elcome to Hotel Satire, where gals come to learn their true purpose on
this earth, i.e., to service men. Take sports. Gals still seem to think
that they are entitled to engage in athletic endeavors in stadiums and
gymnasiums, on fields and streams, and even in public parks.
How far this sense of entitlement has gone is evident from the letters
we have been receiving at Hotel Satire. The following are a few examples
of the consciousness-lowering that needs to be done on today’s gals.
Dear Hotel Satire,
have been following the Don Imus/Rutgers women’s (mostly black) basketball
team situation where he referred to the women as “nappy-headed hos” on
his “Imus in the Morning” radio show (simulcast on MSNBC cable TV). Here’s
the infamous exchange between Imus, the show’s producer, Bernard Mc Guirk,
and Sid Rosenberg, host of a mid-morning sports show in Miami.
DON IMUS: So I watched the basketball game last night between a little
bit of Rutgers and Tennessee, the women’s final.
SID ROSENBERG: Yeah, Tennessee won last night, seventh championship for
Pat Summitt, I-Man.
DON IMUS: Some rough girls from Rutgers. Man, they’ve got tattoos and…
BERNARD MCGUIRK: Some hardcore hos.
DON IMUS: That’s some nappy-head- ed hos there…. Man, that’s some —ooh!
And the girls from Tennessee, they all look cute, you know, so—like kind
of like a…. I don’t know if I’d have wanted [them] to beat Rutgers or not.
But they did, right?
SID ROSENBERG: It was a tough watch. The more I look at Rutgers, they look
exactly like the Toronto Raptors [men’s basketball team, currently 16-23].
The outcry that ensued focused on the racism of the interchange, which
it should have, but not so much on the sexism, as well as the intersection
between the two. NBC News, which simulcasts Imus’s radio program on its
cable news channel MSNBC called his comments “racist and abhorrent.” Media
spokesMEN for the black community were outraged at the racism as well—Al
Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Spike Lee, Barack Obama. Comments on the Internet
also focused mainly on the racial aspect, as did many TV and radio sports
shows. The main statements re. gender came from Oprah and the Rutgers team
coach, C. Vivian Springer, who said at a press conference, that, “It’s
not about the Rutgers women’s basketball team, it’s about women…it’s about
us as people.”
So why no similar outrage about an interchange where female athletes were
denigrated by their sexuality (hos) or looks (cute) or non-compliance with
male ideas of femininity (tough/hardcore) or were reduced to pre-pubescent
One reason could be that no organized women’s movement spokes- people stepped
up or received media attention when they did. Or could it be a reflection
of the fact that women athletes/sports are second class citizens in the
male-dominated sports world? Women’s sports receives little coverage in
newspapers and in sports magazines. When they do get coverage, it’s to
titillate men, as in the
swimsuit issue or as highly
sexualized female cheerleaders. On the TV sports show “Pardon the Interruption,”
on the rare occasion when they do mention female athletes, it’s because
of their looks and men’s sexual attraction to them—as in Danika Patrick
(race car driver) or Maria Sharapova (tennis player).
Speaking of racism, sexism, and tennis, Sid Rosenberg, one of the participants
in the Imus interchange. has remarked on the air (when employed by the
Imus show in 2001) that Venus and Serena Williams (African American tennis
players) would be better suited for
“faggots play tennis”; that the U.S. women’s national soccer team was “a
bunch of juiced up dykes,” and in regard to singer-songwriter Kylie Minogue’s
breast cancer, that she “ain’t gonna be so beautiful when the bitch got
bald head and one titty.” (He was removed from the Imus show after that
comment.) Oh, he also said about Palestinians, during Arafat’s funeral,
that they ought to “drop the bomb there, kill ’em all right now.”
Nice guy. As of this writing, Imus has been fired. The final straw was
the show’s sponsors threatening to pull their ads. What integrity. While
sponsors express outrage, they continue to feature sexist corporate advertising
on websites and in TV ads.
