Tag Archives: sports

échec (fail): public legal education, the rights of the child and figure skating

This came home in my eldest child’s knapsack the other day.  I have been puzzling/fuming over it.  It advertises a campaign to increase awareness of the rights of children. But check out how those rights are illustrated (if you can’t read the text, try clicking the image for an enlarged view):

Really? Really, this is how we illustrate what the rights of the child entail at home? We provide a scenario which inscribes a particular vision of masculine normativity and mocks certain choices of sport – non violent sport?  Ridiculous, especially since it is doubly harmful to those children who might most need their choices and opinions valued at home – children who are trying to live their lives outside gender norms.   It reinscribes the problematic norms AND mocks their experience by ignoring it. This sniggering father  and his little boy (anxious to stay away from girlie clothes and sports) are probably worse than nothing on this front.  The only way I’m reconsidering is if my own gender norms have gotten ahead of my thoughts and in fact the child is a girl.  This might be a quick semi-fix. I’ll doctor it before discussing with my 5 year old girl.

Strangely enough, for a bit of icing on the cake, the school my daughter goes to, the school which passed out this card (a marvellous, diverse, thoughtful and caring learning environment) actually nurtured a World Champion in…men’s figure skating.  Patrick Chan, the current World Champion.

Am I reading too much into this?


I put this out through the IFLS twitter, but I think it’s worth a post too. Queen’s Law is part of a new blog Women in Sport International and has created a Legal Research Team to go along with the blog project.  Prof Kathy Lahey, some prominent former Olympic Athletes, and a team of students are the forces behind it.

I saw some members of this team (Erin Durant and Laura Robinson) put on a dynamic presentation about the history of women’s struggles with the IOC last October at Queen’s (related IFLS posts here one about a movie and the other about Olympic Ski Jumping).  And I have been looking for someone to sort out the badminton skirts issue for me – i’ve been wondering about the different reactions of prominent international players – what is the relevance of the different national contexts in which they play/relate to fans/live? how does the international nature of the organization make the issue more complicated?   The move has been pitched as a way of “glamourizing” the sport (sounds familiar)- but there’s also the suggestion that some of the shorts worn are actually more revealing of the body than skirts would be.  So is this about dressing like a girl to look somehow less threatening, or just about looking sexier?  Are these the same thing?  Many, many vexing questions (let me be clear – the RULE i think is ridiculous. I’m just not sure how to analyse the reaction to the rule). For this reason and more, I look forward to more from this blog!

Lose the case, win the game[s]: Women's ski jumping

Image: http://www.girlscantwhat.com/who-says-girls-cant-ski-jump/


Women’s ski jumping finally approved as Olympic sport – ESPN.

“The inclusion of these events … is sure to be appreciated by athletes and sports fans alike,” IOC president Jacques Rogge said. “These are exciting, entertaining events that perfectly complement the existing events on the sports program, bring added appeal and increase the number of women participating at the Games.”

See also:   Bonnie D. Ford’s blog post at ESPN.com Continue reading Lose the case, win the game[s]: Women's ski jumping

Midweek mini movie break: (when feminist themes collide) Sports + India + Feminism = Chak De!

Sometimes, things all come together. The internet really helps.  So,

Presentation I saw at Queen’s workshop last weekend on national/international elite sports events and funding and gender analysis (thanks activist/journalist/athlete Laura Robinson and Queen’s 2L Erin Durant)


Meeting with feminists from Jindal Global Law School on Monday at Osgoode and conversation about ways to collaborate including online (thanks Priya Gupta and Ashleigh Barnes)


lots of talk at Osgoode lately about law and film (thanks Ruth Buchanan/Lisa Philipps and others)



=  THIS!

Click here for contextualising post:   Generalising » Blog Archive » Chak De! India and feminism.

I kind of recommend reading the blog post, which I think is fun and thorough (“is Chak De! India feminist?”).  You might also benefit from this from wikipedia (ok, don’t  roll your eyes – it is a movie):

Khan realizes that he can only turn the girls into a winning team if he can help them to overcome these divisions and learn to cooperate with and help each other. Thus during the first few days, he benches a number of players who refuse to conform to his rules, including the most experienced player, Bindia Naik (Shilpa Shukla). In response, she repeatedly attempts to encourage the players to revolt against Khan. Bindia finally succeeds and in anger, Khan resigns. As a sign of good will, however, he invites the staff and team to a going away lunch. The anger that the team felt towards Khan and each other evaporates, however, when some local boys make a pass at Mary and Molly. In response, Balbir attacks them, an act which leads to a brawl between the boys and the entire team. Khan, recognizing that this is their first instance of working together as a team, repeatedly prevents the staff from intervening. His only action is to stop a man from striking one of the women with a cricket bat from behind, telling him that there are no cowards (with a double entendre meaning of the Hindi word for coward) in hockey.[15] After the fight, the women (now bonded as a team) beg Khan to remain as their coach.

On the other hand, if you’re just here because I tagged the post Shahrukh Khan, go ahead to the vid – there’s not too much of him in there, though. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

The “Beautiful” Game?

Well, if your team got knocked out in South Africa, you can always hold on till next year’s women’s world cup is played in Germany.

Although I wonder what FIFA’s up to sometimes.

The official slogan is “The Beautiful Side of 20Eleven” (referencing the 11 player team in soccer, of course).

Everyone should be involved in 2011, when the best women’s [sic] players in the world celebrate the world’s favourite pastime in a typically feminine manner: Elegant, dynamic, technically adept, agile and informal… in short, beautiful.”

(from http://www.fifa.com/womensworldcup/organisation/slogan/index.html)

Now that is some clever semantic work! And you can easily find the obligatory article on Eye-Catching Girls Enhance Allure – on the official FIFA website.


(a) just supervised an LLM in which Osgoode student Katharine Neufeld (along with being an excellent writer and harpist, Katharine is now working as the Legal Information Coordinator at METRAC) explored women’s hockey and the “feminine apologetic”, and

(b) just read Margot (UBC) Young’s piece on the Olympic Ski Jumpers,

maybe I shouldn’t be surprised.  But I was on FIFA’s side about the vuvuzelas, so I feel a bit betrayed.

(I should be clear that FIFA’s got some good stuff up about women’s sport as well. But i did think it was all a bit undercut by other material)

see: Margot Young “The IOC Made Me Do it: Women’s Ski Jumping, VANOC, and the 2010 Winter Olympics” (2010) 18 Const. Forum Const. 95-107 available http://ssrn.com/abstract=1615639.