I'm a female, and I'm a sportswriter. Why is that an issue?



In light of these recent articles I’ve read that reflect the often poor treatment of female journalists/sports personalities, I was inspired to share my own thoughts on the subject.

Before we delve into anything, I want to say that this is not meant to be a “wah-wah, life is hard”-type article. This is a general brain dump regarding a controversial issue that is, for the record, preposterously controversial: females in the sports industry.

How in the world is this still an issue?

I hate to break it to the misogynists out there who haven’t evolved from caveman times and who believe that a woman’s place is in the kitchen, that women exist only to serve men, but it’s not, and we don’t. We’re our own people, with our own thoughts and opinions and needs and wants, and guess what? Yours aren’t any better or more superior than ours.

Sports has always been a male-oriented industry. From the field to the front offices, from the sidelines to the broadcast booths, it’s a man’s world. There’s a precedent, and that’s fine. But every single day, women who love sports and want to have a career in the field are pushing to break that mold, to make it a sports world, with no gender assigned to it.

We women are not trying to threaten the men in the field or steal their jobs. We’re just trying to establish ourselves in our careers. What is so wrong with that?

When a male advances in the industry, he’s lauded and showered with praise. When a female does, it’s automatically assumed that it’s because of her looks or because she’s slept with someone important. That stigma is, pardon my French, fucking bullshit. Sure, a pretty face gets a person somewhere (just like handsome men who may not be experts will be put on the air before an expert who isn’t deemed handsome by society’s terms), but it doesn’t get them far.

It’s unbelievably unfair that smart women who work their asses off, who work just as hard as their male peers (if not harder), are constantly questioned and even attacked (via social media or what have you) just because they’re women. I know this happens in many, many industries and workplaces, not just in sports, but as a woman trying to advance in sports, I relate closest to that field. And it’s just disgusting.

I don’t know why some men are so against women being interested in sports, or why they’re so quick to assume that a female only likes a team because she thinks the players are attractive. Are they threatened? If that’s the case, isn’t it just a little pathetic that these men would rather listen to or read another man’s commentary on sports just because he’s a man and not necessarily because he’s more knowledgeable on the subject? (No, it’s a lot pathetic).

It’s 2014, people. Women are not outsiders in society. It might still be a man’s world, but we women are constantly making strides to make it an equal-opportunity world, because that’s exactly what it should be, whether certain people believe so or not.

Why should my gender dictate what I can and cannot do, or what I can and cannot achieve?

Here’s the answer: it shouldn’t.


One Comment Add yours

  1. Nina G. says:

    I enjoyed reading this.

    I agree with the stupid stigma. Television does prefer a pretty face, but that does not mean someone can’t be attractive and talented. These things aren’t mutually exclusive, but some act as if an attractive woman cannot have any redeeming qualities beyond being attractive.

    I think sports feed into the problem since most of the jobs for women are sexualized. Cheerleaders, ball girls, and ice girls come to mind. Also I do think there is a double standard when it comes to the looks of female journalists vs male on television in sports. That doesn’t help matters, but the idea that a woman couldn’t have been hired on any other qualities besides looks is ridiculous.

    I think some men view sports as solely a male domain. I once heard Anthony Gargano going on about how he would not want to date a women who was diehard sports fan. Instead, he would want a woman that gets her nails done and goes shopping. That was one of the few times I ever listened to WIP, but I’ve heard some other male sports fans make similar comments since then. It blew my mind. Enjoying stereotypical feminine activities like shopping also isn’t mutually exclusive from enjoying sports. It’s possible for a woman to enjoy sports, doing their nails, go shopping, and a wide array of activities. We don’t fit into some neat little stereotypical box.


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