Brittney Griner!

21 March 2011

Apparently if I want to achieve true popularity as a blogger, I’ll stop talking about silent film and focus on women’s basketball phenom Brittney Griner, who’s a sophomore at Baylor. Yesterday 150 people came to this site for Griner alone — and they didn’t get here due to searching for more info about her amazing basketball chops, or even just her physical dimensions (she’s 6’8″, wears a men’s size 17 shoe, and her wingspan stretches to 86″). No, the Google searches that bring people to my site have to do with gender, biological sex, and sexual orientation:

  • brittney griner a man
  • is brittney griner a man
  • brittney griner girlfriend
  • brittney griner makeover
  • brittney griner in a dress
  • brittney griner gender
  • brittney griner lesbian?
  • is brittney griner xxy
  • brittney griner in regular clothes
  • brittney griner dressed up

This isn’t new. Ever since reporting on Griner a couple of times last year I’ve seen searches like this. So the question is, should I get cranky about these searches, or view them with a certain optimism? Should I explode and yell, Do you honestly think that anyone who plays basketball this well must be a man? Do you honestly think that this fact would have slipped by unnoticed by the NCAA, just like Barack Obama’s “Kenyan” birth supposedly slipped by US Constitutional rules?

On the other hand, maybe people read this blog and conclude, “Hey, maybe it doesn’t matter whether she’s XXY or gay or whatever, and I can just focus on thinking she’s awesome!” Or that women search for brittney griner lesbian? because they’re hoping they might have a chance with her. That they look at this image above, which I found last year on her personal website, precisely because it doesn’t try to prettify her according to some Vogue magazine version of sex appeal — instead it shows exactly the kind of female masculinity that Judith/Jack Halberstam discusses (and embodies).

Most of all, searches like this are a reminder to me that women’s sports remains one of those weird zones where a lot of people want to police gender lines and norms for femininity. Get over it, people, and — in the immortal words of En Vogue, free your minds, and the rest will follow. (But damn, remember how much En Vogue traded on their Vogue-ready looks and hotness quotient? Why oh why must it be this way?)

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53 Responses to “Brittney Griner!”

  1. servetus Says:

    fwiw, my reaction to that last photo is that she bears a strong resemblance (maybe because of the posture and facial expression?) to the late Gene Anthony Ray, who I think also suffered from a certain kind of gender stereotyping. But do you think there is a racial dimension to this at all? Does it matter that this is a black body?

    • Ace Hunter Says:

      who said anything about black, white or orange… people are calling it out because of a possible unfair advantage playing a sport. We all love a great game, as long as nobody has stacked the deck. If they want to stop the questions, take the test. wow, its not about race.

      • Didion Says:

        I totally get it, Ace, but your comment doesn’t account for the fact that Brittney has been playing competitive sports since she was a kid — and this inevitably means that she has spent most of her pubescent and college years showering, naked, around other girls and coaches; being treated by doctors for muscle pulls and sprains all over her body; and being examined by doctors during annual checkups to make sure she’s healthy enough to stay on the court. The realities of exposing your body to any number of people in these ways means that it is absurd to think she’s hiding a penis underneath her clothes.

        Not to mention that this elaborate hoax would mean that she “secretly” shaves her facial hair and has had operations to make sure her Adam’s apple doesn’t appear too prominent. And that she has been cross-dressing as a woman since she was a baby. And that her parents knew that such a hoax would mean giving up a bid for getting drafted to the NBA, which is worth potentially millions of dollars — whereas women’s pro sports pay virtually nothing. Tell me, why would a family do this to a son? And do you know how rare it is for a child to be born XXY — and how many male characteristics (Adam’s apple, facial hair, genital changes, etc) come through during puberty for XXY children?

