Tag Archives: Gender

Our Daughters, Our Sons… And the Wisdom to Know the Difference

grant21973:  Sporting short-shorts, bad hair and glasses only Austin Powers could love; Bobby Riggs took center court to battle one of women’s top tennis stars, Billy Jean King.

The match captured a record-shattering global viewership of 90 million. At stake was far more than the outcome of tennis match.  The world tuned in to witness a conversation.

Spoken in points, games and sets, the match laid plain two questions:

“Do women have the right to compete with men?”

Can women compete with men?”

grant3Earlier this week, in an interview with news anchor turned women’s leadership advocate, Tiffany O’Donnell*, former University of Iowa Athletic Director, Dr. Christine Grant, shared vivid memories of the match and marks King’s performance as an important milestone in the growth of women’s sport.

Over her career, Grant developed a women’s athletic program with few rivals, posting 12 NCAA Championships and 27 Big Ten titles.

Humble and reserved, Christine is the antithesis of the win-at-all-cost mentality. Grant points to the fact that less than 1% (.71%) of all college athletes and only 3 out of a 1000 women athletes will ever play sports professionally.

grant5Dr. Grant suggests the value of sport is found inside the athlete, not up on a scoreboard –that real victories spring from testing one’s limits, experiencing cooperative struggle and just plain showing up, when the world offers every excuse not to.

Dr. Grant believes in, “a healthy understanding of the place of winning in sport.”

“Winning is not the purpose of sport,” she stated. “Winning is a byproduct of a very good program. A very good program that puts other values higher than winning.”

Reflecting on the development of women’s sports over her career, she’s both amazed at the progress and steadfast in her conviction that much remains be said in the conversation Billy Jean King started back in 1973.

As always, I welcome your comments directly at Jeff@jeffkaplan.com.


*Tiffany O’Donnell, serves as the COO for the IWLC, one of the nation’s top leadership organizations for women. She conducted the interview as part of a larger book project featuring the accomplishments and unique experiences of women leaders.

For more on this interview and the 10 for 10 Women’s Leadership Project, stay tuned to this blog or monitor the latest at www.iwlcleads.org.

Gender Bias and Hurricanes

1. New research suggests hurricanes with feminine names are more likely to cause deaths than ones with masculine names

2. Researchers argue hurricanes with feminine names cause more death because people aren’t as intimidated by female names and thus don’t take as many precautions

3. Analysis suggests that changing a severe hurricane’s name from the masculine “Charley” to the feminine “Eloise” might almost triple the amount of fatalities

Source: http://www.news.illinois.edu/news/14/0602genderedhurricanes_SharonShavitt.html

Entitlement and Sexism

1. Research from Case Western Reserve University suggests a linkage between entitled attitudes—how much individuals think they deserve “special treatment”—and sexism

2. Entitled men are more likely to endorse hostile views of women

3. More surprisingly, entitled women are more likely to endorse views of women as frail and needing extra care

Source: Joshua B. Grubbs, Julie J. Exline, Jean M. Twenge. Psychological Entitlement and Ambivalent Sexism: Understanding the Role of Entitlement in Predicting Two Forms of Sexism. Sex Roles, 2014

Weight and Democracy

  1. Research from Michigan State finds that overweight political candidates tend to receive fewer votes than their thinner opponents in US elections
  2. Although overweight men have a fair shot at getting on the ballot, they tend to lose to their thinner opponents
  3. The research suggests overweight women face discrimination in even getting on the ballot—this finding is consistent with a general finding in the literature that women face greater discrimination based on weight than men

Source: Weight bias in US candidate selection and election. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, 2014; 33