In this episode of our Womxn in Athletics series, we check in with Shannon Miller in April, 2019, about a year after our previous conversation with her. Once again we covered a lot of rich feminist ground, from gender equality to current threats to Title IX and the stigma attached to female anger.
Miller also gave us an update on her court case against the University of Minnesota, Duluth; at the time of our conversation, a judge had increased the amount granted to her by a federal jury by an additional $460,000, bringing her total award to around $4.2 million. She and her fellow litigants, former UMD softball coach Jen Banford and former UMD women’s basketball coach Annette Wiles, had just had their claims rejected by a Minnesota District Court judge who said the statute of limitations had expired. At the time we recorded this podcast ,they were planning to appeal.
Since our conversation with Miller, a U.S. District Court Judge cut $2.25 million from her federal court award, while also granting her request for legal fees totaling nearly $2.5 million. Miller has until September 30, 2019 to decide whether to accept the reduced award or ask for a new trial to determine damages. Meanwhile, earlier in September Miller, Banford, and Wiles lost their appeal in state court.
Shannon’s Hockey Talk Podcast on WiSP
Shannon’s Hockey Talk Podcast on WiSP
Feminists Ruin Everything is hosted by Anna Tennis and Andrea Crouse and produced by Christine Dean.
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In our previous episode in our Womxn in Athletics series, we heard from Dr. Nicole LaVoi, Director of the University of Minnesota’s Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport about the challenges female coaches face. She shared the mind-boggling statistic that, while the passage of Title IX in 1972 led to an explosion in opportunities for female athletes, the percentage of women coaching women’s teams went from 90% back then to only around 42% today, and that statistic has remained stagnant for the past decade. If you haven’t listened to that episode yet, we highly recommend it as a warm-up to this next installment featuring renowned hockey coach Shannon Miller.
Miller’s long list of accomplishments include being the first female head coach for Team Canada and Canada’s first-ever female Olympic Head Coach; her team took silver in the 1998 Winter Olympic Games. She served as head coach for the University of Minnesota, Duluth’s women’s hockey team for 15 years, winning five NCAA championships. After the 2014-15 season, UMD chose not to renew Miller’s contract, citing budget concerns. Miller, along with former UMD softball coach Jen Banford and former women’s basketball coach Annette Wiles, filed a federal lawsuit against the university, alleging discrimination and Title IX violations. In March of 2018 Miller won that case and was awarded $3.74 million in damages. We spoke with her shortly after that verdict for this episode; in our next installment, we follow up a year later, getting an update on her legal battle, which is far from over.
In this first conversation, Miller talks about the challenges she’s faced being a trailblazing female coach who has always been openly gay, and what motivates her to keep fighting for progress for women in athletics.
After getting an athlete’s perspective in our last episode of Feminists Ruin Everything, we continue our series on Womxn in Athletics with a conversation with a researcher who studies the subject. Dr. Nicole M. Lavoi has been an athlete and a coach and is now the Director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport at the University of Minnesota. She shared some surprising statistics with us about how, although women’s participation in sports has exploded since Title IX was enacted, the number of female coaches has drastically declined. We talked about why that might be and what’s being done to change the situation.
Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport
The 2018 Tucker Center Research Report, Developing Physically Active Girls
Women’s Sports Foundation
Feminists Ruin Everything is hosted by Anna Tennis and Andrea Crouse and produced by Christine Dean.Donate to support this podcast
Elite runner Kara Goucher joins us for the first in our series of
interviews with women in athletics.
In our continuing quest to ruin everything, we turned our attention to the music industry, inviting a trio of female-identifying musicians with very different backgrounds to weigh in on their experiences. Each in her own way is breaking the mold of what's expected of women in music. We'll hear from Lyz Jaakola, founder of the Oshkii Giizhik Singers, electronic musician Shaunna Heckman, who's about to launch a local chapter of a program called Beats by Girlz, and Moriah Skye, lead guitarist for Paper Parlor, who also fronts her own new group MRS.
In 1988 Jenson v. Eveleth Taconite Co., the case that would become the very first class action sexual harassment lawsuit, was filed in our home state of Minnesota by a female worker at the EVTAC mine. (The story was later dramatized in the movie North Country.)We wanted to find out what it's like to be a woman in the trades 30 years later: What's changed? What hasn't? Listen in as firefighter Lindzi Campbell-Rorvick, iron worker Beth "Glo" Beattie, and welder Aleasha Hladilek swap stories about being on the front lines of feminism, working in traditionally male environments.
Feminists and their writings referenced in the podcast:
Audre Lorde- "Uses of the Erotic" and "The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action"
Adrienne Rich-"Women and Honor"
Mary Daly-Websters' First New Intergalactic Wickedary of the English Language
Medieval women mystics referenced:
Teresa of Ávila
Julian of Norwich
Catherine of Siena
Hildegarde von Bingen
Hey, it's our second podcast, and we have a name now! Welcome to Feminists Ruin Everything. We thought we'd ease into ruining things by laying some groundwork with local feminist scholars Beth Bartlett and Denise Starkey. What is feminism? Do you have to hate men to be a feminist? Patriarchy is just the way things have always been, right? In this episode, we ruin some of those misconceptions and dive deep into conversation about the waves and troughs of feminism, why it's still necessary, and what needs to happen to change the status quo. This is part one of a two-part conversation.
One year ago, a group of Duluth women, mostly strangers, gathered in the basement of the Red Herring Lounge to process their grief, anger, and fear following the 2016 presidential election which saw businessman and reality show star Donald Trump defeat Hilary Clinton, former First Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State and America's first-ever female presidential candidate. From that initial meeting came the Feminist Action Collective (FAC), a group focused on transforming those feelings into action in support of women. On this anniversary, we are launching a podcast to keep the conversation about feminist issues going. Episode one looks back at FAC's beginnings and what the group has accomplished in one short year.