Little League world series is over, and women’s sports are again shoved to the side

Great commentary by Washington Post columnist Sally Jenkins:

Now she will go back to taking penciled tests, as opposed to being recruited into social-science conversations about gender and whether biology is destiny. Everyone wants to say something important about Davis, but what really needs to be said is this: As she returns to the dim, dull regular school day, may her experience as a Little Leaguer not be the pinnacle of her athletic life. Because something dimmer and duller is what Davis can expect when the men at ESPN, Sports Illustrated and Deadspin lose interest in her…….

So while it’s great that a 13-year-old girl was treated as an accomplished athlete, I’d be more grateful if Candace Parker and Diana Taurasi, two of the greatest basketball players on earth, didn’t have to spend the winter in Russia just to make a decent living. “If only we had a Davis every single day in the media for girls,” (Billie Jean) King says…..

For a few brief days, Mo’ne Davis caused some powerful men to think in a different way about sport, to see exciting new potential in a little girl. She was so viscerally striking that she shifted their perceptions of female capacities. Maybe that will lead them in turn to another visceral perception: of how much female aspiration gets suffocated daily by the inevitable narrowing of access, opportunity and attention, and the small, deadening, devaluing assumption that because her body isn’t as big as a man’s, her talent, by definition, can’t be as important.

But Jenkins’ best paragraph provides hope:

The point of Mo’ne Davis is not what she proves about girls against boys. The real point of her is how a stunning wildflower can bloom in even the stoniest soil, given the tiniest opportunity and some sustenance. Look what can happen, how a child can burst out of category. Look what athletic striving can result in — that tremendous rearing back of hers, and then the delivery, a white streak that seemed to leave a groove in the air.

And this is why I keep writing.

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