Michael Messner is a professor of sociology and gender studies at the University of Southern California (USC) and is the author of numerous books including Power at Play: Sports and the Problem of Masculinity. He is the co-author, along with Prof. Cheryl Cooky, of a new report called, Gender in Televised Sports: News and Highlight Shows, 1989-2009. Here we discuss this fascinating study. DZ: Let’s talk about your study on gender and televised sports. What did you and Professor Cooky uncover in your research? MM: We looked at the three local networks affiliates here in Los Angeles and also the ESPN Sportscenter at 11 o’clock in the evening. The first time we did this study was 1989 and we have done it every five years since then. The first couple times we did it, 1989 and 1993 coverage of women sports on the evening news shows was about 5%. I know a lot of people back then said that the number would continue to go up as time went by and the media caught up with this … [Read more...] about The Dramatic Drop in Women’s Sports Coverage: An Interview with Mike Messner
The radio shock jock Don Imus has joined a special corner of media hell. It’s a corner occupied by Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh and all the other personalities who thought that one more twig of bigotry wouldn’t break the camel’s back. That’s what happens when you think it’s good fun to call Rutgers’ women basketball players “nappy-headed ho’s.” It’s hard to imagine Imus was helped by a show of support from his good friend John McCain. Now that the McCainiac is done visiting Iraqi street markets with his army of Spartan snipers, telling everyone how safe it is, he has brought his delusions to Imus’s defense, saying, “He has apologized. He said that he is deeply sorry. I’m a great believer in redemption…. I have made many mistakes in my life…and I have apologized, and most people have accepted that apology.” The rest of the Imus regulars, from John Kerry to Tim Russert, have done their best … [Read more...] about Don Imus and the State of Women’s Sports
As I was gurgling joyously after following a thrilling World Cup final, with the USA winning 5-2 over Japan on the strength of “Big Game” Carli Lloyd’s hat trick, my e-mail dinged. I was asked to be on a radio show tomorrow to discuss whether people really, actually care about women’s sports. I typed back a rather rude “no,” because, frankly, I’m done with the media-debate spectacle of “defending” women’s sports. It’s exhausting, like debating with some ham-faced think-tank goon about whether global warming is real or having to argue whether that name of the Washington football team is honestly and truly racist. It’s like any verbal dispute where fact and opinion are used interchangeably by troglodytic axe grinders who seem to get an erectile boost from the frustrated outrage of others. Every damn Women’s World Cup, every NCAA women’s finals, every Olympics, women’s sports again go on a media … [Read more...] about Why I’m Done Defending Women’s Sports
“It is a lady’s business to look beautiful and there are hardly any sports in which she seems able to do it.” –Sportswriter Paul Gallico, 1936 “Well, the vast majority of WNBA players lack crossover sex appeal…. The baggy uniforms don’t help.” –Bill Simmons, HBO sports personality, circa 2006 “Women’s sports in general not worth watching.” –Sports Illustrated contributor Andy Benoit on Twitter, 2015 In March 2015, former NCAA ice hockey player Dani Rylan announced the formation of the National Women’s Hockey League, the first paying professional women’s hockey league in North America. For players like Kaleigh Fratkin, a defenseman from British Columbia, it was a life-changing opportunity to continue playing, for a salary, after college. But both as a college player at Boston University and once Fratkin arrived as a pro in Connecticut—one of the league’s four franchise areas, along … [Read more...] about Why Don’t People Watch Women’s Sports?
