I could only see my son’s three best friends—three beautiful, talented, smart, sweet, funny and gently raised African-American girls—and tear up thinking of anyone using such language about them. Yet give even a girl as admirable as one of them a basketball, let her dare to swing a few elbows or pump her fists in triumph, and somehow they become targets for this kind of stereotyping and abuse.
One word about the vile Don Imus, who always has been loathsome, as are all his ilk, from Howard Stern to Rush Limbaugh, purveyors of bile and evil. However, one little aspect of his remarks has been overlooked. The words that have effectively ended his career were that the Rutgers players were “some rough-looking girls.” In our still male-dominated culture, female athletes are considered, as DI said, lesbians, bullies, “ho’s.” Truth is that those Rutgers players are lovely girls–smart, capable, thoughtful, young and talented. Imus didn’t have a word to say about the Lady Vols, and I wonder why. And I wonder what the fabulous Pat Summit would have to say about this whole feeding frenzy? No one bothered to ask her, but every female athlete, every woman who competes in any sport, was hurt by these comments. The networks paraded an endless stream of men, black and white, to weigh in on comments that are so essentially misogynistic that I truly believe no man can understand how hurtful they are.