Illustration: Nicholas Luchak
She Said, He Said, She Said is a recurring feature in which all three founding SCREAMING IN ALL CAPS contributors discuss a specific topic using G Chat. Sometimes we agree with each other. Sometimes we don’t. Occasionally we’re even funny. Often alcohol is involved.
Please note some of these chats have been edited for length, clarity and typos, or because we went off on strange, drunken tangents.
Jen: WE’RE HEATING UP THE WINTER OLYMPICS.
Marlo: Thematic blogging. IT’S WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT.
Nicholas: The ‘he’ in ‘She Said, He Said, She Said’ has come ill prepared and has watched very little of the Olympics. Let’s see what happens.
Marlo: In light of Olympic fever, let’s discuss some alternative ‘winners.’ Or losers. OR LUGERS HAR HAR HAR.
Jen: Category #1: Best example of inadvertent/unintentional sexism so far.
Marlo: My pick: When sportscasters and commentators call male athletes ‘men’ and female athletes ‘girls.’
Jen: UGH UGH UGH UGH.
Marlo: NOT ACTUALLY THE SAME THING, FOLKS.
Jen: WTF is with that, actually?
Marlo: Accomplished, fierce women, some who have trained for YEARS, and they get ‘a great bunch of girls.’ It’s like a slumber party! Tee-hee.
Jen: FFS. It sends the message that they aren’t real competitors.
Marlo: It infantilizes them and diminishes their kick-assery.
Nicholas: They’re pretty good at the ‘Girls’ portion of the Winter Olympics.
Nicholas: Now back to the real stuff.
Marlo: The Pinklympics.
Jen: Women in traditionally male-dominated sports get the worst of it. SNOWBOARDING COMMENTARY OMG. It makes me have rage blackouts. They always seem surprised.
Marlo: I’ve mostly been watching CBC and it’s been OK. I think NBC is worse.
Jen: Well, I think we can all agree that men/girls is our gold medalist in Category #1. TAKE YOUR DUBIOUS POSITION AT THE PLATFORM.
Jen: Category #2: Best example of systemic sexism so far.
Marlo: Oh I have a FUCKING AWESOME one for this.
Jen: Me too, but go ahead.
Nicholas: I have nothing. Continue.
Marlo: Canada’s women’s hockey team played the US and got a penalty for — wait for it — “too many men on the ice.” MALE AS DEFAULT, ANYONE?
Jen: Holy shit.
Marlo: Some news sites changed it in their coverage to “too many players” or “too may skaters” but I looked it up. NHL Rule #74: Too many MEN on the ice.
Jen: Only men play hockey, you guys. Women: ice dance or GTFO.
Nicholas: Well, to be fair the NHL is a male-dominated league, which is a whole different issue unto itself — if that is, in fact, the name of the NHL rule.
Marlo: @nick True. That’s what makes this a prime example of systemic sexism; they’ve never had to consider LADY PLAYERS before.
Jen: ^^^ Yup.
Marlo: @nick: Olympic hockey follows NHL rules, more or less.
Jen: People also don’t think about their words.
Marlo: @Jen You said “you guys.” Heehee.
Jen: You PEOPLE.
Nicholas: Now that this is brought to my attention, I wonder how many times that has been called at a women’s hockey game during the Olympics.
Marlo: I think, just to even things up a bit — in the name of equity and all — that, for the rest of the men’s hockey competition, they should call penalties for “too many women on the ice.”
Jen: LOL. I also have an example of systemic sexism.
Marlo: Let’s hear it!
Jen: Female Olympians must market their sexiness to nab endorsement deals, then face backlash for doing so. Here’s a Time piece for our readers on the subject.
Marlo: Indeed. Everyone gets a gold in the damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t field of play!
Jen: Sadly, yes. Which goes back to the Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan days.
Marlo: Princess vs. bitch
Jen: Kerrigan looked wealthy, Harding looked poor. So despite being the first American woman to land a triple axel in competition in 1991, no one wanted Harding.
Marlo: Nick, you’re too young to remember. Rocks in rocking chair.
Jen: This is a great piece about that.
Nicholas: I was busy growing fingernails.
Jen: LOL. But yeah, it continues today.
Marlo: Don’t many amateur athletes do ‘racy’ i.e. ‘tastefully nude’ calendars also, to raise the money they need to compete?
Jen: They do.
Jen: From that Time piece: “During the two weeks of the games, female athletes will get more screen time than they usually do — the rest of the year, all but four percent of airtime is dedicated to male athletics.”
Marlo: What a shame.
Jen: That means they have two weeks to capitalize on attention that could help finance their careers.
Marlo: And we all know the best tools a woman has to grab attention. TITS. *Perky white young tits.
