Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Ahh-Pologizzzee: [say that in your best Kevin Kline voice from "A Fish Called Wanda"] Anyway, great take by a female Duke alum concerning the apology that the Duke Womens' Lacrosse Team deserves for standing behind the presumed innocent players throughout the rape-oh-but-it-wasn't scandal:

Last spring, one of the only groups that stood up against a tirade of prejudices were the members of the Duke Women’s Lacrosse team, led by their courageous coach, Kerstin Kimel. While the rest of the world was condemning the Men’s Lacrosse team as guilty, Coach Kimel was actively supporting the students and her players' choice to show their support by wearing wristbands with the numbers of the indicted players. Rather than highlight the fortitude and commitment to the truth of these accomplished female athletes, the media rained criticism down in the most sexist and dismissive ways.

She then goes on to quote from various national and regional media personalities who are quite scathing in their pre-determined judgment over not just the accused, but the womens' team for showing solidarity in the face of such whithering criticism.

The post then makes the greater point of how, when dealing with these type of "perfect storm" scandals, rather than focus on the individual, the great free press instead rushes to throw on generic labels; rather than report, they smear with very broad and dirty brushes:

Instead of highlighting the courage of the women’s lacrosse team, the media brought us Rolling Stone’s pop culture critique of Duke’s campus as half “The Devil Wears Prada” and half “Girls Gone Wild.” The transparently stupid article by Janet Reitman furthered the media firestorm that Duke was chock full of “drunk,” “horny” women whose lives consist of studying while on the treadmill and finding hot guys to hook up with. You see, it wasn’t intelligence, intuition, or courage that caused these women to support the men’s lacrosse team. It was, instead, the fact that they were sex crazed, stupid, and ignorant. (Someday, someone will have to explain to me how this qualifies as a “feminist” perspective.) Reitman completely exaggerated the Duke social scene by following several “core four” sorority girls who happen to support the lacrosse players and, therefore, according to Reitman, have subverted their feminist predecessors in order to emulate Britney Spears.

Personally, I still don’t understand how “laxers,” who make up 0.01175% of Duke undergraduates could that big of an influence on the social scene. I think I remember one from my time at Duke and recall far more Duke women jokingly lusting after the assistant men’s basketball coach Quinn Snyder than any lacrosse player. That’s right, everybody, basketball, not lacrosse, is the sport that dominates the social scene on Duke’s campus.

Anyway, read on...it's well worth it.

h/t Volokh.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Martini Boy's Mother