’” In the same tweet, she offered to pay for the team’s fines, adding that the European Handball Federation should be the ones to pay.
I’m VERY proud of the Norwegian female beach handball team FOR PROTESTING THE VERY SEXIST RULES ABOUT THEIR “uniform”. The European handball federation SHOULD BE FINED FOR SEXISM. Good on ya, ladies. I’ll be happy to pay your fines for you. Keep it up.
— P!nk (@Pink) July 25, 2021
P!nk wasn’t the only 1 against the sexist rule. Many took to Twitter, using the #letthemwearshorts hashtag, to share their thoughts about how female athletes are sexualized through sexist and unfair uniform rules.
They’re athletes. Let them wear shorts for God’s sake https://t.co/XmwFxk76gK
— Katie Khan (@katie_khan) July 22, 2021
When the international governing body for your sport can dictate that men can wear shorts but women MUST wear bikini bottoms with no more than a 4 inch strap, and fine women for not showing ENOUGH skin, that’s misogyny, sexism, and sexual objectification.
— Rachael Denhollander (@R_Denhollander) July 21, 2021
So counterproductive to playing the sport- you’d be distracted the whole time worrying about wardrobe malfunctions, tampons & sand rather than being able to give your full attention to playing. The requirement for women to wear bikini bottoms is a disadvantage #letthemwearshorts https://t.co/kAGw00uHfb
— Caitlin Roper (@caitlin_roper) July 25, 2021
Thanks to P!nk, and fans around the world, a HollyGOOD response from the European Handball Federation
Turns out, the European Handball Federation is determined to have something good come out of all of this attention.
AP reports how the European federation responded to the impact of P!nk’s tweet. The group is going to donate the Norwegian Handball Federation’s fine to a HollyGOOD cause, like one that is a “major international sports foundation which supports equality for women and girls in sports.”
The European Handball Federation President Michael Wiederer said in a statement on their site:
“We are very much aware of the attention the topic has received over the past days, and while changes cannot happen overnight, we are fully committed that something good comes out of this situation right now which is why the EHF has donated the fine for a good cause promoting equality in sports.”
We look forward to seeing the long-term changes.
For now, the Norwegian beach handball team proudly remains in their shorts, thanking fans worldwide for their support.
“We are also very proud about making a statement in the bronze final by playing in shorts instead of required bikini bottoms! We are overwhelmed by the attention and support from all over the world,” the team shared in an Instagram post just days before the Handball Federation released their statement. “We really hope this will result in a change of this nonsense rule!”
During the 2021 Olympics, the German gymnastics team is pushing back against the sexualization of female gymnasts
During the 2021 Olympics, the German female gymnastics team is wearing unitards that go down to their ankles. According to AP, the team first debuted the look at the European Artistic Gymnastics Championships.
“We sat together today and said, OK, we want to have a big competition,” said Sarah Voss, a 21-year old German gymnast. “We want to feel amazing, we want to show everyone that we look amazing.”
Seeing an entire team make a choice to wear a unitard during the first Summer Games since Larry Nassar’s sentencing is pretty powerful. The former USA Gymnastics national team doctor was found guilty of abusing hundreds of gymnasts, and his case encouraged athletes and Olympians to speak out about how gymnastics culture allows for the abuse and sexualization of young women and girls.
Still, gymnasts have every right to choose what they want to wear and what they prefer on their own bodies. Take Simone Biles: she prefers the appearance of a leotard and should totally feel empowered to wear what she wants.
“I stand with their decision to wear whatever they please and whatever makes them feel comfortable,” Simone said about the German gymnastics team in June 2021. “So if anyone out there wants to wear a unitard or leotard, it’s totally up to you.”
We stand with all female athletes who deserve to wear what feels comfortable for them rather than what satisfies someone else.
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