University of Minnesota Crookston freshman and women's basketball player, Janie Tormanen, seeks to knock down barriers and take risks as a female athlete and her perseverance is something to admire. Tormanen is from Menahga, Minnesota and has been playing basketball since kindergarten. She's faced unique challenges throughout her career and heard things like, “Men's basketball is so much more entertaining than women’s basketball” and “Female athletes aren’t as good as male athletes.” This has motivated her to strive for a fairer society.
Tormanen is a firm believer in equality amongst men and women, and she will always stand up for what she believes in. At all times, Tormanen will call out men for making any misogynistic comments towards or about women.
Tormanen grew up with eight siblings, six of those being sisters. Through her family, she learned how to stick up for herself and her independence. She was taught to never rely on any man, only herself.
“As a college athlete, I have dealt with too much inequality,” she says, “I won’t stand for it.”
Tormanen, whose position is forward-center on the team, has been told multiple times that women’s basketball is ‘boring’ compared to men’s basketball. It wasn’t until 1975 when UMN Crookston women’s basketball team had their first season, and since then, it has flourished.
Tormanen explains how she believes the skewed perception of women’s basketball has to do with societal expectations.
“When men are extra competitive and aggressive during games, it’s considered a good player tactic,” Tormanen explains. “But when women show competitiveness and aggressiveness, it’s considered brash and unprincipled.”
Tormanen loves the sport of basketball, and she loves playing as a Golden Eagle. She is very thankful for the opportunities basketball has presented her, and some of her greatest memories were formed through basketball.
One of Tormanen’s many passions aside from basketball includes fashion. Tormanen views fashion and style as an art, and she enjoys putting together outfits that express her personality. However, because of this, she feels that she isn’t taken as seriously as an athlete.
“As a woman, I feel obligated to put so much more time and effort into basketball in order to be comparable to my male counterparts,” Tormanen revealed. “There is such a pressure placed on female athletes.”
Tormanen is majoring in communication at UMN Crookston as well as minoring in writing. She has a deep passion for writing, specifically poetry. She tends to write about herself and her struggles. Tormanen has submitted many of her poems to several different publication sites, and recently recited a few poems at the Research Expertise Creative Works Showcase that was held on campus March 2. Tormanen posts her poems on her poetry Instagram page, (@poetrybyjanie), and she hopes to one day publish a compilation of her works in a book of sorts.
“If pressure makes diamonds
I am fine being a rock.
…I am strong enough”