Female Athletes: An Unspoken Sisterhood

BlogHer Original Post
Track: 
passions

Overview:

Do you like sports? Did you ever play a sport? Does your daughter play? Chances are, most Blogher attendees will answer yes, and that's exactly why you need to attend this session.

The Female Athlete Sisterhood panel discusses the cultural image of the female athlete as shaped by the media. This panel focuses specifically upon current issues facing female athletes, and discusses how social media brings forth a new sense of community/sisterhood that is unearthing an empowered attention toward women who like or play sports.

Details (in case you need more convincing):

Since the 1970s, female participation in athletics has risen 940% and participation in collegiate athletics has risen 456%. The number of women and girls who play sports in the United States is at an all-time high. Nearly all (94%) girls 6-17 years of age play sports, and 22.6 million of the existing 24 million girls have played a sport in the past year. Because of this growth, there are additional venues for female athletes to perform, including the Olympics, WNBA and Women's Professional Soccer, as well as new brands that support their strength and image.

Even though participation in women’s sports has increased dramatically since the 1970s, media coverage of women’s athletics has not increased at the same rate. When's the last time you picked up the sports section of a newspaper and saw a picture of a woman? Sports magazines and television coverage is dominated by male sports. Several women’s magazines discuss female athletes, but often the focus of the magazines is on health, exercise and lifestyle choices.

The lack of female athletes being represented in mass media is extremely important, as the cultural image of female athletes is being absorbed by the 94% of girls who choose to play. There's hope; the digital landscape is changing the way conversations are communicated about female athletes. A new female athlete sisterhood is starting to form, and by utilizing social media, we're breaking down the barriers that previously existed. Female athletes and their supporters now have a voice. Will anyone listen?

 

Possible Speakers
Megan Hueter, Cofounder, WomenTalkSports.com 
Sarah Braesch, Draft Day Suit, Sarah and the Goon Squad
Amanda Vandervort, Soccer Science, Women's Professional Soccer
WNBA athlete, New York Liberty (TBD) 
USA Olympic Female Athlete (TBD)