Women’s Sports Without Illusions: The First Week

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Thanks to all those on Twitter and elsewhere for their comments this week to the start of my series, “Women’s Sports Without Illusions.” I’m really humbled by it all.

Of course, I’m not expecting the precincts of The Sisterhood to report in, at least directly. They prefer to stay wrapped in a cocoon of their own making, locking up blog comments and talking only among themselves.

I’m not sure I intended it to turn out this way, but my posts this week ended up being a short history of the women’s sports movement, nearly decade-by-decade. As I’ve been pointing out, this isn’t just about Title IX. Perhaps my biggest arguments have been about the cultural grievances that I outlined in Parts 4 and 5.

Next week, which marks the 39th anniversary of the passage of Title IX, I want to lay out some ideas about where women’s sports goes next — indeed, where they actually are now. These include reworking Title IX and examining the challenge of women’s pro sports and developing women’s sports around the world, where true oppression still exists.

Of course, I may under the biggest illusion of all in thinking we can move beyond the rhetorical, legal and other cultural realities of the present. I just want to revive the notion of “joy” in women’s sports, which its leaders have disdained for a very long time now.

Regardless of your views on this — and if you disagree, please speak up — let’s start having a conversation. This was one of the main reasons for me taking the plunge and putting this series together. Feel free to comment here or on any of the posts in this series.

Oh, and I promise to write a lot shorter next week!

Part 1: The elusive notion of gender equality in sports

Part 2: Women’s sports and the matter of choice

Part 3: How women have held back women’s sports

Part 4: Making football the enemy of women’s sports

Part 5: Sports and eros, or why sex is more fun than gender


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