«

»

Dec 29 2006

Ball State basketball team addicted to dudes

The intercollegiate basketball team in question has been using dude practice players for 8 years, attributes their team success to the dude practice players, and despite an upbraiding from the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics that using dude practice players “violates the spirit of gender equity and Title IX [and] results in diminished participation opportunities for female student-athletes,” they plan on keeping their dude practice players.

And uh-oh, when asked whether she thinks using dude practice players sends a message to potential women practice players that they suck and that their suckage is vagina-based, team member/dumb jock Julie DeMuth said no way, not at all, she just “likes” playing with dudes because “they’re more athletic and stronger.”

39 comments

  1. MikeWC

    What, exactly, is the patriarichal issue here? The belief men are better athletes? Or the time taken from other women that might want to scrimmage?

  2. ramou

    MikeWC, I think the issue is that the success of the woman’s team is attributed to the “dude” practice players, not the efforts of the actual second class citizens on the team.

  3. Mar Iguana

    Twisty, you said “uh oh.” Haaa. When I was a little kid, “uh oh,” for some odd reason, would just get me to giggling. It still just cracks me up.

    Not so’s you’d know it by looking at me now but, I was an athlete in school. I made the basketball team in GAA, the only thing girls had going back then. All 5’4″ of me. When it comes to B-Ball, and many other sports, women are the better athletes if that means finessing a ball or two with skill and playing by the rules of the game. The B-ball I was taught was not a contact sport. Since I love the game, and, believe me, I am no sports fan(atic), I can hardly bear watching the boys “play” these days. Disgusting. Sacrilege. Women’s B-ball on the other hand? Divine.

    We may not have been able to compete with the boys’ varsity team in high school but we knew we could have taken most the other boys. They knew it too. Few women can compete with varsity level boys and be helpful as practice players, but, hell yes, those women who can should be allowed to do so.

    MikeWC, your manometer reading is pretty high but it was such a small sampling. Perhaps you could blow harder next post? Thanking you in advance.

  4. Hattie

    I’ve heard this argument before about how much better male athletes are, from a female athlete, alas. But deep down she felt that men were superior in every way. How many women struggle with this notion that men and the things men do are superior?

  5. Bitey

    MikeWC, your observation that the belief that men are inherently better athletes is a construction of the patriarchy, as well as your outrage over the fact that this practice discriminates against women athletes are quite trenchant. Nice blame!

  6. slade

    Uh-oh! Back in the ’80′s there was a comic (might have been from Far Side) that showed a group of people screaming and scrambling, “Uh-oh! Uh-oh! Call in the Uh-oh Squad.” My friends and I just howled over it…and for years, when something would start to go afoul, we’d all start yelling, “Uh-oh! Call in the Uh-oh Squad.”

    That kinda reminds me of “Lost in Space” where the robot (Rosie?) would run about yelling ‘Danger! Danger!’

    So here’s Mike in his WaterCloset…Uh-oh! Call in the Uh-oh Squad.

    Can’t you just see Twisty trying to explain to Mike and his WaterCloset what Title IX is…she has to use little words, no more than two syllables, and she must enunciate very, very clearly. Mike has a strange look on his face…one of disbelief combined with dismay. And the poor WaterCloset is overflowing. Uh-oh!

  7. Jenevieve

    Twisty, I’m trying to email you but it keeps getting sent back to me. Could you email me at jenevieve [at] gmail [dot] com and I’ll email you back?

  8. MikeWC

    MikeWC, I think the issue is that the success of the woman’s team is attributed to the “dude” practice players, not the efforts of the actual second class citizens on the team.

    Ok, I can see this. This one article is far to vague to come to this conclusion, however. Tracy Roller’s comment about the male players being the reason for their success is, taken in context, vague. It can’t be concluded she simply wasn’t using rhetorical exaggeration in defense of her policy.