        Also, tell me: why doesn’t anyone advance this criticism of the Delaware player Elena Della Donne — the 6’5″ powerhouse who used to play for UConn? Oh yeah, because she’s got blue eyes, long blonde hair, and is conventionally pretty. I have news for y’all: if men are masquerading as women to play college basketball, they could do a much better job of disguise. Let me suggest that Della Donne would be a much more effective disguise than Brittney Griner, who doesn’t hide the fact that she’s got a deep voice. News flash: not all women are the same, and some come out like Griner. Thank god for that.

  2. Didion Says:

    You could be right. Sometimes commentators express a certain alarm when presented with Black athletes’ bodies that are capable of such extraordinary things. (And I have to say, the term “wingspan” has always bugged me, as it sounds somehow like breeding a good racehorse.) But maybe there’s more to the race question than this.

    • Steve Says:

      It’s amazing how unaware and defensive Ace Hunter is. First he or she calls out Griner for some perceived oddness about her gender then he says it isn’t about race. The same thing happened with Althea Gibson, Serena Williams and, more improbably, the latter’s sister, Venus.

      The thing about wingspan bugs me as well—but, in line with that, there was this comment made, recently, in an otherwise complimentary article in Deadspin which, while defending her against the internet know-nothings, made a comment about “[Griner] having muscles the size of [the writer's head].” There’s nothing “enormous” about Griner’s musculature, just as there wasn’t about Venus but [much of the sporting public] made similar comments about her as well. Della-Donna and, earlier, Lauren Jackson were thicker [though shorter] athletes than Griner and you don’t hear the comments women like Brittney and the Williams sisters [and the latter played at the same time as Lindsey Davenport and Jennifer Capriati, two women who, the case could be argued, were less "feminine" in appearance-whatever that means] are and have been subjected to.

      But, go beyond that: why are black females the target of outside approbrium when they show anything but a complaisant air regardless of provocation? Griner punching Jordan Barncastle, the type of brawling gym rat who predominated in men’s pro basketball in the Fifties and who’d subjected Griney to the sort of violence–including throwing her to the playing surface– that shouldn’t, and wouldn’t, be tolerated on any organized playing level. Griner immediately apologized but is routinely called, even now, two years after the incident, a [often employing the adjective, "ghetto"] thug. Contrast that with a Lauren Jackson nailing Lisa Leslie twice in pro and international play. Or Serena Williams getting international calumny for her reaction to getting hosed during a final at the U.S Open a few years back after years of getting similarly jobbed during late round matches and finals at Major events (not getting a do-over after Justine Henin called for time during a late round French Open or being the recipient of several clearly erroneous calls made by an umpire, in another Major event). Both women should have been penalized but the reaction was outsized and reminds me of that Aaron McGruder “Garden Party” episode in Boondocks: “Oh, the horror”). But, the on-court shenanigans of a Capriati or a Martina Hingis got short shrift. Or, crossing the gender line, the very inappropriate behavior of a Lleyton Hewitt vs. James Blake at the US Open, in the early “oughts.” Something that was particularly offensive but was quickly glossed over

      Clearly, there is something racial going on but the really scary thing is that it appears that many people don’t even–or don’t want to–recognize it..

      • Didion Says:

        I agree: this is absolutely infuriating. My arms are bigger than Griner’s, and I’m a fraction of her size. I’ve also become aware of how racially-motivated are the comments about the Williams sisters, whom I follow regularly — they dominate through “sheer strength” whereas a white player uses “smarts.” Of course there’s something racial going on.

        I watched at least part of virtually every Baylor game in the tournament, and each time I asked aloud (to whoever was in the room with me), “What’s so different about Griner, except that she’s really tall?” I really don’t see it. The comments are crazy (and I’ve now put an end to approving comments here that make no sense other than to rant).

        One question, Steve: do you think any of this has to do with the fact that she’s not a smiley person? I wondered late this season whether her manifest seriousness on the court — she’s almost always stone-faced — makes people decide she’s not feminine enough. A lot of the other women on the court are much more emotionally transparent in their facial expressions. There’s a whole essay in that idea.

