Fox Sports has compiled a list of women that can hold their own against men in the sports world : because everyone knows the real measure of a female athlete is how she competes against dudes. Fox starts their “Girl Power” list with Rachel Alexandra. Perhaps you’ve heard of her: She’s a horse. …
… Which female athletes had the good fortune of an equine comparison? Well, there’s Katie Hnida, first woman to score in a NCAA football game, but she was entangled in a rape-allegation scandal, Fox notes. There’s Michelle Wie, but of course she faced “substantial criticism” when she only qualified for one of 14 PGA events. Legendary athletic phenomenon Babe Didrikson Zaharias is also mentioned, plus that one time she didn’t qualify for that one event.
See, it’s important to remember that while these women were able to compete against men, they weren’t necessarily very good at it.
The women women who escaped the “but they lost” clause were Billie Jean King, Candace Parker, Danica Patrick, Hayley Wickenheiser and a few others.
Of course my problem with this list is that exists at all. …
After what happened to Eight Belles, I was happy to see Rachel Alexandra exit the track uninjured when she won the Preakness. I didn’t feel any sense of “girl power” from the victory – her jockey, trainer and owner are all men. That Fox would feature her in a list of “women athletes” is bizarre. Will universities that field horse oriented sports now start claiming that (e.g.) female polo ponies should be counted as women athletes for Title IX compliance purposes?
–Ann Bartow, with thanks to Michael Froomkin