Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Title IX Olympics?

Title IX, which promotes gender equity in sports and other programs, recently celebrated its 40th anniversary.  Is it a coincidence that in the same year, every national Olympic committee sent women to the Olympic Games.  And women have done well, with US, Chinese and Russian women winning more gold and more medals than their powerhouse male teammates.    Will this be the legacy of the 2012 games?  Or the twitterverse commentary blasting All-Around gold medal gymnast's Gabby Douglas's hair (praytell, how do the haters manage their sweaty locks?) and admonishing British Clean and jerk weightlifting recordholder Zoe Smith for looking like a "bloke."

Zoe's responds that  "We actually would rather be attractive to people who aren’t closed-minded and ignorant. Crazy, eh?! We, as any women with an ounce of self-confidence would, prefer our men to be confident enough in themselves to not feel emasculated by the fact that we aren’t weak and feeble."  Complete text

I'd bet a whole lot of smart women--scientists, engineers, and environmental professionals among them--feel the same way, although they might have ended that sentence with "minded."