Jill Biden has caused controversy with her invitation to both the Division I national champion LSU and the women’s tournament runner-up Iowa to meet at the White House. With it being news to many that women athletes can talk trash and handle adversity just as much as men, Joe Biden’s wife felt she needed to extend an extra offer that some have deemed unnecessary, as it undermines the Tigers’ hard earned success. Angel Reese, one of LSU’s guard, voiced her opinion via Twitter that the gracious offer is not really necessary, with many others echoing the sentiment.
Women athletes do not need their feelings spared, and do not have to have their accomplishments diminished by a participation trophy-like feeling of needing to extend a White House visit to the runner-up. Women have learned to work and strive with the same intensity of men, and can handle disappointment, as Iowa player Caitlin Clark would rather be in the gym working to make future changes than pretending a make-up call. Women don’t need to be propped up emotionally, as they have been able to survive and thrive in their own form!
The First Lady’s good intentions were insulting to LSU, who earned their title sweetly, and Iowa, by implying that their participation in the Women’s Tournament needs to be lifted up. Women don’t need pity parties, nor do they need special snowflake treatment. They deserve to be treated the same as men, with expectations not being any different or lower. Women want parity in their sport, not special treatment.
USA Today Sports Columnist Nancy Armour tweeted in response to Jill Biden, urging everyone to recognize that women don’t need any paternalistic treatment and have been overcoming slights and insults since they stopped accepting participation trophies. White House visits have always been a recognition to the National Champions, and women’s runners-up have managed to go on living their lives without it, and Iowa will too.
Finally, it is important to note the White House’s staff that dropped the ball in not warning Biden of her unfortunate decision. The split national champion award comes off as patronizing and disrespectful of both teams and also does not recognize how hard the teams worked for their wins or losses. Women still deserve to be treated as equals in not only sports, but also in everyday life.