CSUN | On Point: Women in Sports – Inclusion or Intrusion
More women are participating in sports today, from youth to pro athletics, but you wouldn’t exactly know that by watching television. A USC study shows that in 1989, five percent of television news media covered female athletics, but in 2014 the percentage had decreased to three percent, and the representation of women in sports media lacks substance as well.
“The number of girls or women [who are] participating in sports in the United States is some 40 percent,” said CSUN Professor of Kinesiology Chris Bolsmann, “so if we’ve got only four percent coverage, for me it suggests what is taking place is just a replication of inequality within society. Sport is an interesting vehicle or lense to look at society. If we look at the patriarchal nature of our society, and more recently the misogynistic nature of our society, that is a reflection of that more generally.”
Title IX is the federal law within the Education Act of 1972 that gave way for equal opportunity, protection from discrimination based on sex, and protection of benefits based on sex. Since its passage, the United States has seen a rapid increase in women’s participation in sports. That increase in women’s participation in sports, from the youth level to pro, hasn’t led to an increase in women’s sports coverage, but it has been extremely beneficial for giving opportunities to women within athletics within the last 40 years.
“Sometimes change requires law, and sometimes change requires some enforcement,” said CSUN’s Associate Athletics Director of Marketing Dawn Ellerbe,” because even now, in 2016, every university, high school, and junior high hasn’t embraced the equal play for women. Without [Title IX], I don’t think we would have seen the rise in women’s sports.”
The future of women’s sports might very well be the inclusion and integration of the best women within athletics competing with and against men. From real life representations like Little League World Series sensation Mo’ne Davis, to dramatized versions for Hollywood like Fox’s Pitch, maybe more and more women within predominantly male sports will become more accepted.
“The question we should possibly be asking is, ‘Why do we have gendered sports in the first place?’” Bolsmann asked. “Should we not be talking about having not-gendered sports, so if somebody is good enough, without respect to if they are male or female, they can play on a team? If we have a level playing field of some sorts and open it up to competition on the basis of being a human, rather than being a man or a women, we could move into some interesting spaces and interesting discussions more generally.”
Moderator: Alicia Dieguez
See the original post for this show [here].
CSUN On Point is the California State University, Northridge Journalism Department’s 30-minute news and public affairs show. Advanced level journalism students in the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media and Communication produce the show with the assistance of faculty advisors Sally Turner, executive producer, and Lincoln Harrison, director. The show covers newsworthy topics including current affairs and in-depth issues.
On Point students are divided into three teams, each responsible for researching, writing and producing four shows over the course of the semester. This includes pitching a story, writing the content, constructing interview questions, booking the guests, working together to produce and tape the show and editing. In addition, other students are responsible for the upkeep of the On Point website as well as managing all aspects of publicity and social media. The high skills and unique talents of On Point advanced journalism students are reflected in the professionalism and production value of the segment.
The mission of the Department of Journalism at California State University, Northridge is to prepare its students to become well-educated principled citizens who are capable of initiating careers as skilled journalists, public relations practitioners and other related communication professionals. Its goal is to stress a balance between the theoretical and practical elements of journalism and mass communication while helping to attain a solid foundation in liberal arts. This type of forward-thinking teaching allows for students to get the education they need to succeed as communicators in today’s complex and changing world.(c)2016 SCVTV | CSUN On Point