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Undressing Jere Longman -- the NYTimes writer who hates pretty athletes

 

Two days before her Olympic race, Jere Longman, a New York Times sportswriter, wrote a column that criticized Lolo Jones, a beautiful, female hurdler who also happens to have overcome spinal surgery and hamstring injuries to remain among the top runners in the world. Jones placed fourth in the 100-meter hurdles on Tuesday.  

Longman eviscerated Jones for posing for a naked photograph (in which her private parts are not visible) and in a sexy bathing suit on the cover of Outdoor magazine, claiming she was out for notoriety at any cost, even if it meant playing “vixen” or “virgin.”  Jones is a Christian and a virgin, by the way.

Longman’s column, however, may say more about him—and those hostile to all trappings of true gender identity—than about Jones.  His call to shroud feminine athletes and deny the fact that some do, indeed, achieve fame based on their looks, not purely their athletic prowess, is a distant cousin of those movements in the world that seem to fear the sexual power of women and cover them head-to-foot, as well as those cultural movements that assert there ought to be no difference between men and women.

Mr. Longman objecting to a beautiful athlete posing in sensual photographs, while remaining silent about female boxers who look androgenous, beating up one another in a boxing ring, until they fall down, is worth noting.  

Jere Longman's objection to a beautiful athlete posing in sensual photographs, while remaining silent about female boxers who look androgenous, beating up one another in a boxing ring, until they fall down, is worth noting.  

Whether Mr. Longman likes it or not—and he clearly hates it—people are intrigued when gifts come bundled together in one human being.  And some of those gifts happen to relate to male and female attractiveness.  An exoticly beautiful woman who can run like the wind is a stunning sight.  People want to see her, and not just while she is competing.  They are moved by her, in more than one way.  And—contrary to Mr. Longman’s assertion that Jones is just pandering to any audience that will listen or watch—they are especially moved by her when she is also dedicated to her religion and making a point of being sexy, while still abiding by her personal ethics, which preclude sex before marriage.

Where was Mr. Longman when Michael Phelps posed for Speedo, a company which endorses him.  Is he blind to the fact that women watch male swimmers and marvel at their physiques?  Would he assert they should be racing in one-piece swimsuits that aren’t form-fitting?
Does Mr. Longman think that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady should end all his endorsement deals that have resulted not only from his formidable athletic skills, but also from the happy fact that he looks like he walked out of the pages of GQ magazine?  

Why, someone might ask Mr. Longman, was the fabulously famous 5th Century bronze of the discus-thrower of a naked man throwing the discus?  Why has that sculpture become one of the most valuable in the world?  Because the confluence of physical beauty and physical ability has always been prized.  That’s why, in antiquity, discus-throwing was the first element in the pentathalon, to begin with; the physical appearance of the competitors transfixed the spectators.

Mr. Longman has gone long on trying to turn Lolo Jones into a man.  I’m not his psychiatrist, but to me, that sounds like it merits a few sessions. 

Dr. Keith Ablow is a psychiatrist and member of the Fox News Medical A-Team. Dr. Ablow can be reached at info@keithablow.com.