      • Steve Says:

        [In reference to Didion's last paragraph]
        I dunno, Di. I mean, if you’ve seen Espn’s promos on the various athletes in the women’s division of the NCAA tourneys, you’ve seen several clips of a smiling, genuinely funny and warm woman.

        One of the first games Espn did on Griner during her freshman season, at Baylor, was after a Baylor win, when Griner playfully grabbed one of two of the pom-poms from one of the Baylor cheerleaders (who, over her competitive career, clearly love Griner’s personality) and proceeded to prance about with the rest of the cheerleading group–It was goofy and genuinely funny. She has, as I remarked in an earlier post, a really sly wit (see, the Espn bit with Griner, the cheerleaders, the basketball team and Baylor administrators on the plane to an NCAA game site, this year).

  3. Tiffany Says:

    To think that just because she is tall or chooses not to be what the stereotypical female or happens to be AMAZING at basketball it does NOT mean shes gay NOR does it mean that shes a man

    • Didion Says:

      Exactly! you and I are in complete agreement; it’s just all the people googling brittney griner a man? who think otherwise! I don’t care about her sex life or anything else — I just think she’s amazing. And really sexy, too.

  4. Muk Says:

    I don’t think anyone cares about how good of a basketball player she is, what draws suspicion is:
    1: She looks like a man
    2: She talks like a man
    3: Her voice is deep like a man
    4: she doesn’t have any breasts
    5: she’s freaking 6’8

    Are you guys so ignorant as to chaulk it all up to “OMG THEY’RE JEALOUS OF HER SKILLZ”
    or “OMG YOU’RE A HOMOPHOBE”
    She talks and acts and dresses like a dude, so of course people are going to question her sexuality.

    If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then 99 times out of 100, it’s a duck.

    And it does matter if it actually is a dude, because then she would have a clear advantage.

    My guess is that she was born “Sexually Ambiguous” and confused for a girl at birth and as she grows up, Brittany shows more attributes of being a male

    • Didion Says:

      I should introduce you to some of the female athletes at my school, who are also tall, deep-voiced, flat-chested, and kick ass in their sports. If all these women are secretly XXY, then there’s something in the water in Texas resulting in an extraordinarily large number of sexually ambiguous babies.

      I think the only difference between our opinions is I don’t believe someone who’s as prominent as Griner is “secretly” anything other than female. All those years with coaches, trainers, fellow athletes, locker rooms, doctors … not to mention that XXY kids manifest bodily changes in their early- to mid-teens, not as late as age 20 (which she is). If she were XXY, that would’ve been clear a long time ago and she would have been placed on medication to enhance her feminine features and suppress the appearance of male features (facial hair, an adam’s apple, etc.).

      But my other point is that from looking at the searches people do to find my site, it appears she does create very different kinds of gender & sex confusion among her viewers! It’s not just whether she’s a man or XXY; it’s also whether she’s gay, what she looks like in sexy clothes, whether she has a girlfriend. And honestly, as I say above, I don’t have a problem with that — I just think it’s interesting. And I do believe that many of these people searching are, like me, among her big fans.

      • Dan Fouts Says:

        There is no doubt in my mind that Brittney was born both a man and woman. In 98% of the cases the penis is but off and they are to live as a woman. If DNA were taken this would be proved. I think when it comes olympic time they have to submit to DNA testing. Let’s see if Brittney tries for the olympics or makes an excuse on why she doesn’t want to play in them.

      • Didion Says:

        Ugh. Here we go again. “Based on my expert ability to look at a person on a tv screen, I hereby declare that I know what his/her DNA will look like.”

  5. Tyrell Gibson Says:

    idk if i would put “just like Barack Obama’s “Kenyan” birth slipped by US Constitutional rules?” I didn’t know this was a personal opinon article it made me stop reading a great article even though some people believe its fact I havnt seen his Kenyan birth certificate either!

    • Didion Says:

      I was being sarcastic. Barack Obama was born in the US. His US birth certificate is widely available online and he would never have been installed as president if there had been serious suspicion of his being foreign-born, as that would go against the Constitution. All the rumors to the contrary are erroneous.

