Every men’s locker room is filled with sweaty, hulking, naked males who know precisely what ladies want—or perform they?

Sports illustrated Women  | feather 1997

I’m going to let friend in on a secret. Speak to it the dirty little an enig of the locker room.

You are watching: Female reporter in mens locker room

The males aren’t the attractive. Muscle meaning is one thing. Going to bed through Mount Rushmore is quite another. Did somebody say rockslide?

As a sportswriter I have spent the much better part of my adult life interviewing male athletes, monoliths wearing bikini briefs… or less. This unfortunate reality of life has led come an same unfortunate and patently false assumption on the component of the subjects. Lock exist; thus you want them.

As a reporter, this puts girlfriend in a compromising position, though no the one most world expect. This compromising place is no fun at all and leaves you asking yourself: What, exactly, space you claimed to do? present yourself and say, “Hi, I’m mrs Leavy, and I have actually no desire whatsoever come sleep with you?” suffer tells me the this is not the best way to gain someone to speak to you, which, after all, is part of the job. Therefore what execute you do as soon as you overcome the threshold right into their stinky, sweaty, testosterone-infused lair? You host your nose and look the various other way. Friend don’t say the first thing that concerns mind: “Eeeew.”

I’m no alone in this. Inspect out the locker room step in Jerry Maguire, the Tom Cruise ode to flexion. As soon as a mrs reporter by chance drops her microphone at the feet of one underdressed hunk, she instinctively shields her eyes. Castle sweat. They smell. Castle scratch. My fantasy, they’re not. Their fantasy is the they’re everyone’s fantasy.

I can’t say ns blame them. Together a culture we throw ourselves at their feet. (Some that us more literally than others.) By the time they’re 12 year old and also it’s clean they deserve to kick, pass, litter or struggle the ball better than the rest of us, the seduction has actually begun. Us woo them through freebies–sexual, legal, ethical. They romantic us through prowess, accomplishments larger 보다 life.

After all, this is America, whereby bigger is presumed to it is in better. Big money, big cars (or smaller sized cars with bigger engines), big guys. We’re suckers for males who live large. Together Smokin’ Joe Frazier, the noted linguist, when told me, “Big men’s what renders the human being go ’round.”

Is it any kind of wonder they see us all as notches on your belts?

In sportswriting the deadliest of every sins is what Red Smith, the renowned sports columnist because that The new York Times, referred to as “godding up” ballplayers. Godding up way putting athletes ~ above pedestals where they don’t belong, and also in late-20th-century America, that has end up being both sport and industry.

It’s no accident that Wilt Chamberlain titled his story A view from Above. This to be the literary masterpiece in which he cataloged his sex-related conquests–20,000 of them. And also that was 6 years ago.

“At mine age,” it must be wrote, “that equals out to having sex with 1.2 females a day, every day because I to be fifteen years old.” ns remember reading that and thinking, god, wouldn’t you just kill to it is in the point two? when I became a sportswriter in 1977, the unstated goal was to create lean, mean, macho prose. Us couldn’t do ourselves invisible in the locker room, so us tried to make ourselves invisible in ours writing.

How numerous times did I dare my friend to remove the byline from my stories and try to find any place whereby my indigenous sounded together if they were created by a girl? us weren’t an alleged to recognize the distinctions gender might produce, much much less flaunt them.

But the reality is, females in the locker room perform see points differently–and ns don’t typical anatomically. We pertained to sports with various assumptions and experiences. We are outsiders, i m sorry is what reporters are claimed to be. The femininity us sought to hide is in reality our greatest asset, our X-ray vision.


Being viewed isn’t the issue for athletes in the locker room. The issue is being checked out for what you are. Gift revealed is a entirety lot more threatening 보다 being exposed. If nakedness were yes, really the problem, castle would just put on your pants.

When i was a kid, mine hero to be Mickey Mantle. I ached because that him and cheered for him not only due to the fact that of what that did but also because the what the couldn’t do. I was entranced by his vulnerability, the prodigious what if that his physical limitations imposed.

By the moment we met year later, he to be shilling for an Atlantic City casino and also I to be writing around sports because that The Washington Post. Mine childhood ended with a thud as soon as Mickey passed the end dead drunk in my lap in a poorly lit bar in the little hours the the morning.

A cocktail waitress, who had seen this action before, aided me obtain him to the elevator. As we waited for the car, Mickey request me approximately his room. It wasn’t a compliment being hit ~ above by my hero. I remember thinking, He’s doing what’s meant of him. Ns didn’t take it personally. Nor did he when I decreased the invitation.

See more: Tv Schedule For Fox 45 Dayton Ohio Tv Schedule For Fox (Wkef2) Dayton, Oh

“Oh, well,” he said. “They always called me Mighty Mouse. ‘Cause they said I was hung favor him.”

It was sweet and also pathetic and, of course, I never dreamed of composing it. However looking earlier now, ns wish i had. In his own drunken and disarming way, Mickey was asking for something much more important 보다 a quickie. The was asking to be reduced down to size. That was questioning to be seen as human.