This week I’m bringing back some of my favorite posts from the year, and especially those that generated some good conversation. Issue pieces in sports always seem to do the trick, and these were no different.
In June I posted a 10-part series I called “Women’s Sports Without Illusions,” a critical examination of the movement and where it stands as Title IX turned 39.
For years I have found much of the dogma coming out of the gender equity establishment to be indignant and tone deaf to the world that women athletes live in today. It’s as if activists refuse to leave the 1970s, which thankfully have ended. We might have gone from disco to hip-hop, but I’m more concerned about the cultural grievances that many of these so-called “experts” hold that are out of step with the reality on the ground.
Especially when the slow progress for women in sports over the decades can’t always be chalked up to men.
Also not surprisingly, most of the readers were men, and not women who side with the Title IX diehards. This blog is part of the Women Talk Sports network that includes the Title IX Blog and two sex-and-gender standbys, After Atalanta and One Sport Voice. There was virtually no reaction. We’re talking about people who don’t like their ideas challenged, some to the extent that they don’t permit comments on their blogs at all.
What’s more troubling are the grudges that some hold against football and how they rail against portrayals of women athletes in magazines and elsewhere that the athletes themselves see very differently.
These cultural grievances form the spine of an expanded writing project, based on this series, that I will complete in early 2012. It’s less about Title IX and the controversies over compliance with the law and more about the future of women’s sports, and how such absolutist views disrespect the individual choices of girls and women and are out of step with the mainstream.
I’ll have more details about that project shortly. All I’ll say for now is that if you’ve got a problem with the Women’s Tennis Association’s “Strong is Beautiful” presentation, then take it up with Billie Jean.