Tuesday, February 25, 2014
The Seventh Circuit decided Hayden v. Greensburg Community Schools, ___F.3d___ (7th Cir. Feb. 24, 2014).
On behalf of their son, [parents] challenge a policy which requires boys playing interscholastic basketball at the public high school in Greensburg, Indiana, to keep their hair cut short. The Haydens make two principal arguments: (1) the hair-length policy arbitrarily intrudes upon their son's liberty interest in choosing his own hair length, and thus violates his right to substantive due process, and (2) because the policy applies only to boys and not girls wishing to play basketball, the policy constitutes sex discrimination. The district court rejected both claims and granted judgment to the Hayden ex rel. A.H. v. Greensburg Cmty. Sch. Corp., 2013 WL 1001947 (S.D.Ind. Mar. 13, 2013). We reverse in part. Because the hair-length policy on its face treats boys and girls differently, and because the record tells us nothing about any comparable grooming standards applied to girls playing basketball, the evidence entitles the Haydens to judgment on their sex discrimination claims.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
.....so spoke Magic Johnson, the greatest point guard in the history of the National Basketball Association, about his gay son, who has a boyfriend. No commentary; I just thought it was a cool story about a dad embracing his gay son.
.....thus runs a hypo posed by a column in Truth Wins Out, an LGBT website. The author, Wayne Besen, worries that Martin would have been propelled from being "not black enough" to being "too black."
I agree that this may have been possible. But who is to say? There is something morally gratifying about a bullied kid getting some payback against his tormentor, not in a sadistic way but in a way that is just even if that justness is procured through a strong shove or a headlock. So too much of manliness, frankly, doesn't rest on such crude dichotomies as Mr. Besen suggests: either get bullied or fight back. There are preemptive measures that boys (at least many boys) know about which can signal to the other party--without having to resort to violence--that they are not to be messed with.
None of this is to say, of course, that Jonathan Martin deserved any of the abuse or that the monstrous Incognito should not be punished.....
Monday, February 17, 2014
Michael Sam, the All-American from the University of Missouri, is the first openly gay football player. Some NFL teams have already supported his candidacy and it seems that the media is supporting him too.
On the other hand, as you probably know, the NFL doesn't seem to be a hospitable place for cultural differences, as suggested by the ordeals suffered by Jonathan Martin.
This conflict between the gentleman and the brute, which I've examined elsewhere, seems never ending.....
Friday, February 14, 2014
Gender change operations are legal in Iran according to a fatwa - or religious ruling - pronounced by the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, spiritual leader of the 1979 Islamic revolution. The law contrasts with the strict rules governing sexual morality under the country's Sharia legal code, which forbids homosexuality and pre-marital sex.
The article is about football (what Americans call soccer) but the news is still arresting, to me, anyway.
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
In honor of the Olympics, Why We Love Watching Female Figure Skaters, but not Female Basketball Players. The story picks up with the Russian men’s ski jump coach Alexander Arefyev comment that he doesn’t like seeing women compete in the sport because they “have another purpose—to have children, to do housework, to create hearth and home.” Researchers on gender disparity in sports found that:
found that these students code certain sports as masculine or feminine, and do so along the same lines that researchers did in 1965. They found that “sports that emphasized overt displays of aggression or strength were typed as masculine, and non-contact sports that are either traditionally dominated by women (volleyball) or emphasize aesthetics (gymnastics) were typed as feminine.” And as teenage girls develop differently from their male peers—and begin to confront gendered expectations for how they ought to use their bodies—“teenage girls drop out of sports at a rate that is six times higher than that of boys.”
Thursday, February 6, 2014
Motion for Preliminary Injunction Granted to 7th Grade Female Student to Join All-Male Wrestling Team. Lawyers "were successful in obtaining a preliminary injunction requiring Line Mountain School District in Herndon, PA to allow seventh-grader Audriana Beattie to be part of the Line Mountain all-male wrestling program. Beattie has wrestled competitively, against boys and girls, since she was in third grade."