Commentary

Women are sports enthusiasts (and experts) too

  • by , June 20, 2008

Do you think ESPN considers me in their target demographic? Doubtful.

I live in a house of women who throw football parties, fight over Sox vs. Cubs, Colts vs. Bears, and spent most of our 22 years traveling to games...that we actually played in. This should come as no surprise considering the number of women participating in sports over the last few decades has vastly increased.

Nonetheless, this still doesn't mean that women are considered sports enthusiasts. As my friends and I toss this insulting idea around, we demand a change. But then we stop and ask - what would that even look like? Graciously, the only male in the room suggested more Revlon and Covergirl commercials on ESPN. Not to worry, he was prepared for the beating that ensued.

There have been some steps taken - female sportscasters. But the place you usually see them in the world of sports programs is on the sideline. Now, I don’t know about you but in sports, on the sidelines is never somewhere I wanted to be.

advertisement

advertisement

Inevitably, when a woman is seen on the sport's scene people question her credibility. Then, we justify this question by saying something along the lines of 'if she was a former player, then she can have her place as a sports caster.' Well, when you think of America's most prized sports what comes to mind? Football and baseball.

Last time I checked women did not suit up in those sports on a level that is televised. So it creates convenient cyclical reasoning to keep women on the sidelines without sounding sexist.

Perhaps it comes down to the pervasive belief among both men and women that if you don’t walk the walk, we don’t want to hear you talk about it. We’re not really keen on having people tell us about war if they’ve not been in the trenches, if you catch my drift.

So what is being done about this? Who's going to look into how women consume sports and then cater to their needs? Start asking some questions and you’ll get some answers.

We have no concept of what a women’s sport show or station would look like. If we're looking towards the past to see how it's been done, we only have male stations to reference. And catering to women doesn’t mean that I just want women sports casters on a cute set, as another friend suggested.

But he did make another good point – women, if we demand more women’s sports and more women’s sports casters on our TVs, we better support them. But is it wrong to support them simply because they’re women? We do have standards.

Well, this is tricky… But I’ll leave you with one final question – where’s the rugby?!

Next story loading loading..