Surfing the Internet from my home late one night, I noticed that the staff at was offering free pairs of tickets. Twelve people who came up with the best reasons why they deserved them would get free passes to Tony Hawk’s Boom Boom Huck Jam, a sports exhibition featuring famous professional skateboarders and BMXers.
More than 80 people entered the contest, offering reasons like “Because my sister’s birthday was last week and my broke ass did not get her anything,” and “I want to take my son, but I think the skaters forgot where they came from because the tickets are way overpriced.”
One young woman wrote “I couldn’t go last year (because) my dummy older sister didn’t have the money and I had money for one ticket, but my mom wouldn’t let me go alone.” The young girl also said that she once made a plate with Tony Hawk’s name on it. She didn’t win tickets.
A person who ended up being one of the winners of the contest, presumably a man, offered this explanation as to why he should be a ticket winner:
“I should get them (because) if I do I’ll get you guys an awesome stripper with big tits that’ll do anything you want her to, but take a note, she never wears clothes.”
I don’t believe I’m being overly analytical when I say that’s not a good reason to win, but apparently someone thought it was a great reason.
I cringed reading that statement, but I felt nauseous after I found out that this person was selected as a winner. Not only is he presenting a woman as an object, but, as in this case, he was actually rewarded for doing so.
The Web site has had other giveaways where the morals of the organization’s leaders were questionable. For example, in a contest similar to the one mentioned above, Web site visitors were supposed to come up with a reason why they should win tickets to the Vans Warped Tour, an all-day event featuring live punk-rock music and alternative sports exhibitions.
One of the winning entries said “I need those tickets because I will come to your booth during the Warped Tour with my (friend) and we will both show you our boobs! You can touch them!”
Imagine someone’s young daughter telling her friends that she got free entry into a punk-rock concert because she let some strangers touch her breasts.
I have attempted to contact those in charge at the organization about their promotion of sexism through these contests. I have not yet received a response, though the disclaimer on the Web site demonstrates that those at the organization have probably reviewed the e-mail message I sent them.
The site is running another contest along similar lines as the aforementioned two, offering free tickets to the “Off the Wall” Club Tour, a concert promoted by Vans, a footwear company. The final paragraph of the entry instructions reads “NOTE: Friends of strippers and hot moms do NOT get priority … yeah right.”
Instead of choosing to respond in an appropriate manner, the men at the Skatepark of Tampa chose to exude this kind of in-your-face rebuttal. After reviewing the accumulation of data, I might be inclined to say that they have chosen not to defend themselves because any defense they could offer would be inadequate.
By encouraging the indecency of women, this organization is dehumanizing them. For women, it indicates that women are simply an object with breasts who should continue to be viewed as nothing more than objects for men’s desire. The organization’s leaders are telling men that it is ok to treat women in this manner, and, furthermore, it is what is expected of them in order to get prizes.
To these negative associations, I can only say two words:
Whitney Meers is an Oracle staff writer majoring in anthropology and mass communications.