On May 1, a pair of tennis-playing girls—sisters Karli and Tonya Timko—won the won the boys AA Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League doubles title.
Let me take that back: They didn't just win. They freakin' dominated. As singles players on the boys team, they rolled over their opponents all year, dropping only two sets between the two of them. When the season came to a close and titles were on the line, the sisters teamed up as double partners again and hammered their finals opponents, Tin Chu and Drew Gallatin of Thomas Jefferson High, by a total of 6-2, 6-1.
According to their own statements in the press, the sisters, who play for Chartiers-Houston high, have been playing on the boys' tennis team because there haven't been enough girls to field a girls' squad. That dismal state of affairs is a worthy enough topic for conversation, but let's save that for another time. What I want to take a look at is the media coverage of the sisters' victory.
Sure, this New York Times story about gender discrepancy in men's and women's dry cleaning prices may seem a little frivolous (especially considering that most of us can't pay $8.75 to get our shirts cleaned), but props are still in order. Another blow struck in the name of gender equality! More after the jump.
The New York Times Book Review has never exactly embraced passionate advocacy—unless it was promoting Pynchon’s and DeLillo’s place in the postmodernist canon. Even worse, it has become the place where serious feminist books come to die— or more accurately, to be dismissed with the flick of a well-manicured postfeminist wrist.
This collection of 23 mostly new essays is required reading for anyone who seeks, to use hooks’ words, to “decolonize her mind.” It’s invaluable to the necessary process of self-interrogation that is part of any involvement in a feminist or anti-racist movement; she dissects racist and sexist thought so that you can both criticize it in others and identify your own complicity. She reminds you that anti-racism needs to be a fundamental part of feminism and vice-versa.
This book will remind you that when the mainstream media talks about post-feminism and the apathy of twentysomethings, you’re not the only one who responds by shouting, “What the fuck are you talking about?” Ok, some of the writing is disappointing—but some of it’s fabulous, and all of it’s thought-provoking. The ethnicities and sexualities of the contributors are more widely varied than in any anthology I’ve seen, and racism in the feminist movement is confronted with a directness and fierceness rarely seen in an integrated setting.