The Thinking 

Women in Sports

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Maybe Women’s Basketball Fans Should be Paid

October 23, 2012


GENO AURIEMMA, the prominent women’s basketball coach at the University of Connecticut, has an idea for getting more people to watch the women’s games. He wants the standard height of the rim to be lowered about seven inches. That way the ball will get in the basket more often (or at least I think that’s how it works.)

According to CBS News, Auriemma said:

What makes fans not want to watch women’s basketball is that some of the players can’t shoot and they miss layups, and that forces the game to slow down.

This would be very, very funny if it weren’t for all the money and high-priced careers riding on women’s college basketball at a time when men’s college sports teams are curtailed to comply with Title IX, the coercive scheme for equality in sports.

Auriemma is actually hoping that women’s basketball will become as popular as women’s volleyball even though the aesthetics, so to speak, of the two sports are vastly different. Women basketball players are warriors in shorts. Women’s volleyball players are pert girls in underwear. One is machismo and the other soft porn.

I don't get it. Why don't people want to watch women's basketball?


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On Moderation in Women’s Sports

August 1, 2012


JOHN PURDY writes:

On the question of athletics for girls and women I would argue that some hyper-masculine athletics like weight-lifting, boxing and a few other sports are not really for women and it’s hard to understand why women are attracted to them (they weren’t when I was a teenager) but certainly racket sports and even girl’s field hockey should be fine. Even distance running, up to a point is okay. The issue is the intensity with which women pursue athletics. Read More »


Equality Still Elusive at the Olympics

July 30, 2012

THOUGH this is the first year in Olympic history that all of the participating teams, even Saudi Arabia, include female athletes, there are still significant hurdles to equality, writes Jere Longman of The New York Times. For instance, the Japanese women’s soccer team flew coach to London while the men’s team flew business class.

On the other hand, among the female participants is a Malaysian woman who was eight months pregnant when she competed Friday in an air rifle event. That’s a sign of progress, Longman writes, as is the lesbian who came out in public.

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Views of Women Olympians

July 27, 2012



FOUR out of five Time magazine special-issue Olympic covers feature women athletes, including hurdler Lolo Jones, above. Four out of five.  Magazines often emphasize Olympic women gymnasts and ice skaters, but here we see traditionally male domains such as soccer, which has a relatively small following on the women’s side, and javelin, which has an even smaller following. These photos offer the androgynous ideal of hyper-masculine, Spartan warriors.

Photos of male athletes don’t present the same perverse opportunities. Muscular male athletes don’t suggest femininity so they don’t assist the pervasive effort to get everyone, male and female, to undergo a psychological sex change operation.

These photos are a craven appeal not to women who will ever realistically be athletes but to normal women. Be hard-charging. Compete like a man. There is something supremely wasteful and non-commercial about feminine tenderness, which is why popular culture, soaked as it is in materialism, stands so adamantly against it.

A man becomes more masculine by engaging in intensely competitive sports at the highest level. A woman becomes less womanly, except in sports that allow an explicit expression of feminine aesthetics, such as ice skating and gymnastics. That’s a fact of life. It may very well be harmless for a minority of women to make these sacrifices, either temporarily or permanently, but the  glorification of aggression and competitiveness in women that now comes with Olympic sports extends beyond this small minority, and is not harmless.

This 1900 photo of Charlotte Cooper, the first woman champion in the Olympics, suggests that conformity to a masculine ideal is not new to women’s Olympic sports.

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The Parade of Amazons Begins

July 26, 2012



KAREN I. writes:

The following photo of two American women Olympic soccer players is on the front page of the The Wall Street Journal today. The woman on the right is not in the newspaper photo, but she is in online versions. The two women embracing are Megan Rapinoe (top) and Alex Morgan.

Looking at this, I cannot imagine any normal little girl wanting to grow up to be an Olympic soccer player, can you?

Laura writes:

I think little girls see these images of women who are getting lots of public attention and unconsciously imitate them. By the way, there are more women than men in the Olympics this year, which is to be expected given that virtually every modern regime is pushing women to ape men and devoting unprecedented resources to women’s athletics.

In Plato’s Republic, Socrates imagines an egalitarian, communistic world ruled by the select. The key to erasure of the distinctions between the sexes, he says, is to rid women of shame and induce them to practice athletics in nakedness with the men. “And the man who laughs at naked women practicing gymnastics for the sake of the best, ‘plucks from his wisdom an unripe fruit for ridicule’ and doesn’t know — as it seems — at what he laughs or what he does.” (Book V, 457; transl. Allan Bloom)

The world of the macho female athlete is the world of the super state.

Feminine modesty protects privacy and intimacy, everything that is separate from the collective hive. The strongest objection to the near-naked Amazon is not founded in prudishness, but in the desire to prevent a form of human slavery. Most people don’t get that and when you defend female modesty they get caught up in the idea that you don’t want women to have fun.