      In the same way, I think it’s ridiculous to assume that Griner is a man, no matter how she looks when she’s playing basketball — as if throughout her stunning career no one has ever noticed a man in disguise.

  6. Hurr Says:

    I admit I googled whether or not she was an XXY.

    I think I’ve seen about 5 minutes of her player basketball total. Turned to ESPN and saw her on TV and thought “You know, she might be an XXY” because of her masculine features and deep voice.

    Honestly though I really wish ESPN would stop showing so much NCAAW Ball. It’s so boring. I guess they are just mad that they don’t get the NCAAM tourney.

    Also; It’s hilarious that you think anyone is jealous of her.

    • Didion Says:

      I don’t think people are jealous of her. I just think it’s interesting that when people see her and don’t see the typical feminine features, they assume she can’t possibly be a woman — even though we live in a world with all kinds of different male and female appearances & behaviors.

      Maybe instead (and here I’m truly trying to be silly): we should think of her as the kind of person who would be an X-Man if they really existed — she’s taken human evolution up a few notches and has superhuman powers beyond us old-fashioned humans.

      • Muk Says:

        That’s actually something that concerns me
        Nowadays, we have women who don’t want to be women. who take on male roles and discard their own. maybe a step in our evolution would lead us to more manly women much like what’s happened to the spotted hyena, who at one point in their evolution started getting pumped up with so much Testosterone that they grow to be significantly bigger and more aggressive than the males, and even grew penises (a clitoris that’s actually bigger than the male’s penis)
        Is this the road that feminism will take us?

      • Steve Says:

        Nooo, that’s the road that evolution takes us….please, there plenty of black women with deep voices and physical stature…They might not be in the image the main stream has of women but they are woman and attractive as well.

        My theory has been that nature always interacts with nuture (the surrounding environment). In a highly technical society there’s much less emphasis on raw brawn. Maybe nature’s taken a look at the surrounding landscape of the modern world and said, when looking at men, “well, there’s not such a need for that, anymore”. Maybe the hyena story related above and that female shark giving birth via parthogenesis means nature’s telling us pretty much that.

        After all, you don’t need to go hunting for saber-tooth tiger meat when you can find it shrink-wrapped at your local supermarket.

        As for the bozo questioning Griner’s utility as a role model because most girls don’t look like her..that hasn’t stopped you from reeling over into a dead faint when you get a chance to come across Lebron James who probably doesn’t look like you or possesses physical traits that 98 pct of you and the rest of the male populace haven’t a dream of ever getting..

        Venus and Serena Willimas went through the same crap, in the early ‘oughts when they began to dominate tennis (it seems as if black women athletes are susceptible to being more targeted as “men” than white when they succeed at their sport).

        Griner is an attractive, intelligent, slyly witty kid who so happes to have the type of body that one needs to succeed in an aerodynamic sport like basketball….and the guys who complain about women’s bb should welcome more players who can push women’s basketball proficiency. Oh, wait, when those players do appear, they’ll complain about those better players’ gender.

        To Julia, in line with the above, most world-class athletes are “freaks of nature”, whatever their gender.. Especially, basketball players. That’s why we pay money to see them do things we could never do if we put in a thousand hours of practice.

        Poor widdle kids

      • Didion Says:

        Cheers to that, Steve. And too right about how the Williamses went through the same thing. In fact, I’m not generally prone to making sweeping, universalistic statements, but I’d bet that exceptional women have faced these kinds of charges for a long time — getting accused of being some kind of monster or freak if they have exceptional gifts, whether intellectual or physical.

        Many thanks for your intelligent comment — a breath of fresh air.

  7. servetus Says:

    I’m jealous of her. I’d like to be such a gifted athlete.

  8. lara Says:

    I want to date her.


  9. [...] It was to read my post from last March on Baylor basketball goddess Brittney Griner, and most of them found Feminéma using a variant of the search, is Brittney [...]

