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Kula Corey Kula Molly Daniel ENC1145 5 March 2013 Popularity of Women’s Sports

There is no arguing that the popularity of women’s sports in

today’s society is seriously lacking. For many reasons, it is apparent that women’s sports aren’t receiving the same respect and amount of viewers that male sports are. Could it be because men shape the way women think about sports and what they should be watching? Maybe women’s sports just simply lack media coverage and fans are actually unable to view women’s sporting events. Or is it the stereotypical gender role Molly Today, 2:26 PM Added Text Molly Today, 2:27 PM Added Text Molly Today, 2:27 PM Deleted: . Is this your thesis? If so, I’m not sure you need to have the intro phrase here. It lessens the claim you are making.

psychologically forcing people to believe that men sports are the norm, and every other type of sport (female sports) is considered lesser and unimportant?. Whatever the reason for the lack of popularity in women’s sport may be, there is no arguing the fact that male sports are tremendously more popular historically and in today’s society then female sports.

Through many gender studies, it is proven that men have quite a

large impact on women’s sports viewers and what they prefer to watch. The women appear to be molded by the men’s decision on what is important and exciting to watch. The result of that is women watching


Kula men’s sports more often and just simply being around men’s sports much more frequently the women’s sports (Farrell, Fink and Fields 194). Every single result that Farrell, Fink, and Fields received from their study on why women sports aren’t as popular as men’s sports revealed that only men had an influence on female’s interests on sports. One study that Farrell, Fink, and Fields performed was on a women named Sarah. She was quoted saying “I grew up liking the Reds and Bengals. I liked those teams because of my dad (laughs). My mom wasn't interested in sports. She didn't participate much in high school. It's just the amount my father watches, she has grown to like watching with him. She isn't that into it.” (Farrell, Fink and Fields 194). Another study resulted in the Molly Today, 2:28 PM Deleted: .

women being shaped by her husband’s interests in relation to sports. Through these studies, it is evident that the men feel that male sports are the only sports deemed important. Considering women are shaped on what to watch from men in their lives, the idea that only men sports are significant is adopted by the females. Women in these studies have also mentioned that they are also willing to do pretty much whatever it takes to be able to spend time with the men in their lives. Farrell, Fink and Fields explain that, “The experiences of several study participants suggest that perhaps women sacrifice their own interests to watch sports to spend time with men.” This, without a doubt, shapes women’s views

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on what is deemed important to watch.


Kula It appears that in today’s society that men sports are more important and are more worth watching then women’s sports. A set of analyses has shown that women and men both believe that sports are generally a “guy thing” (Farrell, Fink and Fields 195). Sarah, one of the participants in the study, shared that she had been shaped to the great extent of believing that when thinking of sports, assuming that that the topic is men’s sports (Farrell, Fink and Fields 195). Her boyfriend and the university she attended in general shaped her to think that way. Another participant, Diane had a pretty similar experience. The participants (all female) in this study discussed the enormous influence men had in their lives when it came to watching men’s sports. Diane, one of the participants, explained that her son was always dragging her to attend sporting events, which were always men’s sports. (Farrell, Fink and Fields 194) It seems that people, for some reason, automatically assume that when somebody bring up the topic of sports, it is men’s sports. This Molly Today, 2:46 PM Added Text Molly Today, 2:46 PM Deleted: .

obviously doesn’t aid in the popularity of women’s sports:. A quick glance at many sport media print and electronic publications reveals language that supports "sport" meaning "men's sport." Scholars have noted that the term "basketball" is synonymous with "men's basketball" and the women's game is distinguished by "women's basketball" (Blinde, Greendorfer, & Shanker, 1991). The result is that college basketball becomes the


Kula default term for the men's game. It is clear from participant stories that the default of sport was men's sport. This was fostered through the spectator demands of men in their lives and later reinforced through the lack of media coverage and visibility offered to women's sport. (Farrell, Fink and Fields, 195) This finding plays perfectly into Rita M Gross’ journal “What Went Wrong?” Nice connection. Does the whole preceding quote need to be present? Or coul you break a few unnecessary things out with […]?

Men have historically refused to understand and acknowledge their gender, which makes it seem like men aren’t gendered and are just the norm (Gross 8-20). Obviously, women sports aren’t being respected like they should be. What’s the first thing you think of when somebody says women’s sports? Is it how Serena Williams looks in a light blue short skirt, or how Maria Sharapova appears in her body revealing advertisement in Sports Illustrated. The point is that the way women are portrayed in media when they are discussed, which is rarely, is simply unfair. A prime example of this is the Don Imus and the Rutgers Women’s basketball team controversy. Following the Rutgers VS Tennessee women’s basketball matchup on April 3rd, 2007, Don Imus and other news anchors on the radio started to discuss the game. Without even acknowledging who won the game or how the teams performed, Imus was quick to say about the Rutgers team, “ That’s some nappy headed hos there. I’m gonna tell you that now, man, that’s some woo. And the girls from Tennessee, they all


Kula look cute, you know, so, like, kinda like, I don’t know” (Gill 119). First off, Imus and his crew weren’t even analyzing the game, but how the players looked. Right off the bat, the female players are being talked about as objects for the audience to look and pretty much telling the audience that the only thing that mattered in that game was how the players looked. If it was a men’s basketball game, there is no chance Imus would have discussed and judged the players on how they appeared on the court. Laura Mulvey’s piece titled “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema,” goes Yup. You are pulling in class well with your topic.

