Tulane Men Spark a Discussion... Here Are Our Favourite Parts

At CCC in Georgia last fall, the Tulane men's team sparked a discussion by wearing WNBA jerseys for uniforms. VC's good friend Tiina Booth posted this photo on the National Ultimate Training Camp's twitter feed:

"Tulane men wearing WNBA jerseys for uniforms today at CCC. "You can't be what you can't see" @vcultimate "







Photo credit Tiina Booth, UMass Coach and Founder of NUTC

- Tiina Booth, NUTC_Amherst (@NUTC_Amherst), December 2, 2017

The outpouring of support on social media was immediate, far reaching and led to some really amazing discussion. When we started writing this blog post, NUTC's original tweet already had 346 retweets and 1.4k likes. 

VC team member Alyne Azucena is an Equity Studies major from the University of Toronto and has the following thoughts on the conversation, a.k.a. Twitterstorm, that followed. 

In a classic Essentialist vs. Constructionist debate, NUTC and Laura Bitterman eloquently call out the cultural norms that shape who is encouraged in sports and what kind of sports.

"The question I like to ask is which sports get promoted for women. The type of athleticism of tennis players gymnasts and figure skaters is acceptable and marketed because individual women athletes > women's teams. Why?"

- NUTC (@NUTC_Amherst), December 4, 2017

"I think an implication you’re making is that preferences and opinions are inherent - not shaped by multiple societal factors from a young age. We are taught from a young age that when it comes to athletics, male is the default. Others are welcome, but they are guests." 

- Laura Bitterman (@BitterTwitts), December 3, 2017

You can read the full conversation here, which includes another poignant message about the current business cases for promoting men's professional sports vs women's:

"But claiming men’s is inherently more profitable than women’s is like deciding not to water one of two plants, ignoring that detail, and afterward claiming that one grows better"

- Laura Bitterman (@BitterTwitts), December 3, 2017 

What would it be like to live in a world where men’s and women’s sports are celebrated equitably? We can’t say we are there yet, but this is part of the work towards it. Way to go Tulane men for taking another step.

To quote Judith Lorber: “The paradox of human nature is that it is always a manifestation of cultural meanings, social relationships and power politics – not biology, but culture, becomes destiny” (1990).


To read more on VC's perspective on the Gender Equity conversation, check out our other blog posts:

What's With the Shirts?

"Where's Everybody Else?"

Statement on Gender Equity

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