Quiet Riot Girl's picture

The Mirror Cracked: Men, Metrosexuality, Disability

'There has been much written by feminists on pressures on women caused by ideals of feminine ‘beauty’, as promoted by the media.

arvan's picture

Sex Verification in Sport

(From OII)

The science and management of sex verification in sport.

R Tucker, M Collins, South African Journal of Sports Medicine. ISSN: 1015-5163


The verification of gender eligibility in sporting competition poses a biological and management challenge for sports science and medicine, as well as for sporting authorities. It has been established that in most sporting events, the strength and power advantage possessed by males as a result of the virilising action of hormones such as testosterone produce significant advantages in performance. For this reason, males and females compete largely in separate gender categories.

Controversies arise as a result of intersex conditions, where the classification of individuals into male or female is complex. The present review provides the historical context to the debate, identifying the origins of gender verification as a means to deter cheating. It describes how various testing methods have been attempted, including physical examinations of genitalia, molecular techniques including genetic screening, and complex multidisciplinary approaches including endocrinological, genetic and gynaecological examination. To date, none appear to have provided a satisfactory resolution to the problem, and appear instead to have unfairly discriminated against individuals as a result of inappropriate application of testing results.

Sporting authorities have formulated position stands for the management of such cases, but there is not absolute agreement between them and little evidence to support whether intersex individuals should or should not be allowed to compete in female categories.

Full Text: PDF

Editorial Comment:

This article highlights the problems sports officials create for themselves when they attempt to determine an athlete’s sex from a binary perspective.

The mythical Adam and Eve model of biological sex comes crashing down in the face of medicine’s inability to develop a definitive method of sex determination.

It is time sports bodies such as the IOC and the IAAF accepted that natural variations in biological sex are no different than variations in race, ethnicity or for that matter, height or hair colour.

In some spheres of human endeavour, some individuals have natural advantages over others. Natural advantage plus hard work and training create winners. Its called competition and its what sporting events are for and why athletes participate. We think Administrators should allow them get on with it, finding other ways to sniff out drugs cheats, without destroying the lives of innocent athletes.

LaPrincipessa's picture

John McEnroe On Women's Tennis: "They Shouldn't Be Playing in as Many Events as Men"

At the end of the day, I wouldn't be surprised to find out that John McEnroe, Tennis' infamous bad boy, probably just wanted to say something inflammatory to get attention, but he completely and utterly crossed the line in

his comments to reporters

. Not only does he speak with derision of female athletes, he condescendingly remarks upon the state of the female athlete today as if they are children in need of his advice.


Even though McEnroe undoubtedly speaks for himself, I think his words speak volumes of the way female athletes are perceived in a larger context throughout our society. Said McEnroe:

They shouldn't be playing as many events as the me. The women have it better in tennis than in any other sport, thanks to Billie Jean King. But you shouldn't push them to play more than they're capable of.

LaPrincipessa's picture

Professional Athletes and Violence Against Women

A personal reflection on the allegations against Indiana Pacer Lance Stephenson

Lance Stephenson is a New York native, attending the same high school as Sebastian Telfair and Steph Marbury. He was a decorated high school athlete, winning numerous accolades and awards. By every measurement , his future was and still is bright. He even starred alongside the Blazers’ own Jerryd Bayless in Gunnin’ For That Number 1 Spot.

During those years one could argue that “culture issues” - as we in Portland have come to understand that phrase- began to arise. He got in a bit of trouble and was accused of groping a girl at school. The details of that incident are hard to find, I don’t consider that a coincidence.

Now Stephenson is an Indiana Pacer, a high risk rookie and who , if everything were to work out, was considered by many to be a steal. His troubles suck for the team , and really suck for those who worked so hard to get the guy, because he’s talented on the court . But nothing , of course , is as important as the injuries, both internally and externally , of the victim.

The “alleged” actions are the most detrimental for his “alleged” victim, but in our culture, in the sports universe- an inherently sexist world that mostly uses women shamelessly- the victim of an “alleged” domestic violence incident doesn’t even cause a shred of concern.

LaPrincipessa's picture

What Sports and Conversations With My Father Taught Me

I rode on the Blue line, Westbound toward downtown and beyond. My dad gave me a seat next to the windows and I gazed in wonder toward the glowing ball surrounded by blinking car lights and stop lights.

"What do you think about Sabonis?", he asked.

"I can't wait to see him, dad" I replied without looking away from the window.

"The paper said we have to wear red, I guess I'm going to stick out like a sore thumb."

"Do you think I look okay with this sweatshirt on? It has ST AGATHA GIRLS BASKETBALL on the back, I look ... nerdy , or something."

My dad smiled at me and with no small measure of pride,"you look like a good fan, and a good student, and an athlete."

I smiled and we got off the train to check into our seats. Arvydas Sabonis had a mediocre game, but I cheered, and jeered, and probably screamed some profanities. My dad and I high-fived, we drank expensive soda and left high off the energy , the game, the experience. The max ride home was boisterous, as they normally are after a Blazer win. I returned home and wrote in my diary:

"This was my best night ever!"

