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Posts Tagged ‘gender’

I read an interesting article this morning on the Wall Street Journal’s Law page about the Women’s Sports Foundation’s report on gender, money and sports.

This WSJ article provides two unique perspectives: one from Title IX’s biggest opposer, the College Sports Council,  and one from an unbiased researcher.

The major finding of the WSF report was that women continue to be significantly underrepresented among college athletes.

CSC is completely against Title IX and accuses the WSF report of being flawed, claiming Title IX cuts men’s sports. Fact is, they’re wrong. They can’t deny the fact that men have more opportunities than women athletically.

Judging by yesterday’s comment on my blog post, I’d say CSC is likely paying people to non-transparently go onto blogs and post opinions about this. BAD MOVE, CSC.

John Cheslock, a researcher from the University of Arizona, couldn’t have said it any better,

“The CSC took NCAA figures and made a simplistic adjustment,” Mr. Cheslock said. “They really should be called into question for that.”

I can’t agree more.

Eric Pearson, chairman of the CSC, I think it’s time for you to SIT DOWN.

Oh, and just so you know, paying people to go on blogs and comment in your favor is not ethical.

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14-year-old Jaime Nared is making headlines across the country. So far, she’s been on ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN’s Headline News and featured in Thursday’s New York Times as well as big time sports blogs like The Bleacher Report. Why? Because she’s breaking barriers.

Gender barriers… in basketball.

The NY Times calls her “12 going on Candace Parker.” At 6 foot 1″, Nared is catching attention for her participation on Team Concept boys’ team in Portland, Oregon.

All was cool until a game back in April, when she scored 30 points. Suddenly, Jaime got a call from her coach who informed her that she was banned from planning on the team.

Interesting coincidence.

Apparently, Team Concept played in a league called Hoop, a private gym that runs the league that Team Concept plays in. All of a sudden, after her performance scoring 30 points, the league cited a previously unenforced rule against mixed-gender play.

Timing seems a little bit too perfect, doesn’t it?

Only problem now is the GIRLS don’t want her playing with them, either. Poor kid.

Girls teams don’t want her playing because she KILLS. Apparently, the last time she played against girls her age, the final score was 90-7. Her coach equated her participation with girls her age like Shaq playing on a high school team.

By forcing Jaime to play against girls her own age, she’s not getting any better.

The NY Times even says, “Playing with boys is a standard part of girls’ basketball training. Often it’s where talented girls can find the game best suited to their skills.”

So it is going to take some pushing.

It’s not surprising to me that there’s a strong-willed mom behind this effort.

When Jaime’s mother, Reiko Williams, heard that her daughter had been kicked off the boys’ team, she says she felt she needed to act. “I have three daughters,” she told the NY Times. “The world is going to give them pink and dolls. My two older daughters, Jackie and Jaime, want to play basketball. I feel it’s my job as a parent to help them be the best they can be at what they choose to do.”

After the league cut Jaime from the boys’ team, Jaimie’s mom called the Portland media. Then, a trail of media coverage and support followed.

When I read the NY Times article on Jaime last week, I sent it around to some of my blogger friends. One asked me whether I think Jaime should be allowed to compete with older girls or if she should compete against boys her age.

My answer..

Playing with the boys got her on Good Morning America.

I say stick with the boys.

Best of luck, Jaime!

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I know I’m a few days late on this, but I definitely want to address this. Happy 36th birthday to Title IX, the federal law granting girls and women in high schools and colleges the right to equal opportunity in sports.

Title IX states,

“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

But the greatest visible impact Title IX has made in our society is seen in sports. Since its passage on June 23, 1972,  female athletes across the national have been competing at levels we’d never thought possible.

But as women, we need to protect what we have fought for. The battle continues in Congress to ensure Title IX remains strong and effective.

Further, we need to support this legislation at a stronger level. It needs to be tested in our nation’s high schools. Send a message to your congressional representative though the Women’s Sports Foundation.

Together, we can fight for we have, and change what we will become. Happy Birthday Title IX. If you didn’t exist, my life would be drastically different.

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Dara TorresIt has been studied and confirmed over and over again: age and gender each have a significant impact on the cardiac response to exercise. But for some reason, it doesn’t seem to apply to Dara Torres, a 41-year-old mother who is attempting to qualify for her fifth Olympic Games on June 29-July 6 at the USA Swimming Team Trials.

If Dara Torres qualifies for the Beijing Olympics, she will become the first swimmer to make five Olympic teams and will be the oldest female Olympic swimmer to date. She is truly the definition of the bionic woman, and serves as an inspiration to those who battle the inevitable obstacle of age.

To put this phenomenon into perspective, in 1984 (the year before I was born) Torres won her first Olympic gold medal in the 4×100-meter freestyle relay. She was 14 years old. Here she is, today, still kicking butt.

Torres boggles the minds of exercise physiologists everywhere. Her physicality is remarkable for her age, and because of this, she receives regular and frequent drug tests to prove she is for real.

Her training regimen is different than the 17-year-olds she competes against. Wendy Lewellen from the Women’s Sports Foundation says,

“She takes Thursdays and Sundays off from her typical 7-2:30 work-outs, and she plays close attention to her diet. At 5’11”, she’s 10 pounds lighter than she was in 2000. I expected to encounter in Torres a living nutritional chemistry experiment. But aside from relying heavily on her Living Fuel shakes and bars in the early part of the day, her diet sounds simply sensible.”

What makes a professional athlete a true champion? In my opinion, it’s how they use their image and voice to make an impact on society.

Torees does just that. She has used her influence to raise awareness around health issues that have touched her life. Toyota sponsors her effort to spotlight eating disorders, which is a very large problem in the community of female athletes.

I’d like to wish Dara Torres the best of luck as she takes to the lanes June 29-July 6 in Omaha, Neb. For more information on the event, go to USASwimming.org.

To get an even better understanding of how amazing her story has become, check out the below ABC “Person of the Week” video.

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HillaryIt seems only fitting that I post following today’s results in West Virginia. I have a few thoughts on the current Presidential race, a few of which were spurred by today’s headline.

New York Times headline: Clinton Wins West Virginia, With Race a Factor.  Interesting headline choice. Right below that headline is another article entitled ‘Almost Nominee’ Status Keeps Obama in Limbo. Shocker. As a paper that is very democratic and whose editors are pro-Hillary (because NY is her home state), it seems they, too are jumping on the Obama bandwaggon when it comes to reporting the “real” news.  And this is nothing new.

Why couldn’t the headline simply be, “Clinton Wins West Virginia”?

INSTEAD, the article reads, “Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s lopsided victory over Senator Barack Obama was fueled by strong support from white, working-class voters. ”

So, this couldn’t possibly be becuase SHE IS A QUALIFIED CANDIDATE. No, it must mean that the voters in West Viriginia are racist.

This is such crap.

HOWEVER, I must say, even though the reporting is AWFUL, there is some good that comes of this. It highlights the fact that if race is, in fact, a factor, then it means that Senator Obama will have quite a hard time defeating Senator McCain for the white vote.

However, I think we should give the citizens of the U.S. a little more credit. I doubt they’d vote for a candidate based upon race any more than they’d vote for a candidate based upon gender.

Or would they? (see my previous post)

Where is our country headed? If we let race and gender influence the way we elect or political leaders, then we have bigger problems than the war in Iraq or a dwindling healthcare system.

Sports taught me that it didn’t matter if you were black or white, boy or girl, good hair or bad hair, rich or poor. If you could play and you worked hard, you’d earn a spot on the court. The same should be true in our political system. Unfortunately, it’s becoming more and more clear that this is simply not the case.

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