    MikeWC, your manometer reading is pretty high

    Huh, the folks over at Vox Day’s blog are constantly calling me gay or a woman. Maybe ya’ll should get together and argue over that?

    MikeWC, your observation that the belief that men are inherently better athletes is a construction of the patriarchy

    Well, I have no stats to bring to the table, and apparently neither do you. All’s I have is personal experience. I’m a pasty out of shape white guy, and the only women that have held their own against me in pick up games of basketball are serious, if amateur, athletes. But, again. Anecdotes make for bad evidence, don’t they.

  9. MikeWC

    To add to my response to Hattie’s post, I think the real social construction is “great physical strength = total superiority.”

  10. slade

    Hey Mike…John Eldredge wants you…wants to discuss how you have fixated somewhere between the Cowboy and Warrior stages of life.

    Go on…hurry up. He’s waiting for you. Rawhide and Shoot ‘em up…go discuss. Bye.

  11. Pony

    This idea of men being better athletes mostly comes from some gormless overweight paunchy dude who has never exercised anything but his spincter muscle. But weight and size (muscle) do play a role among athletes of comparable skill. The highest ranking male athlete in any given sport probably will beat the highest ranking female; depending on their individial condition that meet, their training, whether or not she’s bothered by menses, and whether either is nursing an injury. That has nothing to do with “men are better athletes”.

  12. MikeWC

    Slade: You’re using English words, and your grammar is ok, but somehow your post still doesn’t make sense.

  13. Bitey

    “Anecdotes make for bad evidence, don’t they.” (sic)

    Yes, they do. Let’s look at known historical fact. Looking only at anatomical differences, we can take a long view and go back to the Victorian era. In the 1850s or so, there began to be a very strange cultural practice of fetishizing female illness and frailty. (Not that female physical strength was ever valued in the non-laboring classes–in fact, possession of a “useless” woman has always and ever been a male status symbol–but grant me the 1850s as the time of a shocking ramp-up in this kind of ideation.) There are all kinds of cultural, historical, and economic reasons for this, but that discussion is beyond our present scope. The belief in female frailty, however, is not supported by observation or experience, so it had to be enforced. Aside from the fact of the taboo of female consumption of “excess” calories (once a precious resource, remember, not the nuisance of today), female physical activity was actually prohibited, even from early childhood. Upper-class boys were encouraged to ride and swim and hunt (not to mention read and think, but again, that’s beyond our scope), but girls were limited to sedate walks. Really. You can imagine the physical consequences of a whole life of inactivity. This, incidentally, is one of the reasons so many women of that time and class died in childbirth, but my present point is that, starting over a century and a half ago, a weak woman was a sexy woman, and this prejudice continues to this day. Parents do not tend to encourage their daughters to pursue athletics as much as they do their sons; most girls are not availed of the opportunity to train their bodies at a young age to become physically vigorous. Thanks to Title IX, however, the generation of girls coming up now might be the first to believe from earliest childhood that an athletic life is truly available to them. In twenty years, when there are thousands of dedicated, life-long female athletes out there, I predict that the present anatomical gap will have closed significantly. So yeah. It’s a construction.

    Now for a little speculation, also regarding anatomical difference. Here, we can take a very long view and wonder why women tend to be smaller and weaker than men. I mentioned caloric and athletic deprivation already, but some will say it’s genetic. But why should that be? Women have to gestate and deliver babies, which is very, very hard work; then they have to provide for and protect those infants. Wouldn’t it have been an evolutionary advantage for women to be as large as possible? Male-to-female size ratios vary considerably among species, so why did we evolve the way it did? It occurs to me that, sometime in the early dawn of our species, there was probably more variety in size ratios; it further occurs to me that the bigger females were not selected for because they could fight the males off. One can’t deny that we are a species characterized by rape. Maybe the males of the species raped us into “frailty.” Maybe once the patriarchy stops raping us, stops preventing us from fighting the males of the species off, we’ll all grow up big and strong.

