And then, in the same article, you read that a spokeswoman for the volleyball team has said, we’re thrilled Sun readers have shown such a healthy interest in the Olympic volleyball team. The girls know the bikinis are helping them gain popularity in the sport.
So, you get really angry. Not because some women are wearing bikinis but because of sexism and because some people really think that there is equality between men and women. And because it's the 21st Century. So then you call Alex West at The Sun and ask for the contact details of the Olympic spokeswoman in question. But Alex West isn't available, so you send him an email that he doesn't reply to. And then you have this idea to call the press department responsible for the Olympic volleyball team and you speak to a woman called Sue and you ask her if she can give you the contact details of the spokeswoman in the article. Sue tells you that she's almost certain who it is but that she needs to check and that she'll call you back.
Sue does call you back and she asks you why you want to contact the spokeswoman and you tell Sue that you want to ask the spokeswoman some questions like, doesn't she feel totally fucking depressed by the misogyny of the article? And, does she really think that the best publicity she can give her beach volleyball team is an assurance to men that the athletes will be wearing their bikinis? And, what does this assurance to the men actually, actually mean? Does it mean that the beach volleyball team and its press office totally understands that men want to look at women in their bikinis and think about fucking them and that everyone concerned is just completely OK with that? And, does she think that this sends a positive message to people about women in sport (or in general)? And, why did she refer to the women as girls? And, does she really think that what constitutes a healthy interest in women's beach volleyball is male spectators being up in arms about the possibility that female athletes won't be wearing bikinis? And, what is she playing at?
So, you tell Sue all of this and then Sue says that she's actually not that sure who the spokeswoman is after all.
And then Sue - who has a (probably not badly paid) job, don't forget, at the press department at the beach volleyball team - literally says this:
The thing is, the girls know that sex sells and really they see it as part of their duty. I mean, you're talking to someone who's a feminist herself but that's the sad truth I'm afraid; there's just nothing we can do to change it.
The reason you know that this is what Sue literally said is because you wrote it down while she was saying it because you could feel it coming.
So, after that, you get this feeling in your stomach that's like a bleak, empty kind of hopelessness and you thank Sue for her time and you put the telephone down and you sit on your bed and scream into a pillow. For quite a while actually.