Thursday, December 22, 2011

Pittsburgh sports rant (Dec. 19, 2008)

Current mood:irritated

First, read this story: [link] Headlines:
Are girls' sports being cheated?
City high school audit to examine district's compliance with Title IX

So, my take on this issue. This is a rant. Fasten your seat belts.

Rotsa ruck, peoples.

The problem manifested in the schools as athletic gender inequities is (IMHO) actually in the society at large, especially in this football-infested town. Females are still viewed as inferior beings, without regard to race, age, report cards, or any obvious (and not so obvious) talents or abilities. Now and again we Pittsburghers generate a Swin Cash (WNBA) or Suzie McConnell (college hoops), but except for those once-a-decade headline acts, you never hear about women sports heroines from Pittsburgh. OTOH, we crank out several male legends a year, on average, who make it big in the NFL or wherever, and everyone knows it.

The sports section of the Post-Gazette, for decades, has featured five times as many female figures in the advertisements (for strip clubs and the like) than in editorial photos (i.e., girls/women actually doing something in sports). Females just don't matter in Pittsburgh athletics. And unless and until you can change an entire couple-million-sized town's mindset about that, well, you're gonna get what you got now. Four-fifths of the community here doesn't even know the Pittsburgh Passion (women's professional football team) even exists, and wouldn't give it more than a passing thought if they did. At $14/ticket, Passion tickets go begging. Stillers tix? You can't buy them. You have to finagle getting one from season ticket holders. Figure on a minimum of $140/seat. Per game. Yeah. Really.

I could go on, but let's just say that the problem is enormous, and nobody can see it for the elephant in the room.

'Nuff said.


bus15237 said...

Comments from 2008:

yeah it sucks royally. I can see the indifference to the girls' side of things. Can I just say that hockey has been getting the short end of the stick (no pun intended.)for our players that have been born and raised here. List of all the Pittsburgh born NHL players. Two most notable Ryan Malone and RJ Umberger.

bus15237 said...

More comments from 2008 (sorry, should've pasted these together with the one above):

Stuart Strickland
Hockey's OK. There actually was one female NHL player once, Manon Rhéaume (pronounced MAN-oh ray-OHM), and the last I checked, she's still involved with professional hockey.

On a local level, North Allegheny School District's hockey team has one female goalie.

yes. She is. She was a stand in for the Tampa Bay Lightning back in the 90s. Good for your daughter. Southmoreland had a female wrestler by the name of Deva Murphy while I was in school. She was part of my graduating class. A lot of the guys disliked having her on the team but there wasn't anything they could do about it. She got the nickname Chyna (from the WWE) because she was the only female wrestler around.

bus15237 said...

Further research also turns up Erin Whitten-Hamlen, who played as goalie for the short-lived Pittsburgh Phantoms roller hockey team in 1994.

This doesn't change the point, that the emphasis on producing male athletes is so universally skewed, that it is rare to even see a female athlete in a "male" game.