It's been awhile since my last post. There is a phenomenon in Michigan called "Spring Break" and I was enjoying mine. While I was out of the country there was a long awaited decision by the US Supreme Court not to hear the case re: gender equity in high school sports in Michigan that has been winding its way through the system for the past nine years. This decision means a lower court decision stands, and as a result, there are eight sports seasons which must be switched next school year to promote equality between girls and boys. This case was initially filed by two Grand Rapids mothers of female athletes claiming that the schedule as it existed cut down on opportunity for exposure, and therefore, for college scholarships, for female high school athletes. Supporters of the change are overjoyed, although obviously the change comes far too late to benefit their daughters; while opponents raise other questions. Will having both boy's and girl's basketball played in the winter, which will mean competition for gym time, coaches, and referees, really result in better equity? Or will girls' sports be overshadowed by the boys? Sadly, even with all the steps forward with gender equity in my lifetime (my clients can scarcely believe that I went to high school before Title XIX), no one seems to think that the girls can go head to head with the boys and come out on top.
And another sad note for female athletes is in the news - Don Imus is being called on the carpet, and rightfully so, about his racist and sexist comments towards the Rutgers Women's Basketball Team. Such comments about their male counterparts would never be tolerated. Somehow a two week suspension doesn't seem like more than a slap on the wrist . . .
Is it any wonder that our clients don't feel validated as young women, and fall into the trap of turning their frustration towards their own bodies? As my friend Michael Levine has so wisely said, all of this will continue until we learn to take girls seriously for their ideas, not their bodies. Until next time, Gail
Addendum: as the whole world knows by now, Don Imus was subsequently fired for his comments. Congratulations CBS on taking the right position on a very important issue.