Forward thinking

Steve Sailer floats a hypothesis:

Michelle Obama has felt oppressed for most of her life by the feminist assumption that became conventional wisdom in American society in the early 1970s that tall, broad-shouldered females like herself should play basketball.

I have heard complaints by several tall women over the years along the lines of “No, I didn’t want to shoot hoops, and I don’t know why they kept asking.” So this doesn’t sound too far out of line.

The passage of Title IX to promote women’s sports in 1972 when Michelle Robinson was eight was one of the banes of her girlhood because it led to numerous suggestions from well-wishers that she had the perfect physique for a power forward.

Surely she didn’t look like a power forward at eight. (Twelve, maybe.) And maybe things have changed: of the 12 members of the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx, winners of six consecutive Western Conference titles, only four of them are below six feet tall — Mrs Obama is five-eleven — and they’re all guards.

But she’s kind of a girly girl who doesn’t like sports and wants to wear high heels, and doesn’t like the change in our culture that encouraged people to mention her height and brawn in the guise of offering helpful pro-feminist You-Go-Girl suggestions.

That said, both of her daughters were entered into sports programs:

Malia and Sasha had to take up two sports: one they chose and one selected by their mother. “I want them to understand what it feels like to do something you don’t like and to improve,” the first lady has said.

A girly girl she might be, but her fashion sense was decidedly impaired early on; she did, however, improve.


  1. fillyjonk »

    24 September 2017 · 3:00 pm

    Ugh, on that last bit: having memories of being forcibly enrolled in field hockey at 12. Though my parents’ reason was more simple: they deemed me too sedentary.

    I spent a season of the popular girls on the team never passing the ball to me, and also “testing” how good my shinguards were by beating me with their sticks.

    No, I don’t remember what position I played. I probably didn’t have a regular one, I was that bad. And I didn’t improve.

    There’s not a lot I feel resentment towards my parents over, but that is one thing. (My brother started soccer at the same time. He was actually kinda good at it and he enjoyed it. He was lucky)

  2. McG »

    24 September 2017 · 5:51 pm

    It’s not just girls who got pushed into sports they didn’t want to play. In little league, the only time I contributed materially to the outcome of a game is when I noticed the other team’s pitcher was too old.

  3. Holly H »

    25 September 2017 · 9:27 am

    haha! Yes, McG, my son was the same way. He didn’t like sports, didn’t want to be there, and contributed absolutely nothing to the game. And….is there anything wrong with that, really? We should’ve let him drop out sooner. We didn’t torture him long though; it was agony for us too.

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