Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Bye, bye, "Lady"

It may just be the latest trend in women's sports. Nope, not the new Under Armour line for women. Not glitter headbands on softball players either.

The dropping of the term "lady" from team nicknames. Athletic Business reports that more and more schools that formerly called their teams the Lady _____ are giving up the lady. The most recent converts have been Cameron University in Oklahoma and Indiana University Southbend who used the term to refer to their women's basketball team.

Of course there are still holdouts. Pat Summitt of Tennessee said during the 2007 NCAA tournament that she couldn't imagine ever separating the Lady from the Vols. And of course there are the Lady Lions of Penn State.

There are a lot of ridiculous maneuvers that are made to distinguish men's and women's sports and naming practices have been one of the oldest. Any type of naming that seeks to differentiate based on traditional notions of men as dominant in sports and women athletes as weaker and less important is problematic. But the lengths some schools have gone to show just how afraid some are of equality for women. Kentucky State for example has the Thorobreds and the Thorobrettes.

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