The Max Train carried me to my first game at the Rose Garden that night. Of the numerous father-daughter moments to occur later in life, each important and monumental in their own way, this night, this trip, sticks out in my mind as the most memorable, the most important and the most special.

LaPrincipessa's picture

Thoughts On New Nike Women Campaign: "My Butt is Big"

I first want to preface this post by stating that I am indeed, obsessed with shoes. My son (at the age of 6) has more than 100 pairs, three fourths of which are Nike/Jordan brand. I own several pair of Nike's myself, although I ultimately prefer 5 inch+ heels. The point is, although Nike apparently hates women, I still love Nike. I couldn't boycott them even if I should totally start doing just that. It just isn't in my nature, I cant throw away my Dunks or custom "Princess" Forces,  and my son will be wearing LA Gear  over my dead body.

Seriously though Nike, this recent ad campaign you all  have conjured up is just blatantly sexist. More so than Dove Brand 's attempt to appeal to "normal" women, because although Dove's advertisements are ultimately sexist and depict harmful images of women, at least Dove pretends to care about the way women in the media are portrayed. No such luck for consumers of Nike, for it is now really clear Nike is capitalizing on the current pop culture trend of big booty-ness.

LaPrincipessa's picture

Why Title IX Matters

So many reasons to complain that Title IX isn't good enough, so many instances in which segregation of sports based upon gender and continued unequal funding have hurt young, female athletes. But today isn't about that. I wanted to list out plainly why Title IX is awesome.

Because women and girls deserve equal access to sports and sports education.

Because women are physically , mentally and emotionally capable to compete in athletics, just like men.

Because girls deserve to learn they truly can do anything a man does.

Because athletics promote health and enhance learning.

Because athletics provide confidence- women and girls deserve access to confidence building activities.

Because women and girls can make friendships or connections to lead them to successful career paths.

Because college and high school scholarships should be equally available to girls and boys.

Because taking interest in things other than what society deems "girly" is necessary for gender equity.

Because women and girls deserve money for college.

Because equality in sports , at least the inklings of it, lead to great social gender equity.

Because sports and athletics are fun and exciting.

Because gender norms and stereotypes can be dispelled when more girls and women become involved in traditionally male activities.

Because even those who don't excel physically at athletics (me!) , can learn an appreciation and love for sports.

Because Title IX is a major crack in the glass ceiling.

(Posted at Women Undefined)

LaPrincipessa's picture

Super Bowl 44: Sexism and Misogyny in Society 101

Hey Women's Studies majors, no need to take those extra sociology courses - If you watched last night's Super Bowl and the accompanying advertisements, you're an expert in sexism and misogyny!

You can now say with confidence and pride: " I aced Sexism and Misogyny in Society 101". Well, you can only say that if you didn't break your TV after the whole shibang was said and done, no doubt some of us failed the course, myself included.

If you haven't taken this course or are interested in applying please see course features, prerequisite requirements and goals of the course below.

The cost of this course is monetarily free (cost upon society unquantifiable and unaccountably negative-for certain reverberating for generations, as the course will be reenacted every day.  )

The Time and Date of Course: Super Bowl 44 - but if you missed it, there will be another Super Bowl next February!

LaPrincipessa's picture

Greg Oden Still Deserves Respect and Support of Rip City

By now the entire city (the entire nation most likely) has either seen or heard about the nude pictures posted online of the Portland Trail Blazers’ #1 draft pick Greg Oden. They were flat, tabloid style, internet quality,  mirror and cell pictures that garnered an immediate and outrageous reaction from fans, local and national media alike. At first glance, I saw a fairly unremarkable penis. However, for those of us that were up early enough, one could practically hear Portland’s collective hearts drop: another Greg Oden problem and another tragic circumstance to add to the list. Right after “Tragedy: 579874398745986: Brandon Roy sustains recurring and nagging injury-Sidelined Indefinitely” we can now add, “Tragedy: 579874398745987: Greg Oden has nude pics all over the internet and beyond”.  
For many Blazer fans this is the last straw. 
LaPrincipessa's picture

Female Athletes: Their Appeal at the Box Office to be Tested

Does America really like the female athlete? Pop culture to the rescue! This weekend, I’m certain we'll find out.

Most sports, for women, are truncated versions of the male sport. I'm sure someone has written why female sports aren't as lucrative; why the allure of a female sup-ah-stah isn't there. For goodness sake, there's a multi-billion dollar business that is conducting it's Finals series right now; profiting big off the notion that this female version of that sport is feminism gold. They pretend this means men and women ballers are the same and equal: "Look a pro league for women! BE HAPPY BITCHES! LOOK WHAT OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS DID FOR YOU!” But we know the true message is: "these chic's can hoop, but just not quite good enough". Most of us know that when a "women's" section of a male activity is created, separately, from the male version, this isn't equality, its sexism. So what happens when, using the stereotypical male sports-movie script, women are the athletes?

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