Female Reporters in Male Locker Rooms

 

 
History of Females Working in Men's Locker Rooms
 

In 1978, a female federal court judge opened the locker rooms of all male athletes thereby making them a heterosexual environment. An additional civil ruling in 1985 reaffirmed the previous 1978 decree. The legal process that resulted in women being allowed in male locker rooms is discussed in this article:

Women Are Sportswriters Too

Today female sportswriters, camerawomen, and female public relations personnel are common in male locker rooms of all major sports leagues routinely in the presence of naked male athletes. Currently, one-third of all journalists studying sportswriting in college are female. The days when male athletes freely walked completely naked in the locker room in a male bonding ritual are still alive and well, but as books written by such female journalists as Susan Fornoff and Sally Jenkins attest, women are now allowed to be present and closely observe it, talking to these naked men in the process.

Most female reporters focus on the professionalism and the absolute urgency of reaching a deadline, much because of the unfortunate resistance and ostracizing that have experienced. Consequently, female reporters have had to be extremely defensive as to their presence.

However, had it not been for the intimidation of these female journalists by certain malcontent athletes and team managers, and attacks by those that did not understand the orientation of these professional women, one would think it could have evolved into something much more positive. Although women are not as visual as men, and do not become a readily sexually aroused while in the presence of nude men, some women sportswriters have admitted that they are often in the presence of nude male athletes that are physical specimens, and do observe their entire physiques...it is only natural.

Let's face it, the interest of a woman in viewing a naked man's attributes is a form of compliment to the man, not an attack. Nor is there any damage or harm that can come of it, provided the woman is professional in her reporting, which all have been. Women do not ogle the way men do, and if while in the locker rooms a female reporter, female press agent or camerawoman is found to be viewing a naked male athlete below the waist, it should be met with acceptance and understanding and not impede her ability to continue to be there nor to conduct her duties as a journalist. Women sportswriters in these situations should be allowed to glance at the the genitals or butts of these nude athletes without fear they will be accused of being sex fiends.

One female reporter indicated she knew she was accepted when the athletes quit wearing towels in her presence, and didn't seem to mind when they caught her studying the cocks of some of the athletes, recognizing she is still a woman and her observations were harmless. We applaud this reporter and the athletes that accepted her presence, and even provided an environment that encouraged her to enjoy viewing all aspects of the naked male athletes, as they are making what was once a potentially negative environment a positive one for all.

According to some of these female journalists such as Susan Fornoff, some facilities provide less of an opportunity for modesty than others. For instance, according to her the locker rooms at Candelstick Park, Cleveland and elsewhere feature showers that are wide open and fully visible from the dressing area surrounding the lockers. Hence, female reporters can readily view unobstructed the men as they bathe. Because of this, many of these athletes think it silly to cover up with a towel due to the presence of females, only to walk a few feet to take the towel off to bathe while always being in full view of these women.  

Consequently, some male athletes don't cover at all and walk about the locker room completely naked despite female journalists being immediately present.   One young coed assigned to the sports beat discussed has she would watch a ritual in which the athletes would stand 20 feet from the dirty clothes hamper, remove their jock straps and stretch the elastic shooting them into the bin.  This of course left them standing around stark naked as she proceeded to conduct her interviews with them. 

One women was the public relations coordinator for the S.F. Giants, and from photos of her in Fornoff's book, one can see this woman was a stunning blonde. Her position required her to be with the team much of the time, which meant she was in the locker rooms constantly. She was known to sometimes dress sexy wearing a tight leather skirt while in the locker rooms having conversation with these naked athletes, often flirting with them.

Women are also becoming more comfortable in just hanging around the locker rooms without having to conduct interviews. In baseball, locker rooms are called "clubhouses", and often a lot of bonding happens in the clubhouse. Cheryl Rosenberg, who covers the Anaheim Angels for the Orange Count Register feels women should be able to hang out with the guys in the locker rooms. She notes that the carefree hanging around in the clubhouse is a prerequisite to building relationships with team players and managers, but when women do hang out in the clubhouses when there are naked athletes present, she says they are sometimes accused of checking out men if the women don't have specific interviews to do. "I don't like to stand in there and not talk to somebody," said . "If I come in early and am waiting for a player, I'll go talk to another player so I'm not just standing there. That can be really tough in a visiting clubhouse if they don't know you and you're a woman."

Eventually, we believe there will be a time when women are as welcome and feel free to talk to, and to hang out with naked male athletes in the same manner male reporters have done for years.

In the movie "On Any Given Sunday" depicted below, the beautiful Cameron Diaz enters the locker room in an unabashed and enthusiastic manner. This film points out to the audience how times have changed whereby a woman may feel free to enter this former sanctuary of bonding for naked male athletes.


True Stories From Female Sports Reporters

Following are some articles written by women that have had the opportunity to be in locker rooms as male athletes are showering, walking about naked or dressing in their presence.


Books Written by Female Sports Reporters

Following are books written by female sportswriters that have spent time in locker rooms with men.

Lady in the Locker Room: Uncovering the Oakland Athletics by Susan Fornoff. As a sportswriter for the Sacramento Bee, Susan covered the Oakland A's from inside the locker room both at home and on the road. The book discusses in several places what it was like to be in the presence of nude athletes having conversations and conducting interviews, particularly identifying which athletes are the most exhibitionistic. But most of the book chronologs her experience with piercing this male dominated vocation and the sexism associated with it.

Men Will Be Boys: The Modern Woman Explains Football and Other Amusing Male Rituals by Sally Jenkins. Sports Illustrated staff writer Sally Jenkins reflects upon male athletics and the escapades of a female reporter following the NFL. Only two or so pages actually describe her and other womens' experiences with male nudity in the locker room as the rest of the book is focused on male dominated athletics from a female perspective. Her observations are perhaps more amusing to a female audience as she describes the dressing habits of the men in the locker rooms noting which athletes wear a protective cup or just a jock, and how they dress for a game (or undress). However, from a male perspective it appears she is bitter and her wit is not sharp nor amusing.

Squeeze Play A novel by Jane Leavy. This is a novel about a female sportswriter, A.B Berkowitz, and her coverage of the Washington Senators baseball team. Although it is fiction, it appears that many of the situations she creates concerning male nudity and female sports reporters are based on real situations she observed from her many years as a sportswriter for the Washington Post. She mentions observations in the book using real athletes, such as Reggie Jackson and his notorious nude exhibitionism whenever female reporters were present. The antics and observations of nude athletes proliferate the book, including one particular athlete, Stick (nick-named this because of his large cock), who would walk about naked and fully erect, including the time the U.S. President came to the locker room to meet him. Other escapades include her watching and laughing as several of the ball players, as a joke, lined up naked at the food table and putting their penises in hotdog buns to present them to one of the players for his birthday, and, the time she was interviewing one naked athlete and noticed her notebook shaking, which was caused by his erection bumping into it. She begins the novel with the following:

"You see a lot of penises in my line of work: short ones, stubby ones, hard ones, soft ones. Circumcised and uncircumcised; laid-back and athletic. Professionally speaking, they have a lot in common, which is to say that are all attached to guys, most of whom are naked while I am not, thus forming the odd dynamic of our relationship."


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