Tag Archives: London Olympics

“Sexism is as common as sweat at the London Olympics”

Annie-Rose Strasser draws our attention to some delicious instances of sexism at the Olympics, from  from female boxers being asked to wear skirts to differentiate them from the men, to women’s teams taking coach while men’s fly first class.

Meanwhile 18 year-old British Olympic weightlifter Zoe Smith responded sharply on her blog to Twitter-brains tweeting or chirping that she is too manly:

[We] don’t lift weights in order to look hot, especially for the likes of men like that. What makes them think that we even WANT them to find us attractive? If you do, thanks very much, we’re flattered. But if you don’t, why do you really need to voice this opinion in the first place, and what makes you think we actually give a toss that you, personally, do not find us attractive? What do you want us to do? Shall we stop weightlifting, amend our diet in order to completely get rid of our ‘manly’ muscles, and become housewives in the sheer hope that one day you will look more favourably upon us and we might actually have a shot with you?! Cause you are clearly the kindest, most attractive type of man to grace the earth with your presence.

Oh but wait, you aren’t. This may be shocking to you, but we actually would rather be attractive to people who aren’t closed-minded and ignorant. Crazy, eh?! We, as any women with an ounce of self-confidence would, prefer our men to be confident enough in themselves to not feel emasculated by the fact that we aren’t weak and feeble.

Having fun yet?

Why the Maldivian ski team is good in short bursts (and other reflections on the Olympics): Sajan Venniyoor

Guest post by SAJAN VENNIYOOR

Now that the 2012 London Olympics has established its progressive republican credentials by recruiting former cold-war assassin, James Bond, to hurl Britain’s 86 year old Queen from a helicopter, following it up with tributes to labour unions, suffragettes, people of colour and the National Health Service (or as the Tories say, ‘leftie multicultural crap’), could we ask some fundamental questions like, what the hell is an ‘Olympic sport’ and how does a 71 year old man in a top-hat sitting on a very expensive horse exemplify the virtues of going faster, jumping higher and being stronger, unless the medal goes to the horse?

Continue reading Why the Maldivian ski team is good in short bursts (and other reflections on the Olympics): Sajan Venniyoor

Olympics, Art and the Orbit of Capital : Anirban Gupta Nigam

Guest post by ANIRBAN GUPTA NIGAM

The facts:

In 1992,  Prijedor – a mine in a place called Omarska in Bosnia – was transformed into a concentration camp by Bosnian Serb forces. The number of Bosnian and Croat people held in the camp varies between at least 3,334 and 5000-7000. Many of them – around 700-800 by some accounts, many thousands by others – were murdered.

A little over a decade later, in 2004, the world’s largest steel producing company, ArcelorMittal took control of 51% of the Ljubija mining complex, of which the mine of Omarska is a part. In the former concentration camp where thousands had been detained and many brutally killed, mining activity has now resumed. A year later – 2005 – ArcelorMittal promised it would financially back and oversee the construction of a memorial for the victims at Omarska. They never did. Not only that, according to some reports ArcelorMittal recently enclosed the space around the mine, denying people entrance and effectively privatising a place of great trauma and violence for exclusive reasons of commerce.

Meanwhile the company, through the artistic prowess of Anish Kapoor, spearheaded the construction of a massive public art monument meant to become one of the symbols of the forthcoming London Olympics. The Olympic Tower – also known as the ArcelorMittal Orbit – has, from its very beginning, been subject to both massive criticism and support. The back and forth over its status as genuinely “great art” or “fascistic gigantism” and a “waste of public money,” has centred on how people respond to the physical structure, as well as on the merits and demerits of having a large corporate house direct a public art initiative of this kind. On the 14th of April this year, Mladen Jelača, Director of ArcelorMittal in Prijedor, verified to Milica Tomic (from the Monument Group in Belgrade) and Eyal Weizman (professor in Goldsmiths, University of London) that iron from the same ore that was mined in Omarska had indeed been used in the construction of the ArcelorMittal Orbit.

Continue reading Olympics, Art and the Orbit of Capital : Anirban Gupta Nigam