Tag Archives: girls

What I Have Been Up To

Well, it’s been officially two months since my last blog post. Well done, Rachel!

I’ve been a bit preoccupied with other stuff lately, specifically my new job at Girls For A Change. Girls For A Change is a non-profit organization run out of Silicon Valley that that empowers girls to create social change. Over the course of the fourteen week program, groups of middle school and high school-age girls meet with GFC coaches (female volunteers) to talk about the issues that effect their community and implement a group-designed social change project to target a specific issue. It’s an absolutely incredible organization, with “Girl Action Teams” in California, Virginia, Arizona, Texas, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington, DC, and internationally in El Salvador, India, Nicaragua, Rwanda, and Uganda.

In addition to being a coach here in Santa Cruz County, I also run the social media aspects of the organization. Another big part of Girls for A Change that I am involved with is our partnership with Jennifer Siebel-Newsom and her incredible film MissRepresentation, for which I help run the Social Action component. Check out the trailer for the film here: 

We encourage people to sign up to become Social Action Representatives for the film – kind of like being an intern – and twice a month Action Reps receive an Action Alert email that gives them a special assignment, such as using the hashtag #NotBuyingIt on Twitter to call attention to sexist, misogynistic, or anti-female advertisements and products.  We provide a handy tool kit (designed by Girls For A Change) that has all the tools reps need to take their inspiration and move it into action. I work with the folks at MissRepresentation to create the Action Alerts, so much of my creative thought goes into that rather than this blog nowadays!

If you haven’t yet seen the film, I highly encourage you to do so.  MissRepresentation “exposes how mainstream media contribute to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America. The film challenges the media’s limited and often disparaging portrayals of women and girls, which make it difficult for women to achieve leadership positions and for the average woman to feel powerful herself.” The alarming facts, raw interviews with scholars and celebrities alike, and Siebel-Newsom’s emotional narrative have made this film completely eye-opening and extremely important.

So, that’s what’s been going on. There’s a lot of terrible stuff going on in the world, and I suppose it’s just too aggravating to actually sit down and write about it. Maybe in another two months!

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Right. Ok. NOW Parents are concerned with the message that Barbie sends?

A new collectors edition Barbie doll has tattoos. Her name is Tokidoki and she has short pink hair and tattoos all over her body.

Tokidoki, a new collectible Barbie doll from Mattel

Parents are not on board with this.

 

Says one mom, “I don’t think it’s appropriate for little girls to be having Barbies with tattoos all over.” Another says, “I think it sends all the wrong signals for young girls.” Doesn’t anyone see the absurdity here? A popular doll that boasts completely unrealistic and unattainable body proportions and influences the young girls who play with them everyday is all of a sudden inappropriate now that she has tattoos?

Oh bother. I’ve written about this before (here’s the link) but I’ll repeat it here. Activists and feminists have time and time again pointed out how damaging the Barbie doll can be to little girls who are developing ideas about what roles girls and women play in society. They are constantly bombarded with messages in the media showing them how girls are “supposed” to look and act, and Barbies, which are directly marketed to them, are certainly part of the problem. In 2007 a high school student named Galia Slayen created a life-size Barbie to show how terrible of an influence she is to young girls — many of whom already struggle with poor self-image and eating disorders. Galia produced the true-to-size doll for her school’s participation in National Eating Disorder Awareness Week:

She stands about six feet tall with a 39″ bust, 18″ waist, and 33″ hips. These are the supposed measurements of Barbie if she were a real person…

My Barbie’s role is simple. She grabs the attention of apathetic onlookers and makes them think and talk about an issue that thrives in silence. In the last four years, Barbie has surpassed my expectations, attracting attention and sparking conversation among listeners and readers across the nation…

During NEDAW, she reminds people that eating disorders and body image issues are serious and prevalent. Holding an awareness week in high school or college is just one way to get students to discuss these important issues. However, constant discussion and education is key to dealing with and overcoming eating disorders.

Despite her bizarre appearance, Barbie provides something that many advocacy efforts lack. She reminds of something we once loved, while showing us the absurdity of our obsession with perfection.

