Monday, July 14, 2008

Careful what you ask for

Some Louisiana institutions of higher education are sticking to "tradition" and retaining the lady part of the sports teams' nicknames--the women's teams, of course.
I feel like I have addressed this issue enough and I don't think I have anything really new and/or profound to add to the discussion. Helen over at Women's Hoops Blog talks about it smartly and succinctly when she employs her gender reverse test and replaces ladies with gentlemen and women with men.
I wonder if such play with language would convince some of those women who want to be treated like ladies that this so-called tradition isn't really in their best interest. They cite history and tradition, but do they know what it really means--historically, traditionally--to be treated like a lady? Sure lady has a class (and race) connotation that would seem to suggest that women who qualified as ladies (versus working class women and many women of color) had a better life; were somehow less oppressed. Yeah, right. Get a clue. Then get a history book (but not one of those ones they use in most schools that are frequently written by men or from a male perspective of what counts as history).
Then tell me that being treated as inferior--mentally, physically, emotionally--is such a great place to occupy in society.
But some schools are actually reconsidering the role of history in their athletic programs. University of Louisiana at Monroe dropped the lady--and their Indian nickname--in 2006. Progress?


Diane said...

I didn't know that the University of Louisiana at Monroe had dropped both the Indian and the Lady. That is utterly shocking. ULM, my alma mater (it has undergone many name changes, including one while I was attending), has always been ridiculously conservative. The last time I visited--over ten years ago, female members of the faculty complained to me about lack of equal pay. I wonder if they've changed that, too.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting post!