Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Where are the fans??

So here's what I really want to know. Why did we have to come up with Title IX in the first place? And what I mean by that is, why haven't women's sports ever been enough on their own to earn equality and recognition?

Why do women's teams continue to struggle to fill their stadiums? I thought girls' participation in sports was higher than it's ever been, and growing exponentially! So why don't we see more of them in the bleachers, cheering obnoxiously for the home team?

Why don't the Sex and the City girls ditch their swanky clubs and dirty martinis for a $4 Coors Light and a foot long hot dog at the ballpark? Why does every professional women's team have to pander to youth leagues, senior citizens, and lesbians?

Where are all the straight women ages 20-50? Why do they simply disappear from the sports world entirely? Unless they're playing "team mom" for the night and dragging the carpool to a local college women's game, they are sorely missing from these events. And what makes it even worse is that their husbands are still rabid season ticket holders. The guys are still dawning their over-sized jerseys and foam hands and packing into the stadiums, even if they never touched a football in their life. They're still making small-talk about "last night's game" when they show up to work each morning.

We may be back to the age-old nature/nurture debate. Are guys simply more interested in sports because they are generally stronger, taller, and faster than girls? Maybe. But I know a LOT of guys who are about as coordinated as the mismatched socks they're wearing. Guys who don't play sports still watch 'em. So why isn't it the same with women?

I'll be looking into this as an ongoing research question for this blog. If you participated in sports but now you can't remember the last time you attended a professional women's game, tell me what you think happened. I want to know.

1 comment:

L. Wu said...

Here's a thought. Do folks in the States these days want to see women compete? Implicit in the discussion of sports is the discussion of competition, I would say, and I think women are generally not raised/incentivized to compete in the same way that men are in State-side society, for better or for worse...

That is, a patriarchy:

(for example http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/02/06/are-men-really-more-competitive-than-women/ )