I checked my "gender" updates on Google News this morning (you know me, I love gender news) and found this article on NBA basketball player Pau Gasol. The article is from a sports website called The Bleacher Report, and the headline reads, "After Tonight's Game the NBA Orders Pau Gasol to Take Gender Test."
Turns out the article is fake. As I am sure is obvious, considering the fact that I completely thought the article was real, I don't know much about professional sports (although reading La Macha's blog posts has been helping me get up to speed). Upon reading the article I was immediately ready to write about the tyranny of gender in sports, or whatever else the forced "gender testing" of someone might signify.
However, the article instead points to rampant sexism in sports, or at least in sports journalism. Apparently this article is meant as an attack on Gasol's athletic abilities. And what is the quickest way to call a man's abilities into question? Imply that he might be a woman.
I know this isn't news to most of us. Insults like, "You throw like a girl," or, "What's the problem, did you get sand in your vagina?" are all over the media. I don't know though, this article struck a particular chord. Here is an excerpt:
Stern was very upset [and ordered the gender test] with Gasol for three reasons—it's constant
whining to the refs, it's version of the tennis grunt when taking a
shot, and lastly for hanging on the rim after a dunk.
Usually, the league administers a urine test and of course always
with advanced notice, but Stern was too pissed off, so he decided that
it was time for a surprise test for Gasol. Gasol, of course, was not
too thrilled because she knew her secret would be out to the world.
I am sure that one reason this article rubbed me the wrong way is because I thought it was completely real, and I felt appalled that the NBA would force a "gender test" on anyone without their consent. I don't know though, I think this article is taking gender insults to a whole new level. Was the joke just on me? What do you think?