 

Galia with her life-size Barbie

 

Says parent Latifa Zyne in an article on CBS Local’s NYC site, “Maybe if a little girl sees that she also wants a tattoo and I think it’s not good.” She’s right. If a little girl plays with a doll with tattoos she might grow up thinking tattoos are cool and that she wants some one day. That same little girl, however, could also grow up thinking that her Barbie’s tiny waist, large chest, absurdly long legs and lack of rib cage are how a woman is supposed to look. And that’s a real problem. Because, see, tattoos you can get, and tattoos you can remove. But body image issues are life long struggles for girls that are exacerbated by images of impossible perfection pumped out by magazines, movies and commercials.

So, no. A Barbie with tattoos is not going to fuck up your daughter for life. And let’s get real: if you’re considering spending $50 on a plastic doll for your daughter, a few tattoos are the least of your problems.

Let’s get this straightened out: a doll with a ridiculous and unrealistic body is just as dangerous as a doll with a ridiculous and unrealistic body and tattoos.

And on that note, Miss Representation airs TONIGHT on OWN Network (Oprah’s new channel)! It’s a powerful documentary by Jennifer Siebel-Newsom that exposes the damage that popular media is doing to girls, and explores the limited roles that are available to women in the public eye. It features people like Margaret Cho, Geena Davis, Condoleezza Rice, Katie Couric, Gloria Steinem, and Rachel Maddow, as well as young girls who are greatly effected by these images. Check your local listings for air time, and visit http://www.missrepresentation.org to learn more about the film!

 

 

 

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Homecoming Queen Football Heroes, Marathon Rules, and Suzy Hotrod, AKA What’s New in the World of Women’s Professional Sports (Part 4)

This is part four in an ongoing series about women athletes. See part one here, part two here, and part three here

I’ll keep this short and sweet. Here are some awesome, and painfully disturbing (I’m looking at you International Association of Athletics Federations) articles about female athletes and athleticism.

Reebok is in trouble over it’s misleading ad campaign for their EasyTone shoes. Apparently, wearing special shoes with “balance pods” will not magically make your ass look great. Also, if your campaign is about toning and athleticizing (just made that word up) a woman’s body, you might want to think about not creating such a “sexist and objectifying ad campaign based on this faulty claim that promises the shoes will, among other things, ‘make your boobs jealous of your ass.'”

Suzy Hotrod, who plays for Gotham Girls Roller Derby and is Co-captain of Team USA Roller Derby, is a featured athlete in ESPN Magazine’s annual Body Issue hitting stores Friday, October 7th! Alongside world-famous Olympian Apolo Ohno, soccer hero Hope Solo,  baseball’s Jose Reyes, and gold medal gymnast Alicia Sacramone is a freakin’ ROLLER DERBY player! Man alive that feels good! It is a huge boost to the roller derby community that one of the sport’s top athletes is being recognized by THE magazine of sport authority. Read Suzy’s blogpost about what a huge honor it is to be recognized along with some of the world’s greatest athletes! And don’t forget to pick up a copy of the Body Issue tomorrow…..incredible photos of incredible bodies….and naked athletes….yep.

Suzy Hotrod in ESPN Mag's The Body Issue

On a bummer note, according to a Jezebel piece, a new law has been passed to ensure that women who run marathons alongside men can no longer set world records. Yes, you heard right: “…as of January 1 of next year, [runner Paula Radcliffe’s record marathon time in the London Marathon] will be wiped from the annals of marathon world records. Why? Because the London Marathon allows women to run alongside male pacemakers, and officials from the International Association of Athletics Federations have decided that running alongside these men makes women artificially faster.” As the SF Gate points out, this new rule is offensive, impractical and confusing. Not to mention incredible sexist, unfair, and just ridiculous.

I’ll leave you with this awesome story:

“Brianna Amat, a senior at Pickney Community High School near Ann Arbor, Mich…became the first girl on Pickney’s varsity football squad this year after her soccer coach suggested she try out for the kicker’s spot, according to the New York Times…At halftime during Friday’s game, Amat and another teammate were told to head from the locker room to the field because they had been picked for the homecoming court. So wearing her football gear, Amat headed to homecoming festivities and discovered she had actually been voted queen.”

After she won Homecoming Queen, she finished up the football game by kicking a 31-yard field goal, earning her team a 9-7 win. Victory.

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The Girl Effect – Blogging Together!

This post is part of the 2011 Girl Effect Blogging Campaign.

