On July 19, my letter to the editor was published in the New York Times. I was responding to the piece that Ben Rothenberg wrote on body image and women’s tennis, “Tennis’s Top Women Balance Body Image With Ambition.” Shortly after its publication, the article was attacked by feminists and sociologists as being racist and sexist, especially towards Serena Williams. My response as a letter to the editor of the New York Times was an attempt to show both sides of this controversy, what goes on in the press conference and what scholars were responding to. Rather than being disturbed that top female athletes have body issues and they expressed their feelings about their bodies, academic writers figuratively shot the messenger. That is simply a weak tactic for any scholar. Furthermore, in being upset with Rothenberg, these scholars are really saying that female athletes should not talk about these issues, which is a decidedly anti-feminist critique for any scholar.
Rothenberg’s article can be found here:
The letters to the editor regarding Rothenberg’s article can be found here:
I have been selected to receive the Sally J. Phillips Dissertation Fellowship during the Spring 2016 semester from the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Maryland. This award is meant to provide funding to assist in completing my dissertation work.
I presented my paper, “The Original 9, Women’s Lob Feminism, and the Social Movement That Launched Women’s Professional Tennis, 1968-1973,” which is part of my dissertation study, at the International Sociology of Sport Association’s World Congress held June 9-12 in Paris, France. To help offset the cost of attending, I received Elaine Henson Memorial Fund travel funds from the Department of Kinesiology, and the Jacob K. Goldhaber Travel Award and the International Conference Student Support Award from the Graduate School, both at the University of Maryland.
I presented my paper, “Women’s Lob: The Original 9 as a Feminist Social Movement in Women’s Professional Tennis,” which is part of my dissertation study, at the North American Society for Sport History annual conference held May 22-25 in Miami, Florida. The paper was part of a panel organized by Jaime Schultz and Rita Liberti on women’s sports in the 1970s.
On Monday, April 20, I was inducted into the inaugural cohort for the Lavender Leadership Honor Society at the University of Maryland. Inductees are selected by a panel based on equal parts their academic scholarship and their community activism, both past and present. The principles of the honor society are:
We seek to create a world and a university community that is fully equitable, and which empowers agents of social justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people, and all those who face structural and interpersonal marginalization because of their gender identity and expressing or their sexual orientation.
We also believe in solidarity and collaboration, and in intersectional approaches to social justice that affirm the whole person and all things that can lead to liberated and flourishing communities.
We are a diverse community of leaders who value inclusion, kindness, and genuineness as core leadership values. We seek to build communities and networks, to support our communities, to foster an environment that creates spaces for many and diverse leaders and voices, to educate others, and to advocate for equity.
I have received a William and Madeline Welder Smith research travel award for 2015-2016 to fund my travel to the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas. I will specifically be researching the Gladys Heldman papers which are archived there. Gladys Heldman was the marketing genius behind the Original 9 who formed in 1970 as a social movement to fight for equal pay and an equal number of tournaments for female tennis players.
For more information about the award, visit the William and Madeline Welder Smith research travel award website.