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Xavier Basketball 101 for women

By Chris Dobbs
On October 28, 2012

Late last month, Xavier Athletics posted a press release heralding a new program called "Mattress Warehouse Presents: Xavier Basketball 101 For Women with Coach Chris Mack." The "designed for women" program, which will be from 5:30 - 9 p.m. on Nov. 1, costs $50 and will feature a presentation on the basic rules of basketball by an NCAA referee, a "behind-the-scenes look" at the men's locker room, a picture with Coach Chris Mack and other members of the men's coaching staff and a "game day fashion show." Tell me, in your experience, are you regularly frustrated by women not attending men's basketball games, not being enthusiastic about the team or not generally knowing the basic rules of basketball? Do you think female Xavier students and alumni generally
don't care enough about basketball? Is this a problem that
Xavier faces? I don't think so. Xavier has a lot of problems
with women's issues. Just last year, we restricted our female professors' right to procure or use birth control. We do encourage our students to pursue safe sex, though we don't give them the resources necessary (i.e. condoms) to do so. We've forced survivors of sexual assault to attend classes with their assailants. And the student community, earlier this
semester, was shamefully quick to resort to blaming the victim at the revelation that a popular basketball player was expelled for sexual misconduct. All of this occurred within the last two years. Xavier doesn't, however, have a problem with female support for the men's basketball program. Honestly, every woman I know knows more about basketball than I do.
Many paint up, camp out for the Crosstown Shootout, play in
the pep band and cheer loud, just like the men. It's true, there's a line between people that don't care about basketball
and people that do care about basketball, but that line isn't
between men and women. That line runs all over the place: some people care about a different sport, some people are too busy to attend games and some people never had the chance to get into basketball as a kid. Why shouldn't all of these people be invited to this event? Why place this giant assumption - that women, specifically, don't know about basketball - at the front of Xavier Basketball 101? Understand - this event, structured differently, could make some progress in
repairing Xavier's relationship with its women. Xavier Athletics could have donated the proceeds to breast cancer research or to Tamar's Place, a battered women's shelter in Overthe- Rhine operated by the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor.
Xavier Athletics also could have brought the women's basketball department into the event - maybe they could have facilitated a discussion about the highs and lows of being on a
college basketball team that's not as well supported as the men's. Instead of providing what will surely be a titillating look into the men's showers (Maybe they'll get to see the urinals! Will the lockers be blue or white?!), Xavier Athletics could've sought to encourage little girls to pursue basketball because they could play professionally one day, not because basketball is another opportunity for them to dress up and show off their "game day fashion" sense. Would any educational
program aimed at men center on a fashion show? This event, in short, could have been something pretty inspiring.
I personally think it would be damn interesting to hear the
women's players and staff discuss their accomplishments
and their irritations, along with a rules presentation that was
open to anybody interested. Instead, Xavier Athletics thinks
that it would be nice to be paid to patronize and talk down to women about the rules of basketball for two and a half hours. Don't worry though, girls, there's a fashion show at the
end that'll keep your little minds interested.  

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