Once upon a time, when a working woman became pregnant, she’d typically be expected to leave her job and retreat into full-time domestic duties. These days, white-collar career women sport proud baby bumps under power suits, and across the workforce, women now regularly serve as the main breadwinners, and must work before, during, and after pregnancy. Yet many workplaces are still stuck in a Victorian mindset about what pregnant women can and can’t do on the job. Now a new law in Illinois is set to modernize the way bosses deal with pregnant employees. The so-called Pregnancy Fairness law, which Governor Pat Quinn signed into law yesterday, establishes distinct civil rights protections for pregnant workers who require a modest adjustment to their duties to do their jobs. The employer still has the right to refuse but only if it could prove that the accommodation “would impose an undue hardship” on the business. Most working women will keep working during their … [Read more...] about Pregnant Women Just Earned More Workplace Rights in Illinois
WHITE BEACH NAVAL FACILITY, Japan (AP) — Two women from Hawaii who were adrift on a storm-battered sailboat in the Pacific for months set foot on solid ground Monday at a U.S. Navy base in southern Japan. The USS Ashland rescued Jennifer Appel and Tasha Fuiava and their two dogs about 1,450 kilometers (900 miles) southeast of Japan, and brought them to America's White Beach Naval Facility after waiting for a typhoon to pass. The two women, sporting USS Ashland knit shirts, were standing with the commanding officer and others high on the bridgeway as the ship docked. They later spoke to reporters on the flight deck before clearing customs and walking down metal stairs to the dock. They had left Honolulu on May 3 aboard Appel's 15-meter (50-foot) vessel, the Sea Nymph, for what was supposed to be an 18-day trip to Tahiti. Storms flooded the engine, destroying the starter, and damaged the mast so badly that they couldn't generate enough wind power to stay on course, they said. … [Read more...] about US Navy ship with 2 women rescued at sea reaches Japan
When EA Sports launches FIFA 16 later this month, gamers for the first time in the franchise’s 23-year history will be able to play as real-life women soccer stars. Until now, female gamers who were soccer fans were relegated to avatars like Lionel Messi or Christiano Ronaldo. With that change, soccer joins a handful of other sports, including hockey and UFC, that have been slowly introducing female professional athletes into the player mix in recent years. But video games still have a long way to go before they accurately capture the role that women now play in professional sports, not to mention their rapidly rising participation in gaming—women now account for almost half of gamers (across all genres of games). Some popular women’s sports don’t even exist in the video-game world, like basketball, despite the fact that the WNBA has been around for almost 20 years. In other sports, female gamers still have only two or three actual star athletes to choose … [Read more...] about Where are all the women sports stars in video games?
Cyclist Deirdre Bader, who competed in the 2000 Olympics for Ireland, will be a special guest when the annual Girls & Women in Sports Day kicks off in Flushing on Saturday. Bader runs an after-school track cycling program at the Kissena Park Velodrome and will be on hand for the weekend’s events, which will include clinics, giveaways and fitness classes. Youngsters can play soccer, street hockey, volleyball and even double dutch as they learn how athletics can improve their health and self-esteem. “This is a celebration of girls participation in sports,” said Kelly Gillen, deputy chief of recreation for the Parks Department in Queens. “We want to introduce girls to sports fitness and healthy lifestyles.” Tennis great Billie Jean King’s Women Sports Foundation started the day more than two decades ago to foster a love of athletics and fight discrimination against women. “It used to be there there were sports girls played and … [Read more...] about Program helps young Queens girls find their passion in sports
On the eve of International Women's Day, an asset management company placed a statue of a little girl in front of Wall Street’s iconic charging bull to highlight a lack of gender diversity and equality in the workplace.In Maryland, schools in Prince George's County closed for the day after some 1,700 teachers and 30 percent of its transportation staff requested leave for the day.In Washington, D.C., thousands of women sporting red, the symbol for the day, began gathering at Freedom Plaza — home base for a women's rally.Other women under the hashtag #WeShowUp went about their day, choosing to highlight the ways that "showing up" contributes to their workplaces, homes and communities.No matter your politics, International Women's Day has been dominating the social media conversation. In Delaware, it has been no different, with posts from organizations like AIDS Delaware and the Delaware Art Museum to people like Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki and Sen. Tom … [Read more...] about Delawareans mark International Women’s Day
Five women who the Manhattan district attorney’s office claims were forced into prostitution by a livery car service owner and his son are standing by their accused pimps. “We’re a family,” said one of the women, who refused to give her name, outside a Manhattan courthouse. “It’s not a crime to have more than one woman in your life.” The women all sported homemade T-shirts with words of support for Vincent George Sr. and Vincent George Jr., who are accused of using a music recording company and the car service to launder millions of dollars for their bordello on wheels. They were also indicted on charges of trafficking the girls under threat of violence, according to prosecutors. The father and son were in court Tuesday in an unsuccessful attempt to get out on bail. “We are not victims,” read one of the women’s T-shirts. One of the women sported a “King” tattoo on her … [Read more...] about Women make freedom plea for accused father-son pimp team