Several professors and students joined the call Tuesday for the athletic department to do away with the pink showers, carpeting and lockers, a decades-long Hawkeye football tradition.
Critics say the use of pink demeans women, perpetuates offensive stereotypes about women and homosexuality, and puts the university in the uncomfortable position of tacitly supporting those messages.
"I want the locker room gone," law school professor Jill Gaulding told a university committee studying the athletic department's compliance with NCAA standards, including gender equity.
Not to sound like a male chauvinist ass here, but . . . who the hell died and made you the athletic department's official interior decorator, law school professor Jill Gaulding? Number one, I bet you could interview every single person currently being tried or incarcerated in the state of Iowa for domestic abuse or anti-gay hate crimes and not one of them would point to Iowa's freaking visitors' locker room as the inspiration begind their "offensive stereotypes" about women and/or homosexuals. Number two, I wonder just how many of these crimes Jill Gaulding could've helped prevent or at least call attention to had she not been wasting her time and energy getting all worked up over a pink locker room.
Look, nobody's more in favor of equality for women and homosexuals than I am. But there's equality for women and homosexuals, and then there's . . . a pink locker room. And maybe Iowa is trying to subliminally whisper to their football opponents, "Tee-hee, you guys are a bunch of girls," but . . . so what? If we're going to ban pink locker rooms because they perpetuate stereotypes of women and gays, then we're also going to have to ban shows like "Sex and the City" that portray men alternately as clueless horndogs, weaklings, or clods, and the next time my significant other (which, God willing, I will be lucky enough to one day have) gets pissed off at me for not taking out the trash or something because I'm busy watching the game and rolls her eyes and mutters, "Men," I'm going to get to turn around and say, "Stop stereotyping me!!11!!!1!"
Plus, isn't Jill Gaulding perpetuating a stereotype that's just as damaging -- that all women like pink? I don't think my sister particularly likes pink. My friend Melissa, who played rugby in college (and who is also straight, and hot), doesn't especially like pink either as far as I know. How is Jill Gaulding doing women a service by taking it upon herself to unilaterally declare that the color pink is a cause behind which all women everywhere must rally? If some other law professor somewhere decides that mauve is getting a bum rap, are all women going to have to defend that too?
What I'd really like is for someone at Iowa to say, "Jeez, we were just trying to call attention to breast-cancer research, but thanks for making us feel like jerks about it, asshole." But that might be seen as a little over-the-top, I guess.