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Learning as We Go Along

by Ashley Grashaw
Jan 15, 2008

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Last week I had my debut on Talk of the Nation for a segment on college football's BCS rankings, and several of you pointed out that, in a way, we were unwittingly perpetuating negative stereotypes about women and sports. The idea was to have someone who has very little knowledge of the mechanics of football playoffs blow a whistle every time one of the guests said something that sounded like Greek. Well, folks, that someone was me; and I was happy to assume the role of tabula rasa. A sports girl myself, I thought it would be a cool way to learn more about the game; and I relished the thought of being able to one-up some of my guy friends with my newfound understanding.* But, in our excitement over the whistle, we missed the red flag that this could play into a negative stereotype. The thought never crossed our minds. Why not? Perhaps it's because in our office, the women outnumber the men by almost 2-to-1 and (with the exception of the host) probably know more about sports than the many of the men, too.
None of which changes the fact that we missed this one. You blew the whistle on us... thanks for keeping us honest.

* Many of them have begrudgingly admitted confusion over the BCS rules.

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