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Inequality and Women’s Sports

June 15, 2012


TITLE IX, the federal law which institutionalized discrimination against men in collegiate athletics, has not been a success, say sports experts interviewed by The New York Times. That’s because whites are deliberately excluding black women from scholarships and team participation. Read More »


Is Golf the Ideal Women’s Sport?

June 11, 2012


Mary Queen of Scots played golf on the links at St Andrews.

BEN writes:

The prevalence of debilitating sports injuries among young women in my age range (25) is alarming. I suggest an alternative sport for young women: golf. It can be played without great risk of injury. It can be played well in attire becoming to a woman (obviously I am not referring to hat bands masquerading as skirts or shorts). The movements required are graceful and dignified. Golf is very challenging, especially from a psychological perspective. Integrity is demanded, the player is also the referee. There is no physical contact or violence, as the game is peaceful and serene. Read More »


The Female Warriors at the London Olympics

June 7, 2012


Lucia Rijker, 2005

A READER, Susan-Anne White, wrote the following letter to a Northern Ireland newspaper yesterday:

The “sport” of women’s boxing  is listed as an event (for the first time ever) at this summer’s Olympic  games. However, this dubious milestone will not mark the first time that women   have entered a boxing ring, because, for some time now, thanks to Feminism, women have had an equal right to be punched black and blue, under the guise of  “sport”, just like men. Boxing is a dangerous sport for anyone, male or  female, and I would argue that it should be banned  entirely.

The sad case of a female boxer, Becky Zerlentes, serves as a poignant example (and a warning). She was 34, and she died on April 3rd, 2005, following head injuries sustained during a boxing match. Her   death was due to a blood clot on the brain, caused by blunt force trauma to the head. She was wearing her required protective headgear at the time. Read More »


Female Athletes Who Play to Please

May 30, 2012


MR. TALL writes:

There’s an interesting book by New York Times reporter Michael Sokolove called Warrior Girls that documents the staggering rates at which girls playing seemingly ‘safe’ sports such as soccer and basketball suffer both ACL tears and concussions. Sokolove intersperses his research data with the sad stories of girls who have undergone repeated surgeries and painful, tedious rehabilitation, only to be reinjured and left essentially crippled for life. One theme he explores is the way in which girls, consumed by team spirit, loyalty and eagerness to please parents and coaches, push themselves through pain harder than many boys would ever do.

As you might expect of a Times employee, however, Sokolove quickly dons his PC Safety Blinders when it comes time to draw conclusions from his findings. He also wastes many pages of the book extolling the Monument to Justice that is Title IX.

 I’ve reviewed it briefly here, if anyone’s interested.

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These Title IX Times

May 2, 2011


AMERICAN university women have often displayed an intolerance of injustice, joining in activist organizations to oppose mistreatment of the marginal and oppressed. Given this history, when will university women rise up as one against the injustice of Title IX, the federal mandate that colleges and universities make athletic teams proportionally representative along sex lines?

The University of Delaware is the latest institution to announce cuts in men’s teams to comply with Title IX. It cannot afford to add the new women’s teams necessary to make the numbers work.  Delaware is ending its men’s varsity track team altogether. Some men at the school have filed suit, alleging discrimination. The problem with claims of reverse discrimination, which have not been successful in the past, is that they still uphold the idea of equal representation. In reality, men should receive more  athletic opportunities in college because men are different from women. Men are more athletic and more interested in athletics.

The solution to this problem is not more discrimination suits.

The solution is for American women to use their voice, to rise up as one and decry the injustice. America’s intelligent and educated women have often looked out for others, not for themselves. Let this noble tradition return.


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The Athletic Amazon

June 7, 2010


Danielle Lawrie

Danielle Lawrie

SCOTT writes:

Here is a puff piece from The Seattle Times about a young woman who has excelled as a pitcher in fast-pitch softball at the Unversity of Washington, and is now coming to the end of her last season as a star college athlete. The reporter tells us that in a “fairer” world, the woman would be on the brink of a career as a multi-millionaire professional athlete, but, because of an unenlightened and sexist American populace,she must now contemplate the possibility of living six months out of the year in Japan,where she can continue to be a “warrior” and make a six-figure income as one of the two token Caucasian girls on a Japanese softball team. Read More »


Amazons or Athletes?

September 14, 2009


Karen Wilson writes in response to the post on Serena Williams:

You write: “I find even the normal demeanour and appearance of many women athletes disturbing.”

That’s because most (and probably all) of them are on drugs. Contrast this picture of Virginia Wade with the recent photos of Serena:


You can see that the muscles are much smaller and the whole appearance much more feminine. Tennis looks more like an art with Virginia Wade than the physical contest it has become with Serena. Virginia looked natural and un-enhanced chemically. She even looked as though she was enjoying herself.

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