The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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A girl/guy thing

The more things change
 A girl/guy thing
A girl/guy thing

A girl/guy thing

As I read the story about the cancellation of the men’strack program at SMU in The Daily Campus, as well as thevarious follow-up stories and letters to editor, I thought tomyself that I hoped this didn’t turn into a gender war. ThenI realized we see that almost on a daily basis.

In Colorado the word of a well-liked NBA basketball player isagainst the word of a young woman who is stated to have previousmental health issues. In Georgia it is the word of a youngCaucasian woman against the word of a young, popularAfrican-American man. At the Wichita Falls Air Force base it is thefemales’ word against the word of the males. In Afghanistanand Iraq, it is the female soldiers’ word against the malesoldiers’.

Coach Gary Barnett of Colorado University referred to a formerfemale kicker for Colorado as an “awful player” whenshe stated she had been molested and harassed by team members, aswell as raped by one member of the team while at Colorado. She wastalking about rape, and he somehow thought that insulting herathletic ability in front of the media cameras fit thecontext.

Over a decade ago I lifted free weights at the gym. As I liftedit was always interesting to hear the comments certain males feltcompelled to deliver to me. At that time I was one of the few womenusing that weight room, most of the women used the Nautilusequipment.

During that time, I endured my share of testosterone-filledcomments. I was reminded that the room was for “theguys.” It was suggested to me that perhaps my real reason forbeing there was to find a date. On one occasion, a heavy weightaccidentally dropped a few inches from my foot. As time passed andthey watched me do pull-ups, which I was told is easier for womento do than men, they backed off the territorial struggle. Theystopped leaving their 250-pound weights on the bench for me to rackprior to my use, when I informed them that if they wanted theirweights racked, they should bring their mothers. I wasn’tgoing to do it for them anymore.

Research is showing that weight-bearing exercise for women, orfree weights, helps prevent osteoporosis later in life. Researchhas also shown that sports programs directed to girls help developself-esteem. With the statistics on domestic violence, it isunfortunate that this research could not have been developedgenerations ago.

Most of the comments that I have read regarding the cancellationof the men’s track and field team often refer to the list offemale sports offered at SMU. Hence, guys against girls. Everyonekeeps writing about Title IX and blaming Title IX. Title IX cameabout at a time when changes were needed.

The dropping of the men’s track program isn’t aboutthe girls taking things away from the boys, but some see it thatway. Some males are infuriated by it and feel the need to makeinappropriate comments. Perhaps the media attention will draw somefinancial support as well as fan support to bring back thatprogram. I hope so.

It seems that the more things change, the more they seem to staythe same. There is a culture of male sports vs. female sports.There is a culture of male athletes vs. female athletes. There is aculture of male soldiers vs. female soldiers. Why is it the alphamale always seems to spring forth? I tease my son about being analpha male. He is taking a feminist theory class now. I haveencouraged him to think before he speaks when in that class. What Imeant was don’t just blurt out some of the things you usuallysay when you feel your territory is being threatened.

A new culture has developed. It is “he said/shesaid.” That culture did not exist in past generations. It wasalways the “he said” culture. Anthropologistssuccessfully work with different cultures. Perhaps we should callupon the anthropologists to find a way to help us all live withinthis new culture.

If not anthropologists, then there is always Dr. Phil. CoachBarnett, what were you thinking?

 

Deborah Currie is a junior social science major. She may bereached at [email protected].

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