What’s In A Name?

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DW Dalrymple

DW is a Proud West Virginian from the top of the middle finger, a former political hack/public servant and alleged rock-n-roll savant. Forever a student of the School of Life. You can find him on Twitter @BIG_DWD

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10 Responses

  1. Avatar InMD
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    says:

    Obviously the people playing know what team they’re on. The point is so fans know who they’re going (and at the collegiate level paying) to see.Report

    • Avatar Vikram Bath in reply to InMD
      Ignored
      says:

      I think it’s more likely done to accommodate some PTA person who wanted the opportunity to jazz up a uniform. Consider that the actual sport that is being played is usually far more important than the gender of the players, but we almost never see that added to the team name. The team names are not the Basketball Eagles and the Lady Basketball Eagles.Report

  2. Avatar Mike Dwyer
    Ignored
    says:

    I didn’t really understand the call to action in this post. Most sports simply just say, for example, Men’s Basketball or Women’s Basketball. In disc golf they use MPO (Male Pro Open) and FPO (Female Pro Open). Usually in college Lady is now primarily reserved for dance squads that support the athletic teams. Is this actually a problem anymore?

    I know there has been some chatter about the woefully unequal pay for the women’s soccer team and while I agree it sucks, it’s just unfortunately the economics of women’s athletics. Personally, I love watching them play, but they just don’t get as much attention, which I think is a shame. Oftentimes their technique in their given sport is better because they can’t just muscle things.Report

    • Avatar DW Dalrymple in reply to Mike Dwyer
      Ignored
      says:

      I hear you Mike. As I mentioned, its a mindset thing. At the middle school/high school level, where it all begins most of the time, the schools attach LADY to the girl’s teams. As in Lady Hawks instead of just Hawks. They don’t make that distinction for the boys by calling them Gentleman Hawks. They are just Hawks. Yes, in college they list sports as women’s or men’s for the paying public to know who they are going to see, just like they list boys and girls at the middle school/high school level (right InMD?) but to affix “lady” to the actual name of the team above the fact that they are already listed as a women’s/girl’s team is what I’m talking about here. A small issue I know, but ask any female athlete what they think about this and I’m sure they will tell you they would rather be referred to as a Hawk, not a Lady Hawk on their uniforms or by an announcer. Its an example of something that’s easily rectified that eliminates an old, tired and useless stereotype. A very small step in the right direction in the quest for equality.Report

    • Avatar Vikram Bath in reply to Mike Dwyer
      Ignored
      says:

      I find the call to action clear. Don’t have team names that are of the form: Eagles (for the boys) and then Lady Eagles (for the girls).

      And I find myself agreeing. Lady Eagles seems a bit lame to me. And not to get too bent out of shape about it, but it does seem like the wrong kind of mindset for naming things. “Men’s basketball” or “Women’s basketball” works just fine, and I hope I don’t have to explain why that is different than sticking “Lady” in front of a specific team’s name while the boys team does not get a modifier.Report

  3. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    From what I recall from High School back a jillion years ago, we had One Name for the teams.

    It was Fox Lane, and the team name was the Fox Lane Foxes. Football? The Foxes. Girls’ Basketball? The Foxes. Volleyball? The Foxes.

    And now I realize that I make distinctions between “Basketball” and “Girls’ Basketball”.

    I’ve seen the argument that, now, we should make distinctions between “Soccer” and “Mens’ Soccer”, now that we have a World Championship Team in the one and, yeah, the guys in the other.Report

  4. Avatar PD Shaw
    Ignored
    says:

    I agree with the sentiment here, but wonder what the young women think. I wasn’t sure whether the “Lady” preface was even used at our kids’ high school, but my daughter says it is for some sports (basketball, soccer and volleyball). (*) That sort of feeds into an intuition that playing for a girl’s team may be about playing with somewhat of a chip on one’s shoulder, perceiving that girl’s sports are not as valued, fomenting a girl power dynamic that demands attention to gender. There may be solidarity in the “Lady” moniker, that’s not as useful in more individualistic endeavors (track, cross-country, swimming, golf, tennis). My point being, I would like to see such changes made by the affected athletes.

    (*) I’m not sure they use the “Lady” moniker in newspaper coverage, but that might simply be that hard times requires conserving ink.Report

  5. Avatar Kazzy
    Ignored
    says:

    My older son (age 6) is a sports nut. He has recently gotten very into watching soccer and tennis, often opting/asking for the women’s events explicitly; he’ll watch men’s Wimbledon but never asks for it.

    Only, he often says “Girls”. This is a bit of a mental/verbal tic of his going back to when he first learned to talk… which was rather delayed and remains an area of occasional struggle. I make a point to correct him… they are women, not girls. I’m glad he is interested in all competitors and try to nurture this, though it isn’t always easy. Even our local high school teams give better time slots (for our viewing purposes, at least) to the male teams. And aside from a few sports, mens teams tend to dominate the airwaves.Report

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