    But it *could* all be constructed, would mean that we won’t have to wait for physical evolution to catch up with cultural evolution.

  14. Bitey

    “Slade: You’re using English words, and your grammar is ok, but somehow your post still doesn’t make sense.”

    As I often remind myself, just because one doesn’t understand something doesn’t mean it doesn’t make sense.

  15. finnsmotel

    I dated a girl who was a college volleyball player. I often got recruited to participate in their scrimmages, along with other guys.

    Purely anecdotal, but, in this case, they recruited guys, because there were simply more men hanging around the gym than women. And, of the people in the gym, it was most often the guys that were interested in getting into the game.

    Part of the problem for the volleyball team was that the team members were recruited to play and had come to town from all over the place. To find enough women of equal skill level, they would have to recruit another full team of equals. They didn’t exist in the general population.

    Why?

    Because a history of patriarchy had prevented their development.

    For the record, we guy recruits could give them a good game, but, we rarely won.

  16. MikeWC

    In twenty years, when there are thousands of dedicated, life-long female athletes out there, I predict that the present anatomical gap will have closed significantly. So yeah. It’s a construction.

    Fair enough. We shall see in 20 years.

  17. Mar Iguana

    “Huh, the folks over at Vox Day’s blog are constantly calling me gay or a woman. Maybe ya’ll should get together and argue over that?” MikeWC

    You think I made up the word manometer, don’t you? Mayby ya’ll should look it up.

  18. MikeWC

    Oooh. I am so smrt.

  19. thebewilderness

    Dear Mar,
    I looked it up and I liked it very much. Thank you.

  20. ramou

    Yeah, the “blow harder next post” was a nice hint too.

    “Maybe once the patriarchy stops raping us, stops preventing us from fighting the males of the species off, we’ll all grow up big and strong.”

    Unfortunately, there’s no real selection for “big and strong”, so this is not a likely trend. However, there’s probably less selection against it now (but the reasoning about past selection is disturbing and quite logical sounding). Any statistical difference between height in women and men would mostly have to be attributed to the Y chromosome, as any height genes in the X would be have been selected against (as both men and women pass that one around to each other). This means that it’s not a matter of evening out over time from seepage of the guy’s genes. But if genes for tallness are dominant, it’s likely that they’ll remain visible in the gene pool, and gradually spread… but I’d guess there are lots of genes that relate to height, and many probably don’t do the binary dominance thing that would be convenient.

    Thinking about it, I note that I like shorter women quite consistently. However, frail’s not a criteria, one of them even being quite capable of handing me my ass (even when she doesn’t smile at me disarmingly before swinging). This is not to say that it’s not a patriarichal construct, but that it’s entertaining that the original construct may have lost sight of its intent to select for frail women by implicitly assuming that small=frail, which is rather not true. One might even hypothesize that small and strong could be selected for under those circumstances, but I haven’t seen enough of a trend to support that (I haven’t actually been looking).

    Is it a patriarichal construct to want to rag on poor MikeWC like everyone else, or is that a general human thing?

  21. Pinko Punko

    Argument from basketball perspective from Nancy Leiberman.

    No comment otherwise.

  22. yarizona

    Incidentally my mother has been pushing me for years to attend Ball State, ever since she realized the startling similarity between her maiden surname and the name of the university.

    Not that I’d be going anywhere near the basketball team except to check out the girls anyway (because as we all know, exercise is detrimental to your health)… But I’m thinking nooo.

  23. TP

    You can spend decades researching and analyzing data and plot out mathematical projections in charts, graphs and meaningful glances and in the end it all comes down to “DO YOU BELIEVE MEN ARE STRONGER THAN WOMEN?” and if you answer yes, you’ve kind of selected your faith.

    My wife, who is slightly less damaged by the patriarchy than many less fortunate woman, has the build of a human far strong than me, and yet she is not. I believe that this difference is cultural. I just think different humans develop their abilities differently.

