WNBA: Play Like a Man, Act Like a Lady?

Jamila Aisha Brown writes in a piece for Ebony that there's still a lot of work to be done to bring equality to women's athletics.

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Los Angeles Sparks player Candace Parker (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Jamila Aisha Brown writes in a piece for Ebony that there's still a lot of work to be done to bring equality to women's athletics.

One needs look no further than the box office or the bookshelf to see how what it means to “act like a lady” remains a perennial topic for societal discourse ...

As a girl and an athlete, I recall my surprise when some of my favorite players like guards Cynthia Cooper and Dawn Staley started wearing make-up coincidentally around the same time the WNBA debuted.

“Um that’s interesting,” I thought to myself too young then to understand the dynamics at play.

What I failed to understand at the time were the incessant rumors questioning the sexuality and even gender of female athletes who did not exert overtly effeminate traits off the court.

Comments like “She’s definitely a lesbian.”  “OMG she looks like a man!" are heard too often while watching women’s sports and more recently during the women’s NCAA tournament.

Read Jamila Aisha Brown's entire piece at Ebony.

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