  10. Doc Says:

    I am so disappointed in some of the negative or homophobia expressed in some of the comments about, a talented, beautiful, gifted, Black Woman athlete. I have a daughter a year older than Brittney G. My daughter name is Brittney also. I love women college basketball more so than the men. BG brings passion, and a warrior attitude every time she is on the floor. I have never seen her slack. I hate to see the state of the WNBA decline, It is not generating the income or crowds when, Houston Comets won 4-Titles. To watch Swoops take a jump shot was like butter! Now, they are gone… Where will B.G. go? Will the WNBA give her a fat contract? Will Nike give her a shoe deal? Because, she is the answer to bringing respect back to women college and professional basketball. I pray that Baylor wins the title this year. I do not want to see her sad again… walking off the floor with all that talent, and her head down again. I am her Biggest Fan.I love you like I would love my own daughter BG., Respectful, Mr. Omega Psi Phi. – Grambling State Alumni – Class of 1983 I tried to get tickets last year when you were in Dallas, I had no luck. I hope to see you play in person. Just to say, Have a great game!

    • Didion Says:

      Rock on, Doc! You’re too right about Sheryl Swoopes too. Can you just imagine Brittney and some of those WNBA queens playing together?

      The fact that women’s college BB is full of amazing women like Brittney makes it even more a crime that there are so few chances for them beyond college. The Olympic team next year. Beyond that…? I hope you’re right that all the attention on these amazing women helps save the WNBA, like it saved women’s pro soccer!

  11. Mike G. Says:

    Truth be told, the most amazing thing about Brittney Griner may be her grasp of the english language and her ability to actually give a fairly succinct intelligible interview. Hey Lebron, D-Wade, Kobe, listen and learn!

    • Didion Says:

      It’s a crime that so many athletes never get taught in college how to speak in public, considering that they’re hoping to become public figures and that even college athletes like Griner and her peers speak to cameras on a semi-regular basis. Plus, that skill is so crucial for moving beyond athletics into other jobs, even if you get lucky enough to become a sports-affiliated worker (sports coach, commentator, trainer, etc.).

  12. Lisa Says:

    So my 11 year old daughter and aspiring basketball star is at the Big 12 now watching Baylor and KSU game. She texted me this, “mom, the 68 girl from baylor is so BA luv her! i am going to baylor”. I must say Miss Griner you are indeed a bad ass and what little I have read (googled name only) are quite an amazing young lady. Go on with your bad ass self. Didion, interesting read and spot on…free those minds.

    • Didion Says:

      This just makes me so happy to hear! And congrats on having such an obviously bad ass 11-yr-old who already knows what college she wants to attend!

      It reminds me of attending college volleyball games at which the stands were full of little girls from about 5th grade all the way through 12th — girls who idolized the college players, who were so tall, so outstanding, and so nice. They’d even let the little girls form a gauntlet on either side of the entrance and give high-fives to the college players as they entered the arena. So wonderful — and so inspiring for kids.

  13. HHarris Says:

    She’s cute so leave her alone.

    • Didion Says:

      I totally agree — and I apologize if anything I said seemed to indicate otherwise. I was trying to respond to those “walks like a duck” commentators. I find her ridiculously attractive.


  14. [...] wins. They’re now in the Elite Eight and will play Tennessee on Monday night. The fact that I featured a few stories about Griner during her freshman and sophomore seasons means that my blog has had record numbers of hits for the [...]

  15. Julia M. Says:

    There is a legitimate reason to question Griner’s gender.

    It’s not because anyone who plays this good must be a man. It’s because of her body.

    She is 6’8″ with hands bigger than LeBron James’s (according to CNN). Her voice would be called deep for a man. For a woman to have a voice that deep is puzzling. So it’s an obvious question to ask if she is intersex (aka hermaphrodite). If she is, she should not be playing WOMEN’s basketball because she creates an unfair advantage.

    And also, to call her a role model for women does not help women. Even if she is a woman, not a hermaphrodite, she’s a freak of nature. Most women will never reach her size or strength.