  24. mrs_enid

    It also depends on how you define strength. Is strength just the ability to lift heavy things or give someone an ass whipping? Women live longer than men and are, in general, healthier. They’re certainly stronger in that respect, if not others.

  25. arlene

    Good evening ladies and gentleman, long time reader yet first time to post. Apropos the conversation, I would just like to point out…
    “The Ironman Triathlon is a grueling event that pushes its participants to the limits of endurance. Some, however, find the prescribed distances fall short of these limits. Hence, events such as the double iron triathlon have come about. More extreme formats have evolved; there are in fact triple, quadruple, quintuple, deca, and 15× events that are multiples of the original Ironman distance triathlon. The world records in the quintuple and deca iron races are held by a woman, Astrid Benöhr.”
    Good night and happy new year to you all.

  26. Ledasmom

    Without regard to how much difference in strength between the average woman and the average man might be due to evolution, I do want to point out that it isn’t necessary to assume that any height or strength genes are selected for differently in men than in women, since sex hormones are known to influence development. It would be interesting in that context to research whether animals that aren’t sexually dimorphic have lower hormone levels or a lesser (for some tissues, anyway) sensitivity to such hormones. Obviously it can work, since not all animals – not even all mammals – are significantly dimorphic.
    I remember an exceedingly entertaining exchange I had on this subject a few years back, with a guy who was convinced that women weren’t capable, athletically speaking, of competing with men. I pointed out to him that if you listed the times of the finishers in that year’s Boston Marathon without regard to the sex of the runner, the top woman came out sixteenth (I think it was – been a few years) from the top and ahead of nearly all the guys.
    “Well, sure,” he said, “but where was the next woman?”
    “The next woman,” I said, “would be seventeenth.”

  27. Pony

    Generally speaking, women have a greater stamina for distance. I would also suspect that the men triathletes aren’t training properly. Too bad.

  28. KTal

    In the article that Pinko notes, said former player opines that men practicing with women gives them an edge and goes on to explain this in rather lengthy detail.

    Therefore, the underscore of her point is that men indeed are better skilled and more athletic than women. Blithely she goes, onward accepting this as dogma that cannot be changed.

    Fact is, the erosion of Title XI rights for women to have their own space on the court and on the field can start at Ball State and work down. I am sure many see this possibility. First collegiate sports, then men playing ‘practice’ skrimages against the women’s teams in high school, then junior high and then grade school.

    And there it is, the end of the entitlement, enforced to contradict the forces of the patriarchy, of girls to develop and learn competitve sport.

    “So whenever there’s an opportunity to compete against the men, not only on the court but in the board room, it’s a luxury, it’s a measuring stick. Anything that can provide true competition, a true challenge is a good thing.”

    Women like the aforementioned jocks (writer jock and quoted jock) don’t even seem to bother to realize that their priviledge to play was hard won only twenty years ago by forward thinking, politically minded, radical women. Also that having a boardroom full of pompous asshats, or having a jobsite full of entitled daddy’s boys is no fucking ‘luxury’.

    Possibly if they did they wouldn’t be so happy to just hand the key back to the gatekeeper, thinking he’ll let her in anytime she knocks.

    I’d say more, but I want to be nice…oh to hell with it.

    Dumb broads gonna fuck it for the rest of us.

  29. ramou

    TP, your logic evades me (at least in your first paragraph, the second agrees with a point touched on nicely by Bitey).

    Pony, that statistic was pulled out of which of your orfices?

  30. ramou

    Generally speaking, women have a greater stamina for distance.

    This truly reeks of “I’m not sexist, see, I think women have this admirable trait to balance out their otherwise natural frailty.” Yes, give them a bone and pat them on the head and they’ll cuddle up to you and do your dishes.

  31. Pony

    It’s because of their greater proportion of body fat to muscle than men. Generally speaking. Individuals will of course differ.

