Lauren Silberman: The End Of Womyn's 'History'

by Eleanor Lane
File under: Fake Females03 Mar 2013 22:30 EST

Today, ABC News treated us to the breathless announcement of  'the latest groundbreaking moment for women in sports, history in the making'. The NFL finally repented of its official policy banning female players. 

Being the unreformed chauvinistic league it is, with agents who go around interrogating the sexuality of recruits, one wonders if this was the NFL's covert bid to co-opt the all-femaleLegends Football League, and move kinky action between the tackles to the mainstream.  

This is probably news to 99.999% of actual women in America, but one young woman by the name of Lauren Silberman took up the league on its offer, and secured a tryout.  

A few things about Ms. Silberman that really should astound:

  • She claims making the NFL would be a lifelong dream come true, despite having never actually played in a game of football.  You might ask: isn't this just a product of the lack of real opportunities for women to break through the glass locker room and don jock straps with the guys?  Well, women have actually gotten experience playing football at a somewhat high level in this country, including one who kicked for a Division I-A college team: Katie Hnida. Yet she wasn't the one trying out...
  • She went to MIT, and apparently has put that engineering prowess toward studies of sports video games, which she believes will transfer into real life success through the magic osmosis of the real and the digital. Considering that she actually got a tryout, she may actually be right about that in FakeNation...
  • These studies were allegedly done through a consulting firm she founded studying video games and links to sporting performance. The firm's site offers little in the way of what she has found in this respect, but links to her press articles and a contact form for the media to get in touch with her...

So call us old fashioned and sexist, but one could make a circumstantial case that this is really a big publicity hoax (and we've seen these things do happen in big time football),exploiting the media's reflexive need to find 'history' in every token event. But watch the video and hear ABC's triumphant celebrations yourself:



So how did the tryout go? How was the real life experience of all that she had already achieved playing Madden? Alas, the world is a mere shade of a richer digital reality. Sixty yard field goals actually require highly trained leg strength in this cruel universe we inhabit. Even USA Todayhad to admit the farce:

Lauren Silberman's bid to make the NFL consisted of two kickoffs totaling 30 yards, an aggravation of a quadriceps injury she said she initially suffered in training last week and a whole lot of wondering whether the entire thing was a promotional sham.

Silberman, 28, a former MIT student who promoted her business in interviews with USA TODAY Sports and the NFL Network last week, didn't exactly stand up to the 37 male kickers during her brief tryout at the New York/New Jersey regional scouting combine Sunday.

Silberman did not take practice kicks. She merely jogged toward a tee and made a faint kicking motion.



Marie Curie probed the nature of radioactivity, pioneered its technological applications, and eventually died from then unknown effects of radiation exposure. Emma Goldman was arrested for promoting birth control and deported from the United States for giving a speech opposing WWI. Ayn Rand wrote several best-selling philosophical novels in English, her second language, and took political stands more coherent and courageous than any of her modern Tea Party counterparts who claim her mantle. Yet these women are only referred to only cursorily in the media, as a kind of obligatory women's history, if at all. They would all be rightfully disgusted at our current nth wave feminism even deigning to care about Lauren Silberman.

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