Dress Code Debate Corners Badminton Officials into Sexism

Officials want to require women to wear skirts; women want officials to be less sexist

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The world of badminton is engulfed in controversy over a new dress code requiring women to wear skirts on court. In anticipation of next year's London Olympics, the Badminton World Federation drafted the new rule in consultation with Octagon, an international marketing firm. Unsurprisingly, female athletes cried foul over the strict requirement, calling the skirt rule impractical, sexist and offensive--especially in the face of the male dress code which calls simply for "proper attire."

"We’re not trying to use sex to promote the sport," said Paisan Rangsikitpho, an American BWF executive told the New York Times. "We just want them to look feminine and have a nice presentation so women will be more popular."

Here, for your reference, are some some players wearing shorts, presumably looking un-feminine and not nicely presented.

And here's what officials would prefer.

Dress code controversy aside, we'd like to point out that Olympic-level badminton is actually an insanely exciting fast-paced sport--for both men and women.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.