  32. Pony

    And also ramou, male athletes are disinclined to try new training modalities. They think they know everything. Of course, individuals will differ.

  33. KTal

    The quote above was spoken by a male, lest I mislead, in the article Pinko mentioned. That the writer, a female had no found it useful support for her position though, is almost worse.

  34. antiprincess

    Ramou – you’re not from around here, are you?

  35. Mar Iguana

    You’re welcome, bewilderness. I find it such a handy unit. And versatile too. It can be used in any orifice: ears to measure steam, mouths to measure hot air, and for the gases you can insert it sideways.

  36. slade

    John Wooden, the legendary coach at UCLA, was interviewed a few years ago and stated that all he enjoyed watching was Women’s Basketball…they played the game as it was meant to be played…as a team sport.

    He found the male pro sport boring…and preferred the WNBA.

    And I do think the woman BB team at Ball State needs a history lesson in Title IX….we gotta remember that under the current regime, the history books are revisionist and/or totally lacking in information on the Women’s Movement in both the sports arena and the boardroom.

    Maybe a well worded and educational email to the coach at Ball State would lead to a bit of enlightenment.

    And when do we get to see a strong male athelete on the balance beam?

  37. AoT

    I think it would also be important to take into account the fact the nearly everysport out there is created by and for the patriarchy, so should it come as a suprise if males do better? They made the rules.

  38. Pinko Punko

    I’m not convinced that women practicing with men are betraying the people that fought for title IX. It seems to me like a sort of double jeopardy- patriarchy says women aren’t supposed to play sports, get stronger, faster, or even consider playing with boys, what have you, and these women do, and they want to excel, but now they are deemed crossing a line- the analogy that Lieberman used for male practice players were football training dummies- I just have a feeling that if the womens teams were practicing with taller, faster androids, this wouldn’t be an issue. It would be viewed as a training technique. From a basketball utilitarian view, top women players would most likely in the present time seek out men to practice with, probably in situations where there is still a lot of discrimination against women (name your local gym), why not let them play with dudes institutionally?

  39. SallySea

    Here’s a frame changing event for those involved that I can relate. I started working out with my womanfriend about a year ago. We started the classes but mainly do weights now. I do feel a bit super these days. My first thrill was doing my first chin-up. Jan is an inch taller, has athletic genes and strong spirit. She lifts more than me. Plus she’s developed these Popeye like biceps.

    Recently I met my manfriend after the gym in a cafe. He’s teasing me about whether I’m strong yet and playfully challenges me to an arm-wrestle. Let me say he is about 3-4 inches taller but does not work out. I put up a fight but he won as he expected. I wanted to do better and he was smug.

    Well I saw Jan and called her over. I tell her what happened and ask Jason to flex, hoping to goad Jan to challenge him. Jason has an ok lean bicep. Jan gives her famous, “not bad for a boy” comment. No bite so I had to initiate Jason to take Jan on. I wanted to know our training was not in vain. This is where it gets interesting. I said go and Jan locks her steely stare on him. After a few seconds of feeling each other’s strength I saw a small smirk cross Jan’s face and she started slowly but steadily taking his straining arm down. His knuckles kissed the benchtop and his face was red. In contrast Jan was looking very cocky.

    “Show him your guns”, I prompted her. She removed her sweat top and proudly flexed her victorious bicep. Jason sat staring trying to process the swollen bulge on her arm that put his untrained muscle to shame. She relaxed the tension and her muscle shrunk back into her arm. He uttered some lame excuse that he had just arm-wrestled me.

    Now the icing on the cake. Jan says conciliatorily, “let’s go left-handed then”. “But that is my stronger arm”, she added, flexing it as if to prove it. I knew Jason was right-handed. Realising the SHE had defeated his stronger arm with her weaker he declined, saying he had to leave. Jan told him to stay, that she was leaving. She left and I mercifully changed the topic. Now I am inspired to train harder. I may never beat Jason but I will put the pressure on.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>