Girls all over the world today face major challenges that prevent them from being educated, becoming financially independent, and receiving proper health care. The Girl Effect is a new movement “driven by girl champions around the globe” that seeks to combat these challenges. The Girl Effect is based on the idea that girls are the “world’s greatest untapped solution to poverty,” and that investing in girls creates a ripple effect that can change the world and improve conditions for both men and women in communities everywhere.

Why girls? Well, today more than 600 million girls live in the developing world, and approximately one-quarter of girls in developing countries are not in school.* That’s a problem, and we know that lack of education continues the cycle of poverty and makes a girl more vulnerable to disease and poor health. However, research shows that given the right resources and opportunity, these very same girls can help themselves, their families, and their economy. Improving the lives of those 600 millions girls will undeniably impact millions more in a positive way.

What exactly those of us in the developed world can do to help is up for discussion. I think talking about the challenges that girls face is an important first step. Blogging campaigns like this one allows lots of people to write about their feelings on the issues. Twitter and Facebook are also wonderful tools to spread the message  quickly and let people know what kinds of problems girls all over the world face.

One of the most frightening challenges that girls in both the developing world and right here in the US (see: Warren Jeffs and the FLDS) face is child marriage and child prostitution. Early marriage means early pregnancy which means no more education, and it very much prevents her from establishing herself as an independent force in her community, earning her own money, and achieving any goals she may have.

Education seems to be one of the strongest tools to prevent child marriage, pregnancy and poverty and should, in my opinion, be the focus of our efforts. Not only building schools, but following up and making sure that girls are actually going to school is one way we can invest. Supporting social businesses like AFRIpads – which sells locally manufactured, low-cost, reusable menstrual pads to girls in Uganda – is another small gesture that can actually make a huge difference. Think about it: girls without proper menstrual products stay home from school during their periods. That’s one week a month. That’s TWELVE weeks a year. That’s a lot of school missed. Give a girl menstrual pads that are cheap, effective and reusable and you just improved her chance of getting an education!

One of the best things we can do for girls is ensure that they have opportunities to create a future of their own, and that starts with going to school. What are some other ways we can make sure girls are getting educated? Let me know in the comments section!

In the end, helping girls in developing countries is all of our concern, because as the movement’s website points out, the Girl Effect is about girls and boys and moms and dads and villages and towns and countries. And the ripple effect starts with all of us.  
Get involved in this campaign and write a post of your own this week!  Go here to see other Girl Effect posts and add your own.

*Population Reference Bureau, DataFinder database, http://www.prb.org/datafinder.aspx [accessed December 20, 2007], Cynthia B. Lloyd, ed., Growing Up Global: The Changing Transitions to Adulthood in Developing Countries [Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press, 2005].

For more facts, check out The Girl Effect website!

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The Sexualization of Little Girls: Breast Milk Baby doll, or Push-up Bikini Tops?

Fox and Friends recently aired a segment on a new doll that is about to hit American shelves: the Breast Milk Baby which mimics the act of breastfeeding to young girls. The dolls come in several ethnicities, genders, and skin colors.

On the segment Fox News frequent collaborator Dr. Keith Ablow declares that the new doll is “destructive,” works to “turn little girls into adults…blurs the boundary between children and adults in society…contributes to the sexualization of children and it makes them targets of assailants.” Contributes to the sexualization of children? Dr. Ablow, there is nothing particularly sexual about the act of breastfeeding (unless you have some sort of fetish). Although society has come to worship breasts as sexual objects, those two things on a woman’s chest are actually designed to provide infants with the sustenance of life. Sure, the doll is kind of weird, but I would hardly say that it sexualizes young girls.

Self-desribed “Mommy blogger” Jessica Gottlieb counters Dr. Ablow by pointing out that it’s totally natural for young girls to mimic their mothers who have previously breastfed them and may now breastfeed younger siblings. Girls see their mothers feeding babies, and they want to be like their mothers. The doll’s official website monitors the media’s response to the doll, even publishing a post on how Bill O’Reilly and other Fox News commentators express opposition to the dolls, and breastfeeding in general.

In case people have forgotten, breasts are biologically designed to deliver milk, not to simply turn men on. So if we can teach little girls to think of their bodies as nurturing entities rather than objects of desire, I don’t see any major problems with this new doll. Goodmenproject.com has a list of “11 Insanely Sexualized Chidlren’s Products” on their website, and a similar breastfeeding doll is featured on their list. I was glad to see so many commenters pointing out that breastfeeding is not sexual. Here is a sample of some of the comments on the blog post:

“…Breastfeeding is not sexual, it’s nutritional. It’s a sad reflection on this society that anything to do with breasts is seen as sexual.”

