Thursday, December 20, 2007

A day of follow-ups

Once upon a time I was a journalism major; and during this time I learned about the importance of the follow-up story. The "what ever happened to (pick issue or person or event)?" story that was especially good to trot out in the middle of summer when there was nothing going on, as I learned, once upon a time, when I was a reporter in a small town.

Following up, as I hope to demonstrate here, is a transferable skill. So here goes.

1. Following up on my post about holiday gifts in the form of books, is the observation, made by my partner in the throes of last-minute Christmas shopping, that about 99.9% of the eff'in books in the sports section at Barnes and Noble are about men. I was told "that if aliens landed on earth and went to Barnes and Nobles they would have no idea that women played sports." I personally think that if aliens landed, we might have bigger problems, but point taken.
Because even if the books seem gender neutral, they are not. Case in point, a book about cycling after 50 (years of age, not miles) features a man on the cover. Teeny tiny ray of hope: there was one copy of the new book on Title IX, Equal Play: Title IX and Social Change.

2. Following up on my post about holiday gifts in the form of donations, I received an email from the Women's Sports Foundation today reminding us all that if you donate before December 31, an anonymous donor is matching contributions (up to $75,000). Here's the very easy to fill out donation page.

3. And following up on my post about women and fitness fashions, I have been informed (thanks, RP) that both Craft and Patagonia make very good gear for women, though Patagonia's women's line runs a little small. [I hate that, by the way. Why do we still have a sizing system that is gender-based anyway? Why is it that a women's XL is equivalent, in some cases, to a men's small? What is that about? (these are largely rhetorical questions)] I don't have any Patagonia in my wardrobe currently, but I did once commandeer the Patagonia fleece of a now ex-girlfriend and was quite enamored of it. But they don't seem to make their classic snap pullover fleeces for women anymore and offer limited (and last I checked, ugly) colors in the men's. I don't have much experience with Craft clothing having only last weekend donned, for the first time, a pair of their windstopper tights when I went skiing.They kept me warm and dry though, so yea to that!

4. And the big follow-up is actually more like a new piece of news unto itself: the papers gathered during the lawsuit against former Penn State coach Rene (remember: it rhymes with weenie) Portland by former player Jennifer Harris are going to be made accessible. A lawyer representing a former faculty member who is claiming gender and sexual orientation discrimination has asked a judge for the ability to subpoena the materials and has won (initially a federal court denied the request for this information). No one knows what exactly will be obtained--or if Portland, Athletic Director Tim Curley, or Jennifer Harris will fight the subpoenas. (It's doubtful that Harris will. Her side seemed eager to reveal the sordid details of Portland's tenure as head coach as well as highlight Penn State's amazing ability to sit on their hands.)

But if this discrimination suit goes to trial, it is likely we will learn more about the Harris-Portland situation and the climate at Penn State.

In other words, there will definitely be some follow-up on this situation.

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