Girls get their game on
There’s really no way for this to NOT sound sexist, so I’m just going to go ahead and put it out there: When I was in college many moons ago, my perception was that female athletes for the most part – there were exceptions, of course – weren’t exactly on the feminine side of the dial.
The point is, back in the day, women’s collegiate athletics were not really mainstream and were inhabited by thick-necked gals named Olga.
But times have changed…young women can kick your ass on the soccer field, basketball court, volleyball net, and then shower off, put on a Versace dress and slay you on the dance floor.
If I’d gone to college with Jenny Finch, there might have been a restraining order placed on me if I struck out – a hot, shorty blonde with a 71–mph fastball? Sign me up.
Anyhow, it’s been well-established that many female athletes are also sex symbols in addition to their exploits in the athletic arena, much in the same way that soccer star David Beckham is drooled over more for his banana hammock than his banana kick.
But my original point that I boorishly backed into is this: whereas our society used to dictate that girls and women had to leave the “man stuff” like athletics to the boys and men, this is no longer the case.
And since I’ve got a five-year-old daughter, I’m glad this is the state of affairs. She may not want to hurl a softball, wield a field hockey stick, spike a volleyball - or god forbid, join the wrestling team, but it’s nice to know many of those barriers have now been eradicated and she will have the freedom to choose instead of it being chosen for her.
Besides a shift in societal attitudes - many folks point to Title IX as a significant factor to the rise in organized female athletics in the U.S.
In simple terms, Title IX is federal legislation that required colleges and universities utilizing federal funds to provide the same amount of opportunities for female student-athletes as their male counterparts. Sounds fair, right?
Well, the flip-side is that some lesser-profile, smaller-revue-generating men’s teams have gotten the ax as colleges have to comply with Title IX to get their hands on the federal bacon.
Meanwhile, on Aug. 25, Coastal Carolina University hosted its annual Football 101 session geared toward teaching women about football. We all know football is the cash cow when it comes to university athletics and boosting a school’s profile.
But what about women’s sports? With the 40th anniversary of Title IX and recent successes of the U.S. women’s Olympic squads as the backdrop, we dispatched correspondent Christina Knauss to take a look at the state of CCU’s women’s athletic teams, from soccer to Lacrosse, and the result is this week’s cover story.
Are local female student-athletes toiling in obscurity while the men’s teams hog the spotlight, media attention and fan adulation? Insiders say the Conway campus is on the cusp of emerging as a major force in the world of women’s collegiate athletics, but don’t simply take my word for it, return to our homepage and dive in.
Preserving Summer’s Memories
Here’s another reminder that you’re running out of time to submit entries for the Surge Summer Snapshot Smackdown IV photo contest for amateur photographers.
The winning photo will appear on the cover of Surge, and the winning photographer will be profiled inside the paper.
The deadline for entry is Monday (Sept. 10).
To get more details and to upload your photo, click on the Surge Summer Snapshot Smackdown IV widget that is front and center on the homepage.
Kent Kimes, Editor