Controversy in Sports : Women's Sand Volleyball Uniforms
Marble, Kimberly A.
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Beach volleyball is more than sun, sand, and bikinis. During a day at the beach it is these things too, but there is a whole other side to the sport that is configured of organizations, dedicated players, and the media. It's a sport that requires access to knowledge and resources that are necessary to understand and play the game competitively. Athletes train year-round to perfect their craft and their bodies in order to compete at the top levels. It does a disservice to the sport to simplify it to women in skimpy uniforms. The debate over women's beach, or sand volleyball uniforms is a reflection of societal gender roles and values. Embedded within society are gendered stereotypes and ideals that define how women should look and act during competitive play. Dating back to the ancient Greeks, men defined women's bodies as sexual and fertile vessels with the sole purpose to procreate. Society has come a long way since then and has even fought for women's rights and equality among genders. Numerous groups and boards have fought for equality, and thus women's athletics through actions such as Title IX. The achievement of Title IX was used by the media as a mechanism for society to publicly talk about women's bodies.