New York Times (Sexist Pig) Writer Trips In Hurdler Piece
August 12, 2012 by Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy
The following article is cross-post with the express permission from the blog Katz Porch. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author, and not necessarily those of The New Agenda.
The NY Times had an article recently about Olympian Lolo Jones. Written by Jere Longman, the title alone gives a glimpse into the direction this man is going, “For Lolo Jones, Everything Is Image.” If you are not aware of who Lolo Jones is, she is the American Indoor Record Holder in the 60m Hurdles. She is also a two-time World Championship gold medalist (2008 and 2010). Oh, and Jones has an inspiring personal story to tell. There is more to her than meets the eye, including the tremendous work ethic she has demonstrated to be a world-class athlete, something most of us can only dream of being.
I cannot possibly include Longman’s entire sexist, misogynistic diatribe, shrouded as an Olympic report, but I can provide some
highlowlights for you. Bear in mind how accomplished of an athlete Jones is when you read the following from the NY Times:
Judging from this year’s performances, Lolo Jones seems to have only a slim chance of winning an Olympic medal in the 100-meter hurdles and almost no possibility of winning gold.
Still, Jones has received far greater publicity than any other American track and field athlete competing in the London Games. This was based not on achievement but on her exotic beauty and on a sad and cynical marketing campaign. Essentially, Jones has decided she will be whatever anyone wants her to be — vixen, virgin, victim — to draw attention to herself and the many products she endorses.
In 2009, Jones posed nude for ESPN the Magazine. This year, she appeared on the cover of Outside magazine seeming to wear a bathing suit made of nothing but strategically placed ribbon. At the same time, she has proclaimed herself to be a 30-year-old virgin and a Christian. And oh, by the way, a big fan of Tim Tebow.
If there is a box to check off, Jones has checked it. Except for the small part about actually achieving Olympic success as a hurdler. [...]
As for the whole ESPN photo shoot, yes, Jones did pose in the nude. That is true. Though Jones makes clear the hypocrisy of many in this regard:
[...]Ilana Taub, a spokeswoman, said Jones would have no comment. Previously, Jones has defended her nude ESPN photograph on artistic grounds. And she has denounced a double standard that celebrates male athletes as sex symbols but derides women. She has a point. No one is complaining that Ryan Lochte is athletic eye candy.[...] (Click here to read the rest of Longman’s diatribe.)
Why, yes, Mr. Longman, she DOES have a point. It is a double standard, hypocritical, and patronizing to go after female athletes for choices they make, like working to garner endorsements, while male athletes have such opportunities handed to them on a silver platter.
Sheesh. Is it me, or does Mr. Longman sound like he has a MAJOR ax to grind that has nothing to do with Jones herself? This sounds personal to me. But he took it to a world stage, AND prior to this woman’s event actually taking place.
As an aside, what’s with the denigration of Jones admiring Tim Tebow? Here’s a little newsflash for Mr. Longman: lots of people admire Tim Tebow for his work ethic, his strong faith, and how he conducts himself on and off the field. But considering Longman also condescendingly comments about Jones still being a virgin, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that he takes umbrage with the crush Jones has on Tebow.
Honestly, this whole piece says way more about Longman than it does about Lolo Jones. Here is a glimpse into her story, and just how far this woman has come:
The sheer determination necessary to succeed at this level cannot be understated. And yet, that is precisely what Longman has done in his hit piece on Jones, dismissing completely all that she has overcome to be at this level.
In an interview on The Today Show, Jones had this to say about Longman’s attack piece:
[...]JONES: I think it was crazy, just because it was two days before I competed. And then the fact that it was from a U.S. media. Like, I mean, they should be supporting our U.S. Olympic athletes, and instead they just ripped me to shreds. And I just thought that that was crazy. Because I work six days a week every day for four years for a 12-second race. And the fact that they just tore me apart, it was heartbreaking. I’m not like – you know, they need to do their research, called me the Anna Kournikova of track. I have the American record holder – I’m the American record holder indoors. I have two world indoor titles. And just because I don’t boast about these things, I don’t think I should be ripped apart by media. So, I mean, I laid it out there, I fought hard for my country. And it’s just a shame that I have to deal with so much backlash when I’m already so brokenhearted as it is.
GUTHRIE: You know, you have been such a public person. And you have bared your soul. And I wonder how you look at it now. I mean, you can’t help but put your heart out there. That’s just who you are. But are you sorry that you did?
JONES: I mean, putting your heart out there, obviously it opens you up to a lot of negativity. But at the same time, if I can just reach somebody out there, like maybe there’s a little girl out there who doesn’t think she can be an Olympic athlete. And she sees all the things I struggled through to get here. And you know, I wasn’t even supposed to make the Olympic team. Like the U.S. Olympic team, they counted me out. I made the team. And then they’re like, “She’s not going to even make the final.” I made the final. I went from eighth place and into fourth place. So, I just really hope that my story will give somebody hope. Yeah, I didn’t walk away with the medal or run away with the medal, but like, I think there’s lessons to be learned when you win and there’s lessons to be learned when you lose.[...] (Click here to read the rest and see the interview.)
The Kournikova response is yet another put-down, and just a tad inaccurate. Longman referred to Kournikova’s skills as “meager.” Gosh, Mr. Longman, I don’t know when being ranked in the TOP TEN in the WORLD was ever considered “MEAGER,” but apparently the Top 10 is not good enough for you. No doubt, being a world-class athlete yourself, knowing all the work, time, effort, sacrifices, and downright grit required to reach that level, might justify such a condescendingly sexist remark. Oh, wait, you’re NOT a world class athlete? Then shut up and keep your misogynistic opinions to yourself.
To Ms. Jones, I would say, please do not let some small man who clearly feels compelled to tear down accomplished women affect you like this. The timing of his article was bad, no doubt, but it was misogynistic drivel, written by a man who seems to have an ax to grind. That’s his problem. Don’t let it be yours. I, for one, am proud of you and thank you for all of your dedication to represent our fine nation at the Olympics. No doubt, you will inspire girls to follow in your footsteps, to persevere, to strive, and to achieve their goals. And maybe one day they can be Olympians, too.
~ Cross posted at Katz Porch~