    • servetus Says:

      re: role models: give me Britney Griner any day over any stick-thin, smiley-faced, giggly, short, mindless woman of the kind that appear on every magazine every week and are presented to us as examples to emulate.

      • Didion Says:

        Brava, Servetus!

        Also: all manner of girls out there think they’re freaks — because they’re too tall or too short or too fat or too ugly or too skinny or their nose is too big or their teeth are too crooked … and sometimes they think they’re freaks because they have almost all those qualities.

        Griner’s a role model because she’s freakishly tall, skinny, flat-chested, and has a deep voice — and she’s virtually a superhero. I say thank god for women who break through the stereotypes for what women are supposed to look like. Remember in the 80s, when black women started appearing on magazine covers — but they were only the lightest-skinned, blue-eyed black women? Now that sends a message about what a girl is supposed to look like.

      • skullleaderz Says:

        Might as well use Dwayne Wade or Jay-z or Michael Jordan as a role model for your daughter if you use Britney Griner
        The only thing female about her is her X chromosome

      • servetus Says:

        I would be PROUD if I had a daughter who wanted to be like Britney Griner.

      • Didion Says:

        Sounds to me like someone’s favorite teams are losing — badly — to the Baylor Bears. Too bad for you.

        I like the idea that girls must only choose role models from extra-girly girls. Yet again, it’s too bad for you that they’re more likely to choose role models from whoever they goddamn well please.

  16. Jamie Says:

    I personally searched to see if she was gay because I would love to date her. I am 6’1″ myself, so a woman that is 6’8″ is hitting the jackpot.lol

    • Didion Says:

      You’re in good company, Jamie — Brittney is awesome. I’m just so blown away by her talents & self-possession both on & off the court.

      And I must say I’m a little weirded out by the constant stream of gender police who are so upset by her that they declare she must be a man. At what point will they just get over themselves?

  17. Christian Says:

    I was tuning into Baylor vs. Georgia Tech NCAA Women’s basketball tournament game, and I become more and more intrigued with Brittney Griners’ techniques skills and poise. After the intense match was over, I decided to search Brittney Griner in efforts to see a snippet of the game again. Well, primarily to see her slam dunk. But instead, while typing her name on Google, I immediately became sidetracked from all the suggested entries appearing on the search engine. Out of sheer curiosity, I wanted to discover what all this hype was about. I shifted my original intentions and swapped it to see how harsh the interwebs could get. It is a shame that secular society has given certain gender roles to each sex. And one that does not adhere to those roles are subjected to gender inequality, sexism and conventional stereotypical labeling. All of those misnomers I saw were repulsive and resulted from pure ignorance. I must say that this has been blown out of proportion. I kindly advise speculators to stop hindering this young athlete and pointing fingers at her for not fitting the norms of modern-day feminism.

    In regards to Brittney Griner, you are a victim of prejudice: prej·u·dice [préjjədiss] n (plural prej·u·dic·es)
    1. opinion formed beforehand: a preformed opinion, usually an unfavorable one, based on insufficient knowledge, irrational feelings, or inaccurate stereotypes

    I want to shed some limelight on some genetic/medical explanations and my own personal experience with being discriminated. I used to reside in the city that Brittney is from and I attended a minority middle school there. From time to time, I always felt misunderstood and as an outcast.

    My eighth grade year, I played football on my school’s team. Being the only girl on the team sparked up conversations. Most of them where discreet, but some immature students started to over-analyze things and make false accusations. Just because I was the only girl on the team, my sexuality was immediately being questioned. And that was not the end, I underwent this type of scrutiny all throughout my high school career also. Contrary to popular belief, there isn’t an exact science designed for feminism. It’s whatever society constructs it to be at the given time. I consider myself androgynous. I could balance out femininity and masculinity well. However, my preferences relate to my current mood. But it’s all about being comfortable and confident in my own skin.