Jen: Exactly. For men, it’s performance. For women, it’s performance + looks.
Nicholas: It’s crazy that they have to rationalize doing a nude photo shoot by claiming it’s to show that all athletic body types are beautiful.
Marlo: And really, let’s face it, the majority of nude photo shoots of ‘beautiful athletic bodies’ are of women’s bodies.
Nicholas: What’s really going on is just a bunch of naked chicks for dudes to check out.
Marlo: DING DING DING.
Jen: They’re showing a very limited range of bodies, too.
Nicholas: Nobody is checking it out and thinking, “Oh, how interesting that hockey players have bigger thighs. This re-invents my concept of beauty. Thank you, science.”
Marlo: And again, the issue isn’t naked bodies. The issue is female naked bodies being used as a marketing tool.
Nicholas: Strength doesn’t sell.
Marlo: “Her tits are so strong, I never realized it before.”
Nicholas: Then there should be a photo shoot of women performing astounding feats of strength.
Marlo: @nick Not if you’re a woman. At least, not physical strength. That shit’s for the guys.
Jen: @nick Agreed. Moving on! Category #3: Worst/most enraging Olympics-related tweet so far.
Marlo: I have a nomination!
Jen: Go for it!
Marlo: So, you saw the Google home page tribute to the Olympics/protest about Russia’s fucked-up anti-LGBT crackdown?
Nicholas: I think so. Was that the rainbow one with the silhouettes?
Marlo: Yes. Here is the original (awesome) graphic:
And under it, you’ll note, was a quote from the Olympic Charter about every individual having the right to compete without discrimination.
Jen: It was awesome.
Marlo: And then this tweet happened:
— DEFENDING MARRIAGE (@MarriageDefence) February 10, 2014
Jen: ACK! THAT’S HORRIBLE.
Nicholas: @MarriageDefence. Jesus. Hate doesn’t sleep.
Marlo: INDOCTRINATING OUR CHILDREN.
Jen: Holy fuck, I can’t even. WON’T SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN (AND RAINBOWS).
Nicholas: How does that signify that ‘Children’ (capital ‘C’) belong to ‘Sodomites?’ The gays are playing sports therefore they own all the children?
Marlo: The random capital letters are not quite as offensive as the homophobic hate but they are still VERY OFFENSIVE.
Marlo: Grammer luger.
Jen: There’s so much wrong.
Nicholas: I bet that person has a terrible haircut.
Marlo: Agreed. Gold medal for hate. With a side of STFU.
Jen: Indeed. Ugh. Moving along. Happier subject! Category # 4: Most hardcore female athlete. I HAVE ONE: Czech snowboarder Sarka Pancochova. She smacked her head so hard during the women’s slopestyle competition that SHE CRACKED HER HELMET.
Marlo: THAT’S WHO I PICKED, TOO!!!!!
Jen: Mind meld!
Nicholas: Is she so hardcore that she’s dead now?
Jen: She got up and kept going.
Marlo: She was unconscious on the way down.
Marlo: Then she came to, got up (!) and made her way across the line.
Jen: She’s BOSS.
Nicholas: I found Sarka’s crash. Watching … Ooooooooo … Wow.
Marlo: Remember kids, always wear a helmet.
Jen: Sarka forever.
Marlo: I would also like to offer an honourable mention in this category.
Marlo: Canadian slopestyle skier Yuki Tsubota. Also had a HORRIBLE crash. Smacked her face (!!) with her knee and broke her jaw. Alas, she didn’t finish. She was carried off on a stretcher. And afterwards the announcer said (I’m paraphrasing) “She’s OK, just a broken jaw.” UMM …
Jen: JUST a broken jaw, recovery for which is long. Next. Category #5: Most heteronormative moment so far.
Marlo: My pick: when all the ladies scampered out in pastel dresses to pair off with all the gentlemen soldiers (wearing blue, natch) in the opening ceremony’s dance homage to Tolstoy’s War and Peace. Natasha’s ‘first ball.’
Jen: LOL. That wins. Pink and blue. How subtle.
Marlo: From Inquirer.net’s “A cultural guide to Sochi opening ceremony:
“For most, this enormous book is more doorstopper than showstopper. But many Russians, who grew up reading Leo Tolstoy’s epic saga in school, know the story and its most famous scene — Natasha Rostova’s first ball — by heart.
“Bolshoi Theater prima ballerina Svetlana Zakharova played Rostova, a young debutante in 19th-century Russia who is desperate to be asked to dance at her first ball. It’s love at first sight when the handsome Andrei Bolkonsky, played by Danilo Korusnetsev of St. Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theater, approaches.”
DESPERATE TO BE ASKED TO DANCE.
