100 Women We Love: Mary Jo Kane, Ph. D.

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"Just do it" describes Mary Jo Kane's career. Thanks to her passion for studying girls and women in sports, Dr. Kane was named one of the "100 Most Influential Sports Educators" by the Institute for International Sport, has appeared on the Today show, and had her research cited by The New York Times, USA Today and the Washington Post. She is also the Director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport at the University of Minnesota, the first research organization devoted solely to the study of females in athletics. Kane remembers a time before Title IX: "I grew up in '50s and '60s. Organized, competitive sports were not available to me," said the former tomboy. "I played sports with my two brothers and the neighborhood guys." Times have changed. Beyond her work in the Tucker Center, Kane is an internationally recognized authority on Title IX, the positive impact of sports on women's lives, and representations of female athletes in the media, including lesbians. "The so-called problem in women’s sports is not the presence of lesbians,” said Kane. "It’s the presence of homophobia and discrimination." Kane for the win! –DN