In response to the letter from Ian Mackenzie on Feb. 23, regarding the Lingerie Football League playing in the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre, I would like to offer a different point of view.
Firstly, Mackenzie says the women involved do not appear to be exploited. These women are dressing in underwear in order to play in an amateur league, for which they do not get paid. In fact, they pay to be in the league.
He also says that the women take the game seriously as athletes. This would necessitate proper protective gear as a part of the uniform. These women are not given the safety gear that other football players are required to wear while playing this rugged sport. The players have the option of buying their own health coverage for injuries that they may, and probably will, sustain while playing with inadequate padding.
Secondly, the aspect of sexuality used as a marketing strategy as described by Mackenzie is not simply a strategy. The whole theme of the league is the objectification of women. On the website for the LFL, the pictures are of women in their uniforms, complete with garters, playing while their wares are falling out of their clothes.
Mackenzie goes on to discuss the economic benefits of hosting the LFL in Abbotsford, saying that the league is paying upfront and is not asking for municipal subsidies like our local Abbotsford Heat hockey team. The members of the Abbotsford community may be saving money by bringing in this league, but will be paying with the achievements of hundreds of thousands of women who have fought and are still fighting for respect and recognition as equals.