Brittney Griner, MVP of the DI Women’s Basketball Championships, said Baylor officials advised her not to read blogs–because they are mean.
Not hard for me to imagine.
She does read Twitter though, so she’s aware of what think about her, her height, her voice, her abilities; how they perceive her sexuality and her gender presentation. She’s used to it, which I think shows an amazing amount of maturity. Her one public incident her freshman year when she punched an opposing player seems to be well behind her now–which is good, because things could have gone an entirely different way.
I am not a big fan of Baylor as an institution or Kim Mulkey as a coach, but I think they have done something good with Brittney Griner. Mulkey publicly expressed her anger with the way social media and opposing team fans have treated Griner earlier this week.
Of course the kicker is that the woman Mulkey hugged last night after Baylor took the title–Muffett McGraw–didn’t do much better in the post-game conference. She said of Griner: “It’s like a guy playing with women.”
Wow–that’s disappointing. And it sounds oddly familiar. Hmm….where have I heard that before?
Oh, yes. Australian Open, 1999, Martina Hingis–also not great in defeat (even though she won)–said of Amelie Mauresmo, a then young and out newcomer on the tour, and her opponent in the final: “she’s half a man.” Lindsay Davenport, whom Mauresmo beat that year, commented in her press conference that she felt like she was playing a man.
Women who are “too good” and gender non-conforming are frequently labelled men–and not in a good way. Because despite the accolades masculinity receives in our culture, one can only access them if born a man.