Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Scheduling around men

As I have mentioned previously, I recently joined a women's USTA league team. We haven't started playing matches yet but the schedule just came out which was the topic of convseration at an after-practice dinner the other night.
The schedule is always a source of complaint. We have a long season (October to May) but there are only 8 matches because the USTA regional coordinator has divided us into two "flights" rather than having all 14 teams play one another.
This is annoying but not especially egregious or gender-related, as far as we can tell anyway, at least not in comparison to the days and times we play. Our matches are all on Sundays usually in the late mornings or afternoons.
Match scheduling has been an issue in the past. The women in the league do not always like playing on Sundays. The men play Saturdays--why? Because the men have to watch football on Sundays.
This is ridiculous for so many reasons. First, all men and only men watch football? Second, you can't give up one football game to go play your own sport? And lastly, it's football season. There is a football game practically every day of the week and about ten times on Sunday. There is plenty of football to be seen.
The other interesting tidbit I learned about scheduling was that when and if matches or practices are or have been scheduled on weeknights men get the later time slots because they work. Jeez, I wonder what it is that we women-folk do every day...
Privileging the scheduling of men's sports is a Title IX no-no but alas because the USTA is not an educational institution receiving federal monies we can't bring a complaint. Well we can certainly complain just not under Title IX. Anyone ever wonder what the country would look like if the ERA had actually passed?


Carrie said...

If the ERA actually passed, we'd all have to use the same restroom of course! (Thanks, Phyllis Schlafly!)

But back to your post.... I thought your state was supposed to be a bit progressive and not stuck in gender norms that never existed.

Your USTA branch must be a throwback to the antebellum era. Are the women allowed to sweat while playing? Or is that considered a slight to men (wouldn't want to emasculate them or anything).


Diane said...

You cannot bring a Title IX complaint, but you can still bring a complaint, and if it isn't resolved, you can get the USTA office to take a look at it. If they won't help, I recommend going to the news media.

ken said...

I am too new to fully understand the history of scheduling in our league but I am keeping my eyes and ears open.
On a good note, the revised schedule came out and it looks like we will have some Saturday matches--but they are after football season ends.