“…don’t see the sex behind the breast feeding baby doll. It’s weird, but not sexualized. Same with the pregnant barbie. Unless you find fetuses attractive–and I’m not judging (yes I am)–then again, not sexualized, just weird.”

“The breastfeeding doll shouldn’t be included in your list of  ‘sexualized products’, for the simple reason that breastfeeding is not sexual. Like other body parts, breasts have more than one function. The main function of human breasts is to feed babies and young children. In Western culture, they also have a sexual function. The two functions are separate. To label a breastfeeding doll ‘insanely sexual’ is to mistakenly associate the two separate functions of human breasts.”

However, you know what does sexualize young girls? These underwear found in the juniors section at Walmart, which read “Who needs credit cards” on the front, and “When you have Santa” on the butt. Ah, Santa. The ultimate Sugar Daddy.

Credit: Feministing.com

Or how about Abercrombie & Fitch’s Abercrombie Kids line, which marketed padded, push-up bikini tops to girls in the 8-14 age bracket? The SF Gate ran a story on the bikini line, quoting a mom who declared, “[The] use of the word ‘push up’ is unbelievably inappropriate. The push up bra is, effectively, a sex tool, designed to push the breasts up and out, putting them front and center where they’re more accessible to the eye (and everything else). How is this okay for a second-grader?”

Credit: SF Gate

Or how about lower back tattoos for your little girl which you can pick up at Toys R Us?

There is no shortage of examples of sexualized clothing for young girls. A recent study reveals that:

“…up to 30 percent of young girls’ clothing available online in the US is ‘sexy’ or sexualizing. The study was carried out by Samantha Goodin, a former Kenyon College (Ohio, USA) student and a research team led by Dr. Sarah Murnen, Professor of Psychology at Kenyon College.

In their view, this has serious implications for how girls evaluate themselves according to a sexualized model of feminine physical attractiveness. It makes them confront the issue of sexual identity at a very young age. Their findings were just published online in Springer’s journal, Sex Roles.

According to ‘objectification theory’, women from Western cultures are widely portrayed and treated as objects of the male gaze. This leads to the development of self-objectification, in which girls and women internalize these messages and view their own bodies as objects to be evaluated according to narrow standards – often sexualized – of attractiveness. Bearing in mind the negative effects of self-objectification such as body dissatisfaction, depression, low confidence and low self-esteem, Goodin and team looked at the role of girls’ clothing as a possible social influence that may contribute to self-objectification in preteen girls.”

What do you think about the Breast Milk Baby doll? Do you think it sexualizes young girls, or should we mostly be concerned with push-up bikinis for children, thongs for ten-year-olds, and high heels for toddlers?

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Sexy Tennis Ads, Roller Derby as a Legitimate Sport, and the World Cup, AKA What’s New in the World of Women’s Professional Sports (Part 3)

This is part three in an ongoing series about women’s sports. See part one here, and part two here

Sexy ladies have always been a selling point for female sports. As much as female athletes are strong, dedicated, talented, and competitive, advertisements continue to portray these professionals as sexy women first and athletes second. Yesterday, Now Magazine published an article in response to a recent ad for the Rogers Cup, which some are denouncing as sexist:

“An ad for the tournament being held at York University’s Rexall Centre next month reads ‘Come for the ladies, stay for the legends’ and pictures tennis stars Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova, as well as retired men’s greats Andre Agassi and John McEnroe. A similar ad is also posted online…

‘It’s demeaning towards women. It suggests women are just the initial attraction, they don’t actually matter,’ said Heather Jarvis of Slut Walk. ‘It says the real athletes, the real legends, are the men.'”

Here’s an image of the advertisement.

An outside advertisement agency is responsible for the ad, not the Rogers Cup, but it’s still another example of how women’s sexuality is constantly touted in advertisements as more important than their athleticism.

