In defense of the sanctimonious women's studies set || First feminist blog on the internet

Skeleton Key

Tim Nardiello has been reinstated as the U.S. skeleton coach after several sexual-harassment complaints.

Now, I don’t know what happened between him and the female skeleton riders(?) , but it seems too easy for him to dismiss the complaints of riders/players who didn’t make the team on the grounds that they were bitter about not making the team. I’m just gonna wildly guess that when they got cut from the Olympic team, they perhaps felt free of the pressure of making the team, so they weren’t so concerned about the fallout. Not that their timing was so great.

I have to say that I don’t feel that only women should coach women’s teams, or that having men coach women’s sports necessarily leads to abuse. I know that having men coach women’s college sports is controversial. As a UConn alum, I can’t agree that it’s a bad thing. In fact, the worst thing I heard from UConn women’s basketball players about Geno Auriemma while I was in college (1986-90) was that he picked his nose.

WooHoo White Sox!

Only because my parents are from the South Side of Chicago. From my dad:

Difference between North and South Sides
— ——————

Thomas Condon

October 14, 2005

Chicago — Can everyone please stop all this nonsense about the White Sox being cursed? Lately pundits and sports writers have been trying to conjure up some kind of curse to explain the White Sox not winning the World Series for 88 years.

Get this straight once and for all: There is no White Sox curse.

I think all this curse nonsense started because so many sports writers are so accustomed to writing about the Cubs and their problems with curses, and misbehaving fans, and anything else they can blame their bumbling performance on.

On the North Side, it has always been “boo-hoo, that mean billy goat won’t let us win the World Series . . . it’s not our fault, we’re cursed . . . wahhhhhh!”

What a bunch of babies.

On the South Side, we don’t need to hide behind a curse. We take our lumps, make no excuses, claim no curses and show up and root for our team, win or lose.

This is an essential part of the difference between the North Side and the South Side. The North Side is home to the more “tender” Chicagoans, those latte-swilling, status-car-driving dandies who think that Lincoln Park is a tough neighborhood. Many are just enjoying their “urban experience” for a few years before moving back to Schaumburg and buying the inevitable minivan.

The South Side is where the real meat of Chicago resides. These are the people and neighborhoods who built America with steel mills, won World War II with manufacturing and continue to supply the real muscle for Chicago’s economic engine.

And we aren’t moving to Schaumburg. Ever.

The South Side has always been tougher, and always comes out on top. Want an example? Remember what happened on St. Valentine’s Day in 1929? That was a little dispute between Al Capone’s South Siders and Bugs Moran’s North Side gang. Guess who won? That’s right, the South Side.

So take that curse baloney and stuff it. We’ve been here through all the tough times, and stood by the White Sox without whining about a curse. So what if we haven’t won the World Series in a long time–you got a problem with that?

Bike Seats May Have Sexual Side Effects

I’m tempted to make a “banana seat” pun right now, but I’ll refrain.

A raft of new studies suggest that cyclists, particularly men, should be careful which bicycle seats they choose.

The studies add to earlier evidence that traditional bicycle saddles, the kind with a narrow rear and pointy nose, play a role in sexual impotence.

Well. We’ll get to the “especially men” part in a second.

The area in question is the perineum, between the external genitals and the anus. “When you sit on a chair you never put weight on the perineum,” Dr. Schrader said. “But when you sit on a bike, you increase pressure on the perineum” sevenfold.

In men, a sheath in the perineum, called Alcock’s canal, contains an artery and a nerve that supply the penis with blood and sensation. The canal runs along the side of a bone, Dr. Goldstein said, and when a cyclist sits hard on a narrow saddle, the artery and the nerve are compressed. Over time, a reduction of blood flow can mean that there is not enough pressure to achieve full erection.

In women, Dr. Goldstein said, the same arteries and nerves engorge the clitoris during sexual intercourse. Women cyclists have not been studied as much, he added, but they probably suffer the same injuries.

(emphasis mine)

So… why should “particularly men” be careful? That’s right, because women haven’t been studied as much, even though we might suffer the exact same injuries.

Why am I not surprised? The fact that it may cause sexual dysfunction in men garners a dozen studies and a two page article in the New York Times; the fact that it may cause sexual dysfunction in women gets one sentence. The rest of the article discusses the health effects for “cyclists,” all of whom, apparently, are proud owners of progressively limper penises. And before anyone starts accusing me of being anti-man, I’m not saying in any way that the article shouldn’t have been written or that the studies shouldn’t have been done. I’m glad they were; now I know not to date bicyclists*. It’s a big deal that a common recreational activity could lead to impotence and sexual performance problems, so I’m happy to see it’s being covered. I just wish they would have included the ladies, too. We like our wee-wees to work as much as you like yours to.

And as a final, general bitching point, I’m sick of women getting the short end of the stick on all the sexual dysfunction studies and solutions (and medical studies in general, but that’s another post). Guy has trouble keeping it up, drug companies pour millions into creating Viagra and other similar drugs. A substantial percentage of women have never orgasmed in their lives, and they get… I dunno, KY, to at least make the process less painful? It’s a crock.

UPDATE: Well, not everyone is ignoring women’s health. But, seriously, Crisco? Thanks to Jess for the link.

*Just kidding, numb-nuts.

Performance-Enhancing Soft Drinks… For Four-Year-Olds

No, it’s not a joke. The latest sports drink, Spark, is being marketed to kids between the ages of 4 and 11, and contains as much caffeine as in a cup of coffee — purportedly to encourange athletic performance (another version of the drink contains twice as much caffeine and is being marketed to teenagers and adults).

Not only is caffeine probably not the best thing to be giving young children, but putting it in a sports drink implies that (a) improved athletic ability is more important than physical health, and (b) in order to perform at your peak, you have to take an enhancement drug. That’s a dangerous mindset to project onto children.

In an advertisement on its Web site for youth products, AdvoCare described an elementary school wrestler as a “high-performance athlete” and quoted him as saying: “I feel the products are helping me grow stronger, and my focus when I’m wrestling is better. I take them before and after games and practices, even if I’m just playing football for fun with my friends.”

It also seems to be putting a lot of unnecessary pressure on elementary school kids to refer to them as high-performance athletes.

Angela B. Foster, whose 12-year-old daughter, Taylor, is featured in another endorsement for AdvoCare products, said in a telephone interview that Spark was safe and helpful for not only Taylor, who practices 20 hours a week and is hoping for a college scholarship in gymnastics, but also for her 11-year-old brother, who plays soccer and runs track, and her 7-year-old sister. “We use Spark for all of them,” Foster said.

The Foster children use the teenage and adult version, with 120 milligrams of caffeine, even though it is labeled as not for use by children. “They don’t use the kids’ stuff,” Foster said. “They said it tastes too much like Kool-Aid.”

In her endorsement for AdvoCare’s children’s products, Taylor said: “I have more energy and I like them a lot. I would suggest that anyone try them!”

Nothing like sacrificing your kids’ physical health for sports — kind of the opposite of the whole point of being an athlete, isn’t it?