    During my freshman year of high school, I started to notice shifts in my menstrual cycle. I wouldn’t see it regularly, nor was it persistent. Not sure what I had, I detected that my voice became deeper–which was worse because I already had a low, monotone voice. Then my weight started to increase drastically. Facial hair started to make its debut and excessive body hair seemed relentless. It wasn’t until the year after I went to a general practitioner and was diagnosed me with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). It’s a condition that causes infrequent or absent periods, and causes an array of symptoms (feel free to look it up if you want more information). Basically in a nutshell, a female produces both XXX and XXY hormones. Female sex hormones include estrogen and progesterone, as well as hormones called androgens. Androgens, often called “male hormones,” are also present in women, but in different amounts.Hormones help regulate the normal development of eggs in the ovaries during each menstrual cycle. Polycystic ovary syndrome is related to an imbalance in these female sex hormones. Too much androgen hormone is made, along with changes in other hormone levels. As a reaction, those diagnose may develop ‘male sex characteristics’ such as: decreased breast size, deepening of the voice, enlargement of the clitoris, increased body hair on the chest, abdomen, and face (a condition called hirsutism), thinning of the hair on the head, called male-pattern baldness. And because of this, I’m always being discouraged by peers based on my outward appearance.

    Like Didion indicated, she stands at 6 foot 8 and wears a size 17 (M) shoe. Please take that into consideration. Wouldn’t you think that alone would be difficult to grasp? When’s the last time you shopped at a retail store that had perfect fittings for a 6 foot 8 female and had a wide selection of size 17-18 sparkly heels? It just goes to show how inconsiderate people could be. And I blame all those who wants the world to be a spitting replica of super-models and stylized celebrities. Why can’t we just embrace the awesomeness Griner the Ball Grinder has?

    When we are conceived, we do not have that special ability or option to dictate how we will look or which traits we will inherit. It’s saddening when I do see as small as youths being dissatisfied with themselves due to whatever is reflected by a mirror. At times, their dissatisfaction based on their physical appearance may persuade them to build inner-hatred and it could shoot down their self-confidence/self-esteem. But I could reassure you that Brittney Griner is a representation of both her mother and father. The genetic material she possess is a gift and a blessing–not a curse!

    If people cannot accept her for her then it’s your loss and not Brittney’s. But you should not scrutinize people for desiring to feel comfortable in their own skin. I’m more than certain Brittney has better priorities to bring to fruition. Perhaps Ms. Griner ‘gave-in’ and reformed her entire disposition to fulfill the disorganized standards of a woman, wouldn’t you still find people who would express a pessimistic attitude towards her? The majority of you all would disagree and say ‘no’, but you’re in denial. There will always be those opinionative, judgmental, ignorant, biased, narrow-minded people. If all of the sudden Griner shifts and wears a cocktail dress with stilettos, makeup, jewels, and a hairdo to compliment her number, it could surely get negative reactions. And that’s why I believe it’s a lose-lose situation for Britt. People will never be satisfied in this world. So it helps to disregard and excuse the ignoramuses that roam on this Earth.

    In a comment, Muk stated “Nowadays, we have women who don’t want to be women. Who take on male roles and discard their own.” I must say that that is completely fallacious and that notion is entirely irrelevant. I am a supporter of the LGBT community. To be quite frank here, I could honestly say that your alleged comment could also be reversed. In this past generation, the number of gays have increased drastically. So the same, or even more could be said about gay males. Given that a higher percentage of gay males are feminine and/or try to alter their way of speaking, dressing, and etc. to fit that depiction. But why would you exert that type of blame towards Griner by making her a victim? Wow. The social order of this nation, please kindly cease and desist.

    The more I observe the general public, the more it becomes amusing to see how society strongly believes they could control another human beings’ life. As far as her sexuality, it’s her choice. She’s very appealing and intelligent. It’s amazing that she is able to go to a private university and juggle sports at the same time. I even like the fact that she’s adventurous and long boards. I wish we were all gender-neutral. In conclusion, stop being concerned with other people’s outward appearance and let the ball game do the talking.

