From our Why-Didn't-We-Think-of-That Department comes an essay by The Nation's provocative Katha Pollitt calling for the banishment of men from sports. Pollitt writes that sports are "a male world, which actively encourages and protects the worst forms of male privilege and jerkiness." The values they promote are the wrong ones, she contends, such as the "childish confusion of physical prowess with 'character' " that has been integral to the public's misperceptions of O.J. Simpson. Pollitt is harder on sports fandom, which "trains the young in group identification, passivity, spectatorship and celebrity-worship."
Pollitt proposes that only women be allowed to play sports. "Instead of promoting the worst qualities of men," she writes, sports would "counteract the worst qualities of women, like defining themselves through men and wearing three-inch fake fingernails."
My Three Sons
As if to lend credibility to Pollitt's screed, a reader, Bill Dawson of West Chester, Pa., dropped us a line: "Your regular attacks on Bobby Knight (Scorecard, June 26) have gotten childish. He threw the chair years ago. It didn't hit anybody. He kicked his son a little bit. As a test, I kicked all three of my sons this past weekend, and aside from being a little ticked off, each assured me he still loved me."