Another recent article, debates the sexual nuances of the World Tennis Association’s new Strong Is Beautiful advertising campaign. Writes author William Lee Adams:

“Some call them racy, while others call them inspiring…Hoping to raise the profile of the women’s game, the WTA filmed 38 of its players — from Serena Williams to Li Na to Petra Kvitova — slugging away at balls that release glitter and colored powder upon impact. With their bulging thighs and taut arms, the women display their athleticism in a way that is meant to cut through the layers of chiffon and lace and suggest that beauty stems from strength. ‘The images are very much about power and grit and artistic beauty as opposed to physical beauty,’ says Andrew Walker, chief marketing officer for the tour. ‘We’re very focused on who our players are: the world’s best female athletes.’

That may be true. But according to a number of sports-media researchers, the campaign — like so many others in female sports — undermines its players’ achievements by sexualizing them, inadvertently or otherwise. And that just adds insult to injury. A recent study found that major television networks in the U.S. devote just 1.6% of airtime to women’s sports — down from 6.3% in 2004 — and across TV and print media, female athletics makes up, at most, 8% of overall sports coverage. When female athletes are featured in ads, it tends to be in ways that hyperfeminize them rather than highlight their athletic competence. ‘Yes, these women are beautiful, but we see lots of cleavage and legs, and it’s set to music that is reminiscent of soft-core porn,’ says Nicole LaVoi, associate director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sports at the University of Minnesota. ‘That might be interesting and titillating, but it isn’t going to make me turn on Wimbledon.'”

I have yet to see all of the advertisements, so I can’t fully comment on the sexualization of female athletes in this campaign yet.

And while this is not about a professional sport, I came across this blog from Jerry Seltzer, who wrote about his reactions to a SportsIllustrated.com’s Face in the Crowd edition featuring a derby girl. Listed among football, volleyball, field hockey, and cross country players was Portia Hensley (aka Frida Beater), recognized for her instrumental role as a jammer for the Rocky Mountain Roller girls. In 2010 Hensley “scored the winning points on a power jam with 16 seconds left to help defeat defending champion Oly Rollers in the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association national championship by one point, 147-146.” Seltzer points out that unlike other blurbs about roller derby, this shout out makes no mention of costumes, makeup, bad attitudes, or sexy chicks in booty shorts. Straight up, this woman is included for her athletic accomplishments like all the other athletes included on the site. Jerry writes:

“..in last week’s Sports Illustrated, Faces in the Crowd, there was a matter-of-fact four-line paragraph next to the photo of Portia Hensley…No mention of bizarre behavior, tattoos, costumes, etc; just that an athlete scored the winning points for her team in a championship contest. No Roller Derby (wink wink) or any denigrating descriptions. No, these women are skating Roller Derby and we know what that means…The legitimacy of the game is not questioned, as it should not be.”

It’s awesome to see derby girls get recognized for their athletic prowess, rather than just as tattooed girls who want to wail on each other. As I learn to skate and watch the Santa Cruz Derby Girls scrimmage up close, it is clear that these girls are powerhouses of energy and strength; forces to be reckoned with for sure.

And finally, if you didn’t catch the Brazil vs. USA FIFA World Cup game today you missed out on one of the most torturous, frustrating, and exciting soccer games in recent history. With seconds remaining in extra time, USA’s Abby Wambach scored a goal to tie the game at 2-2 and forced the teams into a penalty kick shootout. USA goalie Hope Solo kicked major ass by blocking one of Brazil’s shots, securing USA a spot in the semifinals later this week! It was an extremely intense game, with several TERRIBLE calls by the referee, who failed to call one of Brazil’s goals offsides, and issued several red and yellow cards to USA players (undeserved in my opinion). The most ridiculous part was when, with minutes left in the game, a Brazilian player seemingly faked an injury. As the medical team was transporting her off the field via stretcher, she threw off the straps, jumped off the stretcher, and flew back onto the field. It was one of the most bogus and blatantly ridiculous fake injuries I’ve ever seen, and because several minutes were added back onto the clock to make up for her fake-injury time suck, USA was able to score the game tying point!! AWESOME.

