Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Making the connection (almost)

Writers at The Baltimore Sun try to make the connection between Imus's comments and Title IX. Unfortunately they don't even mention Title IX until halfway through the article. They frame the issue in the following way: even though Title IX has lead to great opportunities for women in athletics, female athletes still face considerable challenges that the law cannot overcome. The main challenges, they report, are the lack of media attention and the perception that good female athletes are masculine.
All this is true but I think the writers have missed a true connection between the incident and Title IX: that the stereotypes and cultural biases (which Imus put on full display this past week)that have made it difficult for current athletes also affect the implementation of Title IX. The article cites a source who notes that opportunities are not equitable even 35 years later. It's undeniable that our cultural constructions of gender and race and sexuality have limited just how effective Title IX can be.

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