RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL—Following a major faux pas by NBC in which it inadvertently aired images of a Swedish weightlifter’s vagina, the International Olympic Committee rocked the sports world today with an announcement that female Olympians will no longer be permitted to bear “any skin whatsoever, except that on the hands and feet” during competition. The announcement came amid a flurry of surprise at an impromptu press conference called after the 31st Olympiad wrapped up two fraught weeks in Rio.
The radical rule change was also precipitated by widespread reports leading up to the crotch contretemps of compulsive masturbation among adolescent to middle-aged men around the world during essentially every Olympic event. Although self-abuse among spectators is always an unfortunate feature of the summer games, some metrics posit that the trend reached an unsettling peak in 2016. “We’ve been getting literally thousands of calls from wives, children, coworkers, and passersby that men of all ages have been indiscriminately whipping out their members in offices, living rooms, restaurants, street corners—pretty much everywhere—and ferociously jerking it to streaming images of barely dressed athletes,” an IOC spokesman said. Perhaps most disconcerting is that, this year, reports weren’t confined to the masturbatory staples of gymnastics, track and field, and beach volleyball. “Men really ran the whole gamut in 2016,” the spokesman said. “We received numerous complaints of public wanking during virtually every event, including fencing, archery, dressage, even golf. I mean, sure it undermines these gals’ elite athletic achievements, but points for creativity.”
Although the IOC admitted obliquely that “Bategate 2016” could be “potentially problematic if left unchecked,” it was initially reluctant to do anything about it. By Day 10, the IOC was faced with widespread social media outrage at a problem that seemed to be worsening by the day, but all it could muster was a typically complacent institutional shrug of the shoulders. “Listen, I get that these guys shouldn’t be arm wrestling their purple-headed stormtroopers out in the open,” the IOC spokesman said under fire from reporters during a press conference late in the games, “but let’s give these kids a break. They had fun, they made a mistake, life goes on.”
But that was before the now-infamous Day 12 accident involving Swedish-born bikini-model-turned-competitive-weightlifter Greta Garbo (granddaughter of the famed actress) jolted the IOC out of its insouciance, ultimately leading to the seismic shift in dress code. That evening Garbo, who is accustomed to publicly donning skimpy swimwear and the like, showed up to the medal round of the “snatch” competition (the snatch, for the uninitiated, is an Olympic lift where a barbell is yanked from the ground to above the head) adorned in nothing but tricolored nipple tassels and a chain-front crotch-less lace thong reportedly sewn together by Ralph Lauren himself. Unfortunately for the decorated Swede, as she initiated the movement, a nipple tassel interfered with her grip and she lost hold of the bar halfway through, and ended up essentially flinging more than 75 kilograms straight into her own forehead. She knocked herself out cold and fell onto her back, legs spread eagle, and for millions of international viewers the absence of fabric in the center of Mr. Lauren’s handcrafted panties suddenly became painfully conspicuous.
A melee ensued shortly thereafter, but not before Garbo’s splayed legs filled up televisions screens from Moscow to Lima for a staggering 14 seconds, her nether region centered tightly in the picture as though by intention, in what has since been dubbed the “Crotch Shot Heard ‘Round the World.” Those 14 seconds became a social media cause célèbre over the hours and days that followed, with conservative interest groups leading the charge against the “international travesty of moral decency” in a hashtag campaign called #14SecondsTooMany.
And then a strange thing happened. Rather than come to Garbo’s defense and her autonomy over her body and all choices concerning it, notably rabid feminist pundits joined the fight for stricter clothing regulations. New interest groups formed overnight and the leader of the pack, a coalition of activists called Feminists Against Greta Garbo’s Snatch, or F.A.G.G.S., began advancing a new kind of fem-centric doctrine holding not that scanty fashion options are a woman’s sacred prerogative, but rather that, in the atmosphere of irremediable global chauvinism they’d been complaining of so mightily throughout the games, “notions of feminine sovereignty command that a woman shield her body from view of all these goddamn asshole perverts who think the female form exists solely to get them off,” F.A.G.G.S. chairperson Rebecca Franklin Martin-Smith-Crowder-Johnson-Wang said.
And then, before Jane Q. Public could even begin to digest this seemingly drastic pivot, an up-and-coming group of radical Islamist terrorists seized on the opportunity to enter the fray, clamoring alongside the F.A.G.G.S. for the IOC to institute a dress code more aligned with Sharia values and to forever banish the “cheap orgy of unholy flesh mongering” that is the summer games. “We’re very happy to join with F.A.G.G.S. in the global fight against the wicked practices of the IOC and Western infidels,” a spokesman said on behalf of the Coalition for the Use of Nuclear Terrorism for Survival of Sharia, known internationally as C.U.N.T.S.S. When asked whether he had a riposte to offer critics who say that cozying up to Western feminists as political bedfellows will tarnish the C.U.N.T.S.S. brand, the spokesman—who reportedly only recently left his post as Donald Trump’s campaign lawyer—aggressively repeated “Says who?” several times before eventually making the case that because the two groups share a complete ideological rigidity and intolerance of opposing viewpoints, they are actually pretty compatible.
Regardless, though C.U.N.T.S.S. and F.A.G.G.S. may have historically different agendas, they’ve proven to be tremendously effective when united against a common enemy, and together they followed the Garbo/rampant masturbation ordeal through to a most impressive conclusion. “The sheer number of vociferous tweets we were getting on the exposed skin issue alone was just too much for us to handle,” the IOC spokesman said. “We were really sick of hearing about it, so we just kind of threw up our hands and said, okay fine.”
Of course, the wound is still scabbing over, and whether the rule change sticks remains to be seen. Some F.A.G.G.S. detractors, Garbo herself among them, are already trying to upend the change, arguing on social media that the new rule is regressive because it’s driven by a “heteronormative agenda” rather than legitimate concern for women, further muddying the waters and leaving disinterested observers scratching their heads as to exactly what it is that the feminist contingent ultimately wants. But one thing is certain: for every perceived misstep the IOC or any of the other Olympic powers that be may make over the next couple of years, F.A.G.G.S. and C.U.N.T.S.S. will be waiting in the bowels of the Internet, ready to take to Twitter to carry forth the inextinguishable torch of popular outrage.♦
© 2016 Matthew C. Douglas