Just Say Bruin

50 years later, disparities still exist

 In 1972, Title IX of the Educational Amendment passed in congress and prohibited discrimination based on sex in any school that receives federal money. Since then, female students throughout the country have had a drastic increase in opportunities to play various sports. Although they have been presented with equal opportunities, women in sports have continuously had to fight to gain even close to equal recognition as their male counterparts.

 Here, the disparity between female and male athletes goes beyond the difference between hype squad sizes. Calling the girls’ sports teams the “Lady Bruins” to better differentiate the two makes it clear the idea that males in sports are the default.  The extra word creates a partitioning in our schools’ athletics that is not needed.

We are not the first school to use “lady” or another gender specific adjective to refer to girl’s sports teams, but the tide is turning on the prefix. The University of Tennessee stopped their longtime usage of the term in 2015 with every program but their women’s basketball team. More recently, the Baylor women’s basketball team dropped the title in September of 2021.

Some say that the title “lady” holds history, but at what point do memories trump impartiality. The change would not cause past teams to lose their district, region, or state titles. It wouldn’t force us to take down one of our many sports banners. But it would make a clear statement to female athletes at our school that they are just as valued as any male athlete.  

Calling everyone just “bruin” will eliminate this problem. The word “bruin” is universal, deeper specifications may seem small, but insinuate a long-standing idea that female athletes are secondary to male athletes and that the boys’ teams are exclusively entitled to being a Lake Braddock athlete.