I’m not much of a sports fan, but I can certainly appreciate the strength, time and sweat that goes into the training of a top athlete. Also, it’s hard to miss that in the hubbub around March Madness, women’s college basketball, despite its long history of stunning athleticism, is yet again being largely ignored in the media–or, at the very least, not receiving anywhere near the representation that men’s basketball does.
While the passing of Title IX in 1972 did much to encourage and support girls and women who wanted to take part in sports, there are still many prejudices with which women have to contend if they’re interested in sports–from automatic assumptions of weakness or inability to assertions like, “Oh, you’re pretty good for a girl.” These stereotypes, combined with the fact that women’s sports are still often thought of as less interesting/important/worthy/difficult than men’s sports mean that young girls need reassurance that being good at sports has absolutely nothing to do with sex or gender. See the UN’s 2007 report, “Women, gender equality and sport” for more on the benefits and stumbling blocks for women athletes.
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