By Laura Pappano
Part of our job at FairGameNews is to point out inequities. Some (deaf to yammering from the other side) find posts too bold a punch. That’s fine. Debate is good.
There is, however, plenty to get lathered up about (media coverage, urban girls’ access to sports, salaries, scheduling of games/sport seasons, ticket price differences between men and women’s college sports, institutional support, broadcast schedules, etc…)
But it’s also important to recognize that we have a responsibility. It’s not enough to rage against the machine. Here are six things you can do this year:
- Attend girl’s sporting events – and bring friends. Help build a culture in which girl’s teams receive the same attendance and support as boy’s teams.
- Buy tickets to women’s professional sports like WPS (and tune into the draft next Fri. online!) and WNBA. Again, vote with your purse and your feet. Be a consumer of women’s sports.
- Tune in to watch women’s sporting events on TV. Build ratings for women’s games – and interest to move them into prime time.
- Be informed. Read and talk about sports. Women are a growing and increasingly significant share of the sports market – both for sports and sports-related consumer goods (hence espnW). Help build that power.
- Get out and play. Participating matters, not just for your own fitness, but also for the example it sets for others (including kids!).
- If you need to buy a baby gift this year, a birthday gift for a child, donate toys, or otherwise make a choice for a child, challenge yourself to defy gender stereotypes. (My solution in an Xmas toy drive: pink sports equipment. While I’m not a fan of the pink movement, it did guarantee that the softball gloves and soccer balls I bought would end up in a girl’s hands. That equipment offered an alternative to the huge bin of Barbies, a donation staple).