Thursday, February 05, 2009

How do we celebrate?

Yesterday was National Girls and Women in Sport Day and I had not planned to address it mostly because all the stories about the day focused on local events. I am glad that such events were so widespread and many involved university/college outreach to their local communities.

But I must be feeling a bit testy, a tad radical or just a little like an advocate with horns, tail, and a pitchfork. Because I saw this list on the website of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance and wasn't quite sure I could get on board with all ten suggestions for how to celebrate. Some of them are great--yes, please buy sports equipment for girls. I love seeing tiny baseball gloves in homes of small girls--even though I cringe when they are pink--at least they are there.
I wasn't quite so sure about the watch a women's sporting event on television and then call the station to thank them for carrying the event. It just seemed a little...well...desperate--and girly. Oh thank you, thank you--how can we ever repay you for giving us what you should be doing anyway!! I understand the point behind it--we need to let media outlets know that we are paying attention to women's sports. But it seems kind of ridiculous that we have to call up the television station.

And, sure, buy merchandise of your favorite women's teams. But note that sometimes it's hard to find stuff--at the intercollegiate level anyway--that specifically says "women's" on it. And there's usually only one option. So let whoever carries this merchandise know you want more of it. And second, make sure the merchandise isn't from a sweatshop. Don't support women's sports at the expense of other women.

Those are my only specifics. Everything else makes sense. It just all sounded a little too goody-goody. It sounded a little apologetic and passive. We still have to be nice to the merchandisers, and the television stations, and the newspapers, and the sponsors so they throw us a bone in the form of the occasional airing of a basketball game featuring two well-known teams; or give us a sweatshirt; or maybe three inches in the middle of the sports section. It's all so frustrating.
Okay, that's it. I'll be less testy tomorrow--maybe.

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