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Hat-Rainbow

What, too much?

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more US women participating in the Olympics than the men (still waiting for the anti-Title IXers to start whining about that being unfair.) I liked Taurasi’s deadpan reaction to the information: “Shocked. Shocked. How’d they let that happen?”

Like many women (and male) Olympians, she is not immune to the sexism of the IOC and FIBA (I do not envy Val Ackerman’s gig, but I admire her for fighting, fighting, fighting.)

And, of course, we’ve been following the other news thread: Olympians complain of gender discrimination

The women’s team was assigned seats in premium economy for the 13-hour flight to Paris while the nation’s under-23 men’s team was up front on the same flight.

“It should have been the other way around,” 2011 FIFA women’s world player of the year Homare Sawa told Japanese media after arriving in the French capital. “Even just in terms of age we are senior.”

Basketball Australia says it will review its travel policy for national teams after complaints that the men flew business class to the Olympics while most of the women sat in premium economy. The women’s team is by far the most successful of the two, having won silver medals at the last three Olympics. The men, who will be led in London by San Antonio Spurs point guard Patty Mills, have never won an Olympic medal.

Back to US athletes: for me, the big questions will center around coverage: how will the number of stories published on US women athletes compare to those published on US men athletes? If I were a betting woman, I’d guess there’ll a significant discrepancy, say 65% men to 35% women? What’s your guess?

Of course, no matter how many lines of text are used, it will be equally important to look at the language used. Consider this from Feministing.com: Olympic sexism study: Male athletes have skill and female athletes have luck

According to a new study on past television coverage of the Olympics, sports commentators talk about athletes in notably different ways depending on their gender. And by “notably different” I mean “pretty sexist.” The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Delaware, analyzed NBC’s primetime coverage of past games. The main findings:

  • When female athletes succeed, commentators tend to focus on luck and less on physical ability.
  • When female athletes fail, physical ability and commitment are noted.
  • When male athletes succeed, commentators applaud their skill and commitment to the sport.
  • When male athletes fail, it is not necessarily about their failure, but about how their competitors succeeded.

Adding more info to the overall conversation, and with a huge h/t to sue:

The Curley Center for Sports Journalism has published an interesting study on why more women don’t watch women’s sports. Key findings:

In drawing from the conversations, we suggest that fanship is something more than simply developing an affinity for a certain team, but rather a complex concept mediated by one’s gender roles. For example, most of the women expressed a preference for the Olympics (an especially timely finding and one that sparked the initial popular interest in the piece). Indeed, analysts are saying that the female audience watching the Olympics will be larger than ever. Our research helps explain why this is; we note that the way the Olympics are presented – in short, easy-to-digest packages – are especially easy to appreciate for individuals who do not have the luxury of sitting down in front of the television for three uninterrupted hours. Rather, for those who are responsible for childcare and other domestic labor duties (generally women, according to existing wide-scale sociological research), the routine of sitting down only to get back up quickly to tend to something in the house is all too familiar. Thus, the ability to turn on the TV for 15 minutes, see a nice, tidy package of, say, track and field, is especially conducive for people with a hectic and full schedule in the home…….

The challenge to building a women’s sports fan base is also mediated by the form of domestic life. As the women in this study showed, watching sports was not a leisure activity, but rather associated with emotion labor. On the latter part of this two-pronged challenge, media producers and women’s sports advocates interested in building audiences in the short-term need to acknowledge and address the structural impediments facing women with the potential for interest in watching women play. For instance, airing professional women’s sports on weekends is a barrier for many women who perform traditional gender roles associated with childcare.

You’ll remember the numbers on “traditional gender roles:”

The number of hours men and women commit to housework has remained roughly the same over the last several years, according to a new American Time Use Survey from the Bureau of Labor Statics. This, even while women continue to take on a bigger role in the workforce. Let’s look at the numbers:

In 2011, 83% of women and 65% of men “spent some time doing household activities such as housework, cooking, lawn care or financial and other household management,” according to the report (which you can find here). The year earlier, the spread was 84% to 67%, respectively. Flash back to 2003 and the numbers were at 84% and 63%. So, sure, we’re seeing some change but none that I’d classify as particularly profound — especially when you look at how the workforce is divided today.

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I.O.C. Adopts Policy for Deciding Whether an Athlete Can Compete as a Woman

If a female athlete is found through a blood test to have a condition known as hyperandrogenism, which involves an excessive production of androgens, she will not be allowed to compete as a woman. To be barred, the female must have hyperandrogenism that “confers a competitive advantage,” the I.O.C. said, which means the androgens produce strength, power and speed because the body is receptive to them.

The I.O.C. policy, outlined in a statement dated June 22, will be in effect for this summer’s Olympics in London and will probably be followed by all sports federations that participate in the Olympics. The I.O.C. Medical Commission will be ready to take any cases and begin an investigation into them if any arise at the Games.

I.O.C. officials could not be reached Saturday night for comment.

If a man doesn’t have enough testosterone, will he be banned from competing as a man?

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OT: Softball

Congrats to the US Softball squad, winners of their 7th consecutive World Softball Championship.

Graham has been following the games. And twittering. My fave:

Fantastic diving catch from Finch on foul pop. She hits, she pitches, she fields. If she could hit PKs, Ghana would take her.

Stoopid IOC.

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Good questions and answers during Mechelle’s chat today.

Gosh, it would be nice if I got an email reminding me that it was happening….

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Interesting: I.O.C. to Seek Gender Equality

The International Olympic Committee says it will be promoting the U.N. goal of equality for women and will be pressing Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Brunei to send female athletes to the 2012 Olympic games for the first time.

The question I have is will those women be allowed to ski jump or play softball?

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