Credit: Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

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Grunting at Wimbledon and Homophobia in African Women’s Soccer, AKA What’s New in the World of Women’s Professional Sports (Part 2)

This is part two in an ongoing series about women’s sports. See part one here

This month marks the 39th anniversary of Title IX, which was designed to help provide equal opportunity to both men and women in school and in sports. There have definitely been abuses of this regulation, but overall it has done a great deal of good for women. In honor of this, Sheila C. Johnson, who serves as Vice Chairman of Monumental Sports & Entertainment and also either owns or co-owns the Washington Capitals (NHL), the Washington Wizards (NBA) and the Mystics (WNBA), recently issued a challenge for women to take a more active role in supporting female sports. See, it’s not just men who seem to prefer men’s sports; women seem to prefer men’s sports too. Obviously there remains structural and cultural barriers that have prevented women’s sports from obtaining the same prestige and popularity as men’s sports, but if we want other people to appreciate women’s sports, we must also appreciate it ourselves. Yes, it’s unfair that women’s sports are taken very seriously, but we’ve got to have each others backs:

In honor of Title IX, take your family to a women’s sporting event. Celebrate the strength and competitive spirit of the women on the court or field. Pay attention to the way those female teammates trust, collaborate, and communicate with each other, and bring that kind of leadership and mutual support back into the workplace as well.

If our society is to fully champion women, women have to champion one another.

In other news, a recent New York Times article documents the problem of homophobia on the Nigerian national women’s soccer team. The team’s coach, Eucharia Uche, has continually expressed her belief that “lesbianism” is sinful and morally corrupt, and has brought in spiritual and religious leaders to help curb rates of homosexuality within the team. The coach’s attitude reminds us that homosexuality is extremely taboo all over Africa. The author notes,

On a continent where homosexual behavior is widely considered immoral, lesbians are sometimes ostracized and subjected to beatings. In countries like South Africa andZimbabwe, some women are raped in a so-called corrective treatment for homosexual behavior.

In one high-profile case in South Africa, a top female soccer player and lesbian activist, Eudy Simelane, 31, was murdered in 2008. Although one of her attackers testified that robbery was the motive in the stabbing death, Simelane’s death became the focus of a campaign to draw attention to violence against gays and lesbians.

A team in South Africa has taken on the dangerous challenge of combating homophobia by creating the Chosen Few — an “openly lesbian team of black players in Johannesburg.” The team for many serves as a surrogate family and a safe place for women to live their true characters.

But in sports all over the world, including America, homosexuality is still very taboo:

The treatment of lesbians in sport is not a matter restricted to women in Africa. Some women on previous United States national soccer teams have been reluctant to live openly gay lifestyles for fear of repercussions. And despite all the advances of gender equity in sport, lesbianism remains a sensitive matter in recruiting in college basketball.

This article also reminds us that the professional sports world has long been a hot bed for traditional masculinity and homophobia against gay men. The San Francisco Giants (GO GIANTS! 2010 World Champs!) were recently the first professional sports team to release a video for the “It Gets Better” campaign, which urges and an end to bullying against LGBTQ youth. The Chicago Cubs have also joined in with a video of their own, and I’ve heard that other sports teams are working on getting involved as well. I praise these teams for taking part in the project, and we can only hope that we are reaching a turning point in American sports where homophobia will not be tolerated.

And in the world of professional tennis, the continuous debate over “grunting” continues. The UK Telegraph interviewed All England Lawn and Tennis Club’s chief executive, Ian Ritchie, who declared that loud grunts from the female players are negatively affecting the game.

He blamed younger players, whom he said suffered from an “education problem” about the issue…On the first day of the SW19 championships, Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, a player often criticised for her wails, edged towards record noise levels as she made her debut on Court No 2…Mr Ritchie, a former television and news agency executive, admitted that officials would “prefer to see less grunting…We are one tournament in a global circuit. But we have made our views clear and we would like to see less of it.”

I’m not really a tennis watcher, mostly because I can’t stand the snobbery and elitism amongst the spectators at matches. While I absolutely appreciate the tremendous athletic ability of the players, I tend to like contact sports more. That said, these girls are working their tails off playing a demanding sport, throwing every bit of energy into each hit. Of course they’re grunting. Yeah, it’s kind of distracting, but I hardly think the spectators drinking their tea and sitting on cushions have a right to complain.

Finally, yesterday, June 21st, marked the 15 year anniversary of the establishment of the Women’s national Basketball Association. Awesome!

Finally finally, I will be once again entering the world of women’s sports (I played competitive soccer for years) tonight when I begin training for roller derby with the Santa Cruz Roller Girls! I hope to update you on my adventures — and of course provide a sociological context for women’s roller derby — in the coming weeks!

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