The New 'S' Word

October 1999

Sometimes a game is not just a game. Case in point, says Fred Barnes in The Weekly Standard (July 26), was the U.S. women soccer team's winning the World Cup. The media, he reports, played it not as a sporting event, but as an ideological bonanza, as a triumph for "the feminist agenda."

But Terry Golway, writing in the trendy Jesuit weekly America (July 31), wasn't satisfied with the media coverage. According to Golway, the media referred to the team as "America's sweethearts." Incensed, Golway launches into a lecture: That term is a "sexist stereotype" and "patronizing." Uh-oh!

Whereupon, however, Golway proceeds to patronize. Golway exults that women athletes have "arms that would put many a male weekend warrior to shame." So there! (Is Golway a crude looks-ist? Brawnier is better? "My daughter can beat up your daddy"?)

So who is this Terry Golway anyway? One of those angry Amazon women? Or just one of those sensitive men who feels everyone's pain? We admit to being curious. The name "Terry" offers hardly a clue: There are male and female Terrys. Ah, but there's a photo: Golway appears in a suit and tie. Umm. But then, women wear suits and ties these days. Golway also sports a modest beard. Surely, then, Golway is male. But not so fast! We wouldn't want to be guilty of sexist stereotyping, would we? After all, here in Berkeley we've seen females with luxuriant facial hair. How they do it, we don't know. (Don't ask, don't tell.) Well, whoever Golway is, he or she seems to have an overheated sexual imagination, for Golway tells us that calling the team "America's sweethearts" means the women "are measured in terms of their sexual desirability." Oh, puh-leez! To us, the bent and wrinkled Mother Teresa was truly a sweetheart.


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New Oxford Notes: October 1999

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