Leave Brittney Alone!

Griner blocks UConn guard Bria Hartley

( John Woike, Hartford Courant / November 16, 2010 )

UConn fans have been waiting for tonight’s game against Baylor – the last time that dominant center Brittney Griner will be coming to Connecticut.  Today’s article by John Altavilla in the Hartford Courant touches upon something that has been bothering me for some time.  There have been more than a few cruel comments on social media about Ms. Griner, and I wish the assholes doing this would knock it off.  I came across an excellent blog post in Fit and Feminist: The Misgendering of Brittney Griner.  The blogger, who is identified as “Caitlin”, writes:

I’m not going to repeat the things I saw about Brittney Griner; I’ll leave that to your imagination.  I will say that I find our culture’s ongoing obsession with policing gender completely baffling, and the misgendering of Griner is no exception.

In case you are not familiar with Griner, she’s the totally sensational junior who plays for the Baylor Bears.  She’s 6’8″, has a wingspan that is wider than most people are tall, she dunks hard and blocks like a wall, and has been noted for her androgynous looks.  She also happens to have a pretty deep voice.

Thus, her detractors say, she must be a man!

Of course, you don’t have to have a long memory to recall just how many times a similar criticism – that a woman is a man, is a lesbian or is a doper or is just a plain freak – has been leveled at a woman who dominates her sport.

It is a shame that society scores masculinity and femininity by how far an individual’s physical traits differ from the typical traits of the opposite sex.  Most women athletes don’t look to be judged for their femininity, and no civil society should countenance this crap.  Griner is a spectacular athlete who is changing the way the woman’s game is played.

I just hope she doesn’t change it too much tonight!