Women’s Sports Without Illusions: The Series

This series examines nearly four decades of the women’s sports movement, and assesses the next phase of the development of athletics for girls and women.

I have written about and observed trends and issues in women’s athletics for nearly 20 years; the following is a distillation of my reporting, and that of others, accompanied by my own perspective. wendymug

I covered college and women’s athletics, soccer, the Olympics and other sports for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. I also am a correspondent for Basketball Times. These thoughts are my own and do not reflect the views of any employer or organization for which I have freelanced. That’s why this series is on this blog, under my name.

What’ I’ve written here isn’t meant to be a raging polemic against the gender equity establishment, with which I do have some serious beefs, as you’ll see reading below. It’s about getting beyond what I regard as its small-minded obsessions that are more about past grievances than preparing for a different future for female athleticism.

I’m no great visionary; but then again, neither are the (mostly) women who have claimed that mantle. Their ideas are old, hackneyed and divisive. Their rhetoric often is hostile toward men and is marinated in pretentious, dreary academic Marxist/feminist theory. They come across as reasonable in interviews with the mainstream media, which doesn’t bother to find out how deeply out of touch they are. I’ve done that here.

I’m just trying carve out a new way of thinking about how girls and women have come to sports. It’s an old-fashioned way, really, that I would like to revive. Please feel free to contact me at wendy@wendyparker.org with comments, feedback and suggestions. I do welcome them, and look forward to a continuing dialogue on these topics.

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

Part 6: Some ideas for reworking Title IX

Part 7: More ideas for reworking Title IX

Part 8: Do girls and women really need sports?

Part 9: Recapturing the intent and true spirit of Title IX

Part 10: The racquet that endures and inspires