AAC Basketball

Geno Auriemma is a Feminist

Prior to Geno Auriemma accepting the University of Connecticut job in 1985, the program had experienced one winning season. The rest, as they say, is history. With Auriemma in charge of the program, the Huskies have won 991 games. Those victories include 11 national championships and two impressive winning streaks. The first of those streaks was 70 games and the second was 111 games.

That 111-winning streak ended with a 66-64 Mississippi State overtime loss in the 2016-17 national championship game. You would think that Mississippi State would be the story, but it isn’t. The story is the comment that placed Auriemma in the societal crosshairs of intersectional feminism.

In a press conference leading up to the championship game, Auriemma commented about the low percentage of women who coach.

“There’s a reason why there’s not as many opportunities for women. Not as many women want to coach,”

That comment seemed innocent enough. He wasn’t saying that women couldn’t or shouldn’t coach. Auriemma was reacting to the low percentage of women in the profession and offered his opinion as to why that percentage may be as low as it is. And for this, he caught the ire of the intersectional feminist crowd.

Leading the mob against Auriemma in the name of intersectional feminism was Ally Auriemma. That’s right. The lead pitchfork and torchbearer is Auriemma’s daughter.

You see? Ally doesn’t consider her father to be anti-woman; being a family member has some privileges I guess. But Ally did play her “white cisgendered man” card against her father. Yes, Ally. We’re all head-desking hard. But it’s not in support of you and the mob that you’re attempting to stir up against your father.

And then Ally went one step further in her attempt to douse her self-created intersectional fire with even more gasoline. She implied that her father was on par with Donald Trump.

Ally is a grand cliché in all of this. If her self-serving indictment of her father weren’t enough, she went a step or 2 or 3 or 4 or 100 further. She attempted to score cheap political points with her “woe is me” “my father is a Trumpian buffoon” slant.

The real issue that intersectional feminism has with Auriemma was articulated by Washington Post columnist Sally Jenkins. When Auriemma said that “It’s quite simple. Not as many women want to coach,” he cut to the heart of the SJW issue. Auriemma suggested that the lack of women coaching women’s basketball is, at least, in part due to personal choice. In Jenkins words, “there are so many riling things in that statement that it’s hard to know which one you want to swing your purse at first.” In the opinion of Jenkins, Auriemma is just another male who is blinded by the security of his gender and success.

Jenkins then twisted herself into a logic pretzel when she stated that Auriemma was right in saying that “it’s not like people are consciously depriving women of opportunities.” Thanks for playing, Jenkins. You and Ally should have started and stopped with that.

There are instances where women don’t get ahead professionally due to gender bias. And there are also a seemingly unlimited number of law firms who specialize in handling those cases. But Auriemma was correct in highlighting the role of personal choice. If a person isn’t where they want to be in life, it’s ultimately up to them to create the opportunities that they desire. There should be no expectation that something will be handed to you based on gender. That applies to both males and females.

In leading the intersectional feminist cause in college basketball coaching, Ally and Jenkins have no use for personal choice. It doesn’t matter to them what a potential female coaching candidate wants out of her own life, that potential candidate should be coaching. And if that would-be candidate chooses to be something other than a coach? Ally and Jenkins would have us believe that it’s the fault of an anti-woman, cisgendered male system.

The question then becomes this – Who’s the real feminist in all of this? Is it Ally and Jenkins? Or, wait for it…is it Auriemma?

In supporting the woman’s right to choose which profession best fits her individual goals and life outlook, I would say the real feminist is Auriemma.

E-mail Seth at seth [dot] merenbloom [at] campuspressbox [dot] com or follow him on Twitter @SethMerenbloom.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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Seth is the Managing Editor of Campus Pressbox.