Friday, April 17, 2009

Really, Dave Zirin?

This is my week of incredulity, clearly.
And it has been topped off by Dave Zirin, whose work I usually admire. Whose books I actually assign in my class.
But his piece in The Nation really ticked me off. And what ticks me off more is that he's making a great point. A point that I have made in various ways for a while now. Basically that Geno Auriemma is an egomaniac, slightly off, and a grandstander who is taking away from his players.
Unfortunately he keeps calling the UConn team the Lady Huskies. As I have mentioned previously, the UConn team actually does not use the term Lady to refer to its women's teams. (It's one of the few things that doesn't irk me about them.) Also, as I have mentioned previously, we shouldn't be using the term lady even when the teams themselves do so because it just reinforces all the negative stereotypes about women playing sports.
A few years ago, Zirin spoke at the annual meeting of the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport and a few women in the crowd kind of grumbled about the lack of attention he paid to gender issues in his overall talk on sport and social justice. But I thought, "well at least he has an awareness of gender issues and see them as part of social justice." But now I am not so sure. For someone who clearly understands the power of language, he seems a little blind on this one, as evidenced by his last two lines:
Gender should be irrelevant when we reckon with perfection. But perhaps we should accentuate it even more and recognize that the Lady Huskies right now are as good as it gets.