Will the outrage that ensued and the firing of Imus change racist attitudes
and institutions? Doubtful. The lesson around racism will probably be:
use it selectively and carefully. Definitely don’t go after a basketball
team that just played a nationally televised championship game with corporate
sponsors and lots of adoring fans. The message around sexism? Bring it
—Signed, When will it stop?
uh? I fell asleep while reading your letter. When will it stop? When everyone
realizes that gals in sports are a joke, plus annoying to men. Except,
say, gal’s beach volleyball where tanned, half-nude gals bounce and tumble
around in the sand. Or if they make posing for the swimsuit issue a sport.
Yowsa. Also acceptable would be any sport where we see enough gals’ cleavages
and crotches to make watching gals sweat and compete bearable.
As to Don Imus. We are sickened by his firing. He is a wonderful man, named
one of the 25 Most Influential People in America by
Magazine and a
member of the National Broadcasters Hall of Fame. We read about his ranch
were he helps sick children in
We’re glad his Radiothon
raised $1.3 million for charity (and received many messages of support).
Besides, he was telling it like it is.
Dear Hotel Satire,
ecently, kidnapping and sexual offense charges against three members of
the Duke Lacrosse team—Collin Finnerty (previously charged with assaulting
a man and shouting anti-gay epithets), Reade Seligmann, and David Evans—were
dropped for lack of evidence and contradictory testimony from the “accuser,”
now named as Crystal Gail Mangum.
Mangum was working as an escort and stripper when she claimed three Lacrosse
team members beat, strangled, and sexually assaulted her at a bachelor
party. The case became one of he said/she said, plus politicking by the
local DA, plus not much evidence of assault. Magnum, an African American,
had served in the U.S. Navy, was a single mother, and a student at North
Carolina Central University.
What has been ignored in all this is the uncontested fact that an email
was sent from lacrosse player Ryan McFadyen (not accused of anything),
which discussed hiring strippers and “killing the bitches”; that Mangum
and another female “performer” were hired to perform at a bachelor party
for five men at an off-campus house rented by the lacrosse team and owned
by Duke University; and that nasty things happened .
Clearly, sports talk shows and news media in general could have used this
case to comment on how male sports stars—high school, college, and professional—expect
to be “serviced” by women at “parties,” often arranged by their team or
with the implied consent of their institutions and leagues. Media pundits
could have looked into the sexist and racist dynamics of college and professional
sports teams; or the boys club atmosphere that condones mis- ogyny.
Instead, the lesson from this case will probably be that gals are drug-
ged “hos” who falsely accuse "fine” young men, thereby ruining their careers.
It will undoubtedly continue to prevent women who have really been assaulted
to speak up.
—Signed, Missed the Boat
Dear Missed the Boat,
he only boat you missed is the one where gals service men, if you catch
Dear Hotel Satire,
was angered by the media excitement generated by the nomination of Jennifer
Hudson for an Academy Award (which she won for
was not so much about her talent, but her size! A headline in
read, “Stars carry curves with confidence.” Writes Donna Freydkin, “It’s
a reality-show reject from Chicago [she lost on “American Idol”] who proud-
ly wears a size 12 [most Hollywood actresses fit into size 0-2; while the
average woman in the U.S. weighs 164.3 pounds] and flaunts her ample curves….
Tyra Banks, who marked the tenth anniversary of her iconic
swimsuit cover by reshooting it 20 pounds heavier, concurs. ‘Beyonce, myself,
all women who have curves are embracing our curves, and that needs to continue.
I thank the Lord for Jennifer Hudson and the attention and coverage she’s
getting. She’s curvy and beautiful’…. And she’s grinning on the March
cover of fashion bible
while bootylicious Beyonce sizzles on the
front of the
So we’re supposed to praise Hollywood and the fashion industry for for
their sexist appreciation of women who wear a size 12 (most of the women
mentioned in the article were black, a rare media occurence), as if this
is an advance for women to be sexually objectified on the cover of
without starving to death? Can’t anyone talk about the sexism/racism of
entire industries that care more about women’s looks and weight than anything
else; that demand women wear three inch heels and show cleavage in almost
every role they play?
—Signed, Am I nuts or what?
es. Any gal who is not booty- licious and sizzling is annoying to men
and therefore nuts.
Lydia Sargent is on the staff of Z.