Tuesday, November 10, 2009

UnsportsLADY Like Conduct

Lately this story of the New Mexico soccer player, Elizabeth Lambert, has been all over the news for her incredibly poor sportsmanship which included punching, hitting, and pulling the ponytail of opponents. (BTW WHY isn't there a gender neutral term for sportsmanship?)

It was disgusting. If you watch the footage of the acts, it is really disturbing. Seriously, I in no way condone her actions and her suspension was absolutely just.

However...(you know there was a however) I really feel that this story has received an extremely high level of coverage simply because Lambert is a woman. Overly aggressive behavior is present daily in most male sports (at both the collegiate and professional levels) and we rarely see this much coverage about it. I'm actually surprised that the feminist blogs I follow haven't picked up on this.

My position is that we shouldn't tolerate violent behavior from any sports players, regardless of gender. But the prevalence of this story just highlights sexist ideals surrounding women's perceived role in sports and what is "appropriate" for men and women in general.

Jessica also brought the discussion about "Guyland" by Michael Kimmel and feminist pundit Courtney Martin's thoughts on it to my attention. I have some thoughts about this...but I've got to do some more reading before I officially comment.