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Melissa Ludtke in Person

Join us on Thursday, October 10 at 7 PM as Melissa Ludtke presents her new book, Locker Room Talk: A Woman’s Struggle to Get Inside. She will be joined in conversation by Madeleine Blais

Please register by clicking here

About the Book

While sportswriters rushed into Major League Baseball locker rooms to talk with players, MLB Commissioner Bowie Kuhn barred the lone woman from entering along with them. That reporter, 26-year-old Sports Illustrated reporter Melissa Ludtke, charged Kuhn with gender discrimination, and after the lawyers argued Ludtke v. Kuhn in federal court, she won. Her 1978 groundbreaking case affirmed her equal rights, and the judge’s order opened the doors for several generations of women to be hired in sports media.
Locker Room Talk is Ludtke’s gripping account of being at the core of this globally covered case that churned up ugly prejudices about the place of women in sports. Kuhn claimed that allowing women into locker rooms would violate his players’ “sexual privacy.” Late-night television comedy sketches mocked her as newspaper cartoonists portrayed her as a sexy, buxom looker who wanted to ogle the naked athletes’ bodies.  She weaves these public perspectives throughout her vivid depiction of the court drama overseen by Judge Constance Baker Motley, the first Black woman to serve on the federal bench. She recounts how her lawyer, F.A.O. “Fritz” Schwarz employed an ingenious legal strategy that persuaded Judge Motley to invoke the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause in giving Ludtke access identical to her male counterparts. Locker Room Talk is both an inspiring story of one woman’s determination to do a job dominated by men and an illuminating portrait of a defining moment for women’s rights.                                       

About the Author

MELISSA LUDTKE was a reporter for Sports Illustrated, a correspondent for Time, and editor of Nieman Reports at Harvard University. Her books include On Our Own: Unmarried Motherhood in America and Touching Home in Chinain search of missing girlhoods. She received the Yankee Quill Award and Mary Garber Pioneer Award and was a Nieman Fellow and a Prudential Fellow at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. 

About Madeleine Blais

MADELEINE BLAIS was a reporter for the Miami Herald for years and won a Pulitzer Prize before joining the faculty of the School of Journalism at the University of Massachusetts. She is the author of Queen of the Court: The Many Lives of Tennis Legend Alice Marble, To the New Owners, In These Girls, Hope is a Muscle, Uphill Walkers, and The Heart is an Instrument, a collection of her journalism. She lives in Amherst, Massachusetts. 


This event is free and open to the public, but we ask that you RSVP at Eventbrite by clicking here.

Event date: 
Thursday, October 10, 2024 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
9 College St
South Hadley, MA 01075
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Locker Room Talk: A Woman’s Struggle to Get Inside By Melissa Ludtke Cover Image
ISBN: 9781978837782
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Rutgers University Press - August 16th, 2024

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