Nicholas: I nominate every single couples figure skating dance party.
Nicholas: I in all honesty don’t understand why figure skating is considered an Olympic sport. I get that there’s tricks involved but it’s mostly a matter of opinion. It’s art.
Marlo: Uh-oh. Jen’s not gonna like that.
Nicholas: Bring it.
Jen: Don’t conflate figure skating with its weaksauce sister ice dancing. Figure skating is like ballet dancing; it requires athletic power/stamina but also grace. It looks easy because they make it look that way.
Nicholas: If figure skating is an Olympic sport then why isn’t Zumba?
Jen: ALSO HAVE YOU SEEN THEIR QUADS? It also requires agility.
Nicholas: Ukrainian Dancing should be there, then.
Marlo: You strap knives to your feet, lift a 120-pound woman over your head, then jump up and spin around three or four times.
Jen: There’s also that. It takes a lot of technical skill, but also performance. I’d say it’s among the hardest sports.
Nicholas: Maybe it’s because of the glamour and costumes and music.
Jen: Maybe. But again, figure skating is different than ice dancing, which has barely any tricks.
Nicholas: There are no sequins or Celine Dion songs in bobsledding.
Marlo: THERE SHOULD BE.
Nicholas: I’d be more likely to watch.
Jen: Figure skating and sexism have an interesting legacy. Because figure skating is perceived as feminine, I think that’s why many people don’t take it seriously as an athletic feat. Not saying you, necessarily, but generally. SYSTEMIC SEXISM. It’s the sport for the ladies and the gays.
Marlo @jen Totally agree.
Jen: Because sequins.
Marlo: Because of the music and the costumes etc.
Marlo: @jen GET OUT OF MY BRAIN. OK, let’s move on.
Jen: Category #6: Sexiest/coolest sport. FIGURE SKATING OBVS. See all reasons above.
Marlo: Biathlon. Skin-tight one-piece outfits, athletes with thighs of iron panting with exhaustion while focusing their eyes, lazer-like, as they shoot rifles. YES PLEASE.
Jen: Oooh, thighs.
Marlo: Cross country skiing and rifles! *And thighs.
Nicholas: Or the part of speed skating where everyone goes ass-to-mouth in a circle for five minutes.
Marlo: @nick: See, now I don’t find that cool or sexy.
Jen: I second speed skating only because I do love a defined quad.
Nicholas: It’s sexy to some people.
Marlo: True. Not judging. Secretly judging.
Nicholas: Off topic: I was wondering if it could be a strategy in speed skating to hold in a fart until your last lap.
Marlo: @nick OMG I would totally do that.
Jen: That’s a pro tip right there.
Marlo: ALL’S FAIR IN LOVE AND WAR
Jen: AND SPEED SKATING. OK. Category #7: Best fuck-you to Russia’s anti-gay laws.
Marlo: The aforementioned Google home page.
Jen: The activists who have faced arrest. That takes serious guts.
Marlo: True. I was going to make a joke about the Germans’ quasi-rainbow themed outfits but now I feel I can’t.
Jen: HAHAHA. BUZZ KILL.
Marlo: TYPICAL FEMINIST
Jen: Next. Category #8: Biggest douchebag.
Marlo: The IOC for not allowing stickers honouring Sarah Burke to be worn on helmets because they’re considered ‘political.’
Jen: Putin watching Russian skater Yulia Lipnitskaya totally nail her routine, yet looking thoroughly unimpressed.
Marlo: @jen He always looks like that.
Nicholas: Except when he’s shirtlessly hunting bears or whatever.
Jen: Hahaha. He’s only impressed with himself. Moving on?
Marlo: Sure. Can we take a quick mo to say RIP to Sarah Burke? She was instrumental in getting women’s skislope etc. into the Olympics. Speaking of hardcore female athletes.
Jen: Indeed. What a lady.
Marlo: Thank you. OK, next.
Jen: (Not as good as McKayla, but still pretty amaze.)
Marlo: Oh those pissy Americans.
Jen: Sore lugers.
Jen: Ready for our 10th and last category? Best Tumblr.
Marlo: Yes. I’m excited!
Jen: Shoshi Games 2014
Nicholas: Oh yeah I saw that today.
Marlo: OMG. This is hilarious.
Jen: Your favourite character from Girls, in all your favourite sports.
Marlo: Her in the Canadian bobsled!
Jen: “Nailing perfect beachy waves #sojeals”
Marlo: THE OLYMPICS REALLY ARE FOR GIRLS — WE’VE COME FULL-CIRCLE WITH OUR JOKES AND COMMENTARY! Goddammit we’re good.
Nicholas: Cheque please.
Jen: That’s a wrap! I leave you with Norway’s curling team and their pants.