Thursday, January 24, 2008

Did you find what you were looking for?

1. Some, um, unusual I would say searches of late, such as "Wimbledon braless." What exactly does this mean? That Wimbledon is in need of support? That the searcher is wondering whether Wimbledon will enforce a bra policy alongside its predominantly white rule? Hard to say what the searcher was looking for, but I doubt any answers were found here. Another answer not to be found here and frankly I can't believe even the asking the question "why naive has two dots in it?" even brought someone here.

2. Ana Ivanovic is in the semis at the Australian Open and has a good shot at making it to the finals. [UPDATE: She made it by rallying from 0-6, 0-2 down against Daniela Hantuchova.] That means searches for her have picked up. Still getting the very odd "Ivanovic armpits" but also searches that seem to want a little more than just the armpit shot. Some searchers are getting lazy though. "Ivanovic body," for example is not going to get you very far. Yes, she has a body. Oh, you want naked pictures of that body? Not going to find them here--or anywhere.

3. On a serious note (or more serious, anyway), there have been some hits from those looking, it would seem, for information on Jaye Flood. Flood is the now-fired volleyball coach at Florida Gulf Coast University. In the past week Flood filed a suit against the university charging retaliation for her participation in a Title IX complaint. And earlier this week the university concluded its independent investigation of multiple claims including Flood's charge of retaliation (prior to filing the lawsuit Flood had filed an employment complaint with the university). Also under investigation were "student welfare issues" that initially were thought to stem from Flood grabbing the shirt of a player during a fall practice and lead to Flood being placed on administrative leave. According to the report though there was more than just tugging of shirts. It also cites an alleged inappropriate relationship with the team's student manager. Flood has said that the allegations are false and further evidence of the university's desire to hurt her professionally and personally. It's hard to believe that Flood would file a lawsuit knowing that (and since she did participate in the investigation she must have known what was about to come out) she would be accused of, essentially, sexually harassing a student and not thinking she could prove the allegations false.

Check out the Title IX Blog for more information. They have been following the case more closely and provide better detail on the investigation's findings.

4. And to whoever inquired as to "why do tennis players wear skirts" I can't really provide a good answer for you. There is, of course, the matter of history. Women started playing tennis at a time when skirts were the only option. They've obviously gotten a little shorter and little less cumbersome since the 1800s. So the easy answer is tradition. Patriarchal tradition that is. This means that my instant response to the question, the one I give from personal experience, becomes a little suspect.

I wear tennis skirts because they're comfortable. I wear shorts too, but I like my skirts because the fabric doesn't get bunched up between my legs and I like sticking balls under compression shorts rather than in pockets where they move around a little too much for my liking. Because of the association of skirts with women and femininity and because while women have taken to wearing pants yet men have not taken to wearing skirts, it is impossible for anything I say about how comfortable or conducive to play tennis skirts are to come off as anything other than a justification. Am I participating in my own oppression, playing into gender roles? Probably. Am I upset about this? A little bit. Come this Sunday when I play my match will I be wearing a tennis skirt? Yep. Options are limited in a patriarchy. Most of the shorts I have aren't gender-neutral either. As a wise woman once said to me "you have to be comfortable with a little discomfort." My discomfort is psychic--not sartorial.

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