    And to the commenter Muk who used the duck cliché:

    If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, the one who labels it a duck without proper evidence confirming it’s a duck, then becomes the duck.

    “You all laugh because I am different. I laugh because you are all the same.”–Some dank photo quote seen while tumbling

    B. Griner —“Undefeated state of mind”
    #42 BU Lady Bears
    Sic’em!

    **Kudos to Didion**

    • Christian Says:

      I realized a made a minor typo. Please excuse the ‘me’ after was diagnosed. I apologize.

    • Didion Says:

      why would you exert that type of blame towards Griner by making her a victim? Wow. The social order of this nation, please kindly cease and desist.

      The more I observe the general public, the more it becomes amusing to see how society strongly believes they could control another human beings’ life.

      Christian, this is just the best, most thoughtful comment I’ve had in ages. Thank you so much. You’re so right about how the social order seeks to squelch difference and control people by cramming them into pink and blue boxes — when the true diversity of the world is much more true and natural.

      I watched that tough, tight game last night, as Baylor defeated Stanford, and it occurred to me that in the context of all those other tall, magnificent basketball players Griner is just a little bit taller than the rest — amongst all those women, she doesn’t really look out of place. But one thing you’ll notice is that she’s fairly serious: she doesn’t smile a lot, and doesn’t ham it up for the camera. I admire her most of all for that. She’s just being herself, not trying to please, not trying to look “prettier” by smiling.

      Thank god we see people who are just themselves on TV. Because otherwise it’s a sea of pink and blue, a TV world pretending that if you’re different you must be a freak. And I’ll bet you that within 3 years we’ll be seeing a lot more peoples like yourself whose bodies naturally do things that mark them as different in a society so oriented to gender conventions. Thank you, Christian, for this great, thoughtful piece!


  18. [...] doing the same web searches they did when I wrote about Griner during her freshman year, and again during her sophomore year, all of which have to do with her sex/ gender/ [...]


  19. She’s my new obsession….I’m crushing hard on her. I admit, I’m not a huge sports fan, but I’d tune in to see her. Oh, and Hurr & Muk/Skullleaderz are probably the biggest idiots on here regarding gender & roles. What are they, cavemen? It’d be nice if people like them would evolve and educate themselves on gender more.

    • Didion Says:

      She’s amazing. (Does anyone know why she wasn’t on the US women’s Olympic basketball team? I was surprised by this, as I thought I’d heard she’d been chosen.)

      • JE Says:

        I read something about her turning down a spot for school and family obligations. Of course, the “real” reason, intuited instantly by the I’m-going-to-talk-out-of-my-ass-because-it’s-what-I-do-best types in the chattersphere, was that she was afraid of failing a gender test.

      • Didion Says:

        Ha! I love it. Enquiring minds want to know!

  20. Kenneth Says:

    I just wish people would leave her alone! Good Luck Ms.Griner in your career and in whatever you choose to do, youre awesome and such a beautiful person! We love and support you no matter what, a fan in Kentucky!

  21. Gerald Nichols Says:

    Don’t tell me she’s the greatest of all time!! At 6’8″,has she EVER had to shoot over a defender? How about her ball handling skills? She has few of the skills that 5’8″ Jackie Stiles posessed and she became the NCAA all time scoring leader. Missouri State did not face much of the highest competition,but when they did(Wash.,Syracuse,Duke,Purdue)she put on a show.


  22. [...] Those of you who’ve been following my Griner obsession know that one of the things I find most fascinating is the way she up-ends typical gender expectations. Like when she won the ESPN Female Athlete of the Year award and wore that awesome suit. Or when I wrote about the crazy list of search terms people used to find stories about her on this blog. [...]

  23. Late Night Snack Says:

    It’s about time we appreciate people for how great they are, not by how ‘strange’ or ‘freaky’ they are within the stereotypes of their gender. She’s not a freak , she is beautiful. And talented and yes, she happens to be a woman.Either way hot hot hot hot hot HOT.


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