Surprisingly enough, it could definitely be worse

At least female philosophers are not competing with very clever cats and dogs.

From Feministing:

It’s the end of the year, aka the merry season of top ten lists. The Associated Press recently published the vote tallies for its Female Athlete of the Year, in which 158 sports editors around the country weigh in on which of these ten female athletes deserves the title.

Serena Williams 66
Zenyatta 18
Kim Clijsters 16
Lindsey Vonn 15
Diana Taurasi 14
Maya Moore 13
Rachel Alexandra 10
Bridget Sloan 3
Jiyai Shin 2
Erin Hamlin 1
We love Serena, too! One minor problem withe the award, though: Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra are horses. Was it really so hard to find ten athletes who are women? Writes Mark Goldberg,

That’s right. We live in a world in which animals are eligable to win “Female Athlete of the Year” from one of the most important global news agencies. That’s some shameful stuff. And for the record, none of the male atheltes of the year were anything but human.

It’s our language skills that save us, I suppose, though if philosophy today connected with a genuine love of wisdom, it might be close.  Yo Meow Ma’s wise observations  include:        

Live each of your nine lives as though you have just one.

When standing on sand, bury your waste, not your head.

6 thoughts on “Surprisingly enough, it could definitely be worse

  1. Well, in some modest defense, I don’t think any male race horses were particular stand-outs, at least not in triple crown races, this year, so not including any in a male list is less obviously sexist. And, when ESPN did their list of 100 greatest athletes (or whatever the number was) of the 1900’s, several races horses were listed, at least some of them (maybe all- I’m not sure on a few) stallions. So, there’s some precedent for this sort of thing as applied to males, too.

  2. Thanks for pointing out the cases of male horses. I decided to go ahead even after I saw that that had happened, and I’ll give you my reason below. I’d like to hear what others think, since the issue seems cloudy.

    I’m not sure that having horses show up in other lists is terribly telling. However, there have been cases of a male horse showing up in the AP’s top ten male athletes. I’m not sure that that makes it alright. One person, I think in reply to a comment on Goldberg’s comment, pointed out that there are very significant differences between (human) male athletic competitions and female ones, which in general are less prestiguous, noticed, supported, etc. Except, of course, for things like horse races, when gender plays an entirely different – or no – role.

    So 20% of the best female “athletes” are horses whose gender is not thought to matter in their competition. I think that’s sucky.

  3. I have it on very good authority that Yo Meow Ma was a feminist. In fact, when she picked the year’s top 10 male cats, she included 2 mice and a monkey.

    — Joanna (and I agree with you that the list is pretty ridiculous)

  4. Joanna,

    Thank you so much for making available this wonderful example of feline wisdom!

    “Two mice and a monkey” is simply elegant.

  5. Another example of the curious determination to say “female” instead of “woman.” Press style books became fixated on the supposed requirement to use an adjective instead of a nominal qualifier (a requirement that no linguist or native speaker recognizes) around the time that the press had to mention women more often. Evidently the category error occurs in thinking too.
    BTW, if they are that interested in femaleness, shouldn’t they consider reproductive experience? Clijsters the mother made Serena Williams act like a masculine loser, temper tantrum and all.

Comments are closed.