February 13, 2018

Press Statement: Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition’s Dangerous Sexual Objectification

Sports Illustrated today released its annual Swimsuit Edition, which irresponsibly but predictably contributes to a culture of sexual objectification, male sexual entitlement, and relatedly, sexual harassment and assault.

“For decades, women in our culture have been drowning in the message from mainstream media, Hollywood, and “women’s magazines” that their self-worth lies in their sexual appeal. The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition tells women and girls of all ages that no matter how many years, or how much blood, sweat, and tears you put into reaching the pinnacle of athleticism, your value as a human being still ultimately hinges on your sex appeal. SI Swimsuit tells men of all ages, backgrounds, and demographics that you are entitled to gawk at women and girls as sex objects for your viewing pleasure,” said Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation. “This message is so pervasive and so insidious that countless talented, strong, courageous women are convinced that they have to bear their bodies for untold numbers of unknown men to ogle and rate in order to feel empowered.”

“SI Swimsuit’s doublespeak about female empowerment should fool absolutely no one. This product is not about female empowerment. It’s about Sports Illustrated making money off of the sexual objectification of women, which hurts both the women depicted and every other woman and girl in our society,” Hawkins added.

The public is encouraged to email Target and Walgreens to ask them to remove Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit edition from their check out aisles. They can email them here.

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