Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Getting rid of the "Lady"

Athletic Business reports that more schools who previously differentiated between their men's and women's athletic teams by using the term Lady are dropping it. Cameron University in Oklahoma and Indiana University South Bend both recently dropped the Lady from their nicknames. This is good news. The dropping of the term indicates that administrators understand how the differentiation is not innocuous but rather trades on historical constructions of women's athletics as inferior. Also, according to work by sports sociologists who have looked at the bigger picture around naming practices, lack of differentiation seems to indicate a greater commitment to gender equity and a better, more hospitable environment for women in athletic departments.
Of course there are still schools that have held on tight to their "tradition." Tennessee's Pat Summitt said before the 2007 NCAA championship that she does not think, and does not want, Tennessee to drop the Lady from the Lady Vols.
But the award for most ridiculous attempt to differentiate the men from the women goes to Kentucky State with the Thorobreds and the Thorobrettes.

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