in to discuss how women are portrayed in media. Movies portray women as objects for the male audience to look at and enjoy (Mulvey 12). Women are essentially used as visual pleasure for men (Mulvey 8). The fact that women are being completely disrespected by the media definitely doesn’t support their sports. Many people look at women sports and don’t even acknowledge the important aspects of the sports. How do you think this

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makes a little girl feel who aspires to play for her favorite WNBA team when she grows up?. Society only accepts female athletes who look good while doing it. It would make the little girl concentrate more on her looks and how she appears to others rather then practicing. For example, instead of discussing how many runs a softball team scored or how many three pointers a basketball team made, the media is discussing the player’s appearance and judging their looks. Women are obviously not


Kula receiving the same respect that men are getting, and ultimately effects the popularity of women’s sports. Probably the leading reason why women’s sports popularity is lacking is because of the insufficient media coverage of the sports. Yep. Think about March madness. There’s a women’s bracket too.. But we bet on the mens….

Observing four popular newspapers, USA Today, Dallas Morning News, Orange County Register, and the Boston Globe, studies were performed to establish how much of these newspaper’s sports coverage was dedicated to women’s sports and how many were devoted to men’s sports. “Stories focusing exclusively on men’s sports outnumbered stories addressing only women’s sports by a ratio of 23 to 1” (Duncan, Messner and Williams). Furthermore, women sports stories only consisted of 3.5 percent of all of the stories and were statistically shorter in length (Duncan, Messner and Williams). Can it be any more clear that there is a gender bias going on in today’s media? It appears that the editors of these newspapers are either not a fan of women’s sports or they are receiving some sort of market research that is telling them what consumers want to read up on. The next question that needs to be answered is why are sports writers devoting minimal coverage on women’s sports? One scholar points out:

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Defenders of the sports media status quo claim that newspapers and other media devote little coverage to women’s sports because relatively few people care about them. Even if, for the sake of


Kula argument, we accept this premise, the question remains, why is there a lack of interest? Is it because women’s athletics are inherently uninteresting or is it because the media through underreporting have failed to "legitimize" women’s sports? (Duncan, Molly Today, 2:50 PM Added Text Molly Today, 2:50 PM Added Text Molly Today, 2:50 PM Deleted: m

Messner and Williamspg #?) In a study done bmy Penn State University researchers, there is further proof that editors have a vital role in what get’s put out and the opinions of those editors. According to journalism professor at Penn State Dr. Marie Hardin, “In a survey of 285 newspapers, nearly 25 percent of editors agreed with the statement, ‘Women are naturally less athletic than are men,” (Penn State). Additionally, about 44 percent of editors of the 285 newspapers said they believed women have little or zero interest in sports (Penn State). Little do the editors know that the same study showed that 30 percent of the readers of the newspapers were women (Penn State).

Another study done, this time on televised media, suggests that the

well-known sports news program “SportCenter” opens their show with a male sports story 100 percent of the time (Smith). Moreover, when the men and women’s college basketball tournaments are being played in March/April, men’s coverage out numbers women’s coverage by about 10 to 1. How are women sports expected to thrive when everybody who watches ESPN are only able to watch men’s sports. Another huge problem


Kula with women sport’s not getting the proper amount of coverage is that younger girls and teenagers won’t be as enticed to play their favorite sports. Smith goes on to say, “If girls aren't seeing other girls or women playing sports, then it reduces their ability to imagine themselves as athletes, and that might affect their participation in sport.” It makes complete sense. Why would a young girl be inspired to take on gymnastics or women’s golf if all media covers is men’s sports. It’s clear Molly Today, 2:50 PM Deleted: Space Molly Today, 2:50 PM Deleted: Space This is potentially an unsupportable claim. Sports existed when women we not considered to be in the position to play them. I’m thinking ancient Greece and Rome. Athletics were men’s domain. If you have sources claiming this, use them to support your claim. This is definitely encompassing your overall focus of the paper: it is two fold-women as viewers and women as athletes, which is a smart approach. Make sure you these positions your paper in this way. Be careful of using the 2d person in formal writing.

that men’s sports are dominating media coverage. The popularity of women’s sports is being completely tarnished for reasons such as these. Women sports have been around just as long as men sports, and have yet to gain as much respect as men sports have. There are still strides to be made in order to gain the equality that they deserve. Whether it’s the fact that men shape the women in their lives to be men’s sports fanatics today’s society believes that sports are strictly for men, it is blatant that women’s sports are a lot less popular then men sports and are being completely disrespected by society. You can’t forget about the fact that women are being impertinently portrayed in media, when they even get the chance to be brought up in media, which is rarely. Are there honestly not as many exciting stories to tell in women's basketball, or are they simply less compelling because it's women's sports and not men's. It’s a disgrace how much women sports have been and are continuously

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disrespected and how much inequality they are a part of. Hopefully


Kula something changes quickly to allow the popularity of women’s sports to grow, because right now, nothing is being done. Do you have a suggestion for this shift? Based in your research?

Works Cited Blinde, Elaine M., Susan L. Greendorfer, and Rebecca J. Shanker. "Differential Media

Coverage of Men's and Women's Intercollegiate

Basketball: Reflection of Gender Ideology." Journal of Sport and Social Issues 15.2 (1991): 98-114. Academic Search Complete. Web. 17 Mar. 2013. Duncan, Margaret C., Michael Messner, and Linda Williams. "Coverage of Women's

Sports in Four Daily Newspapers." Coverage of Women's

Sports in Four Daily

Newspapers. The Amateur Athletic Foundation of

Los Angeles, Jan. 1991. Web. 17 Mar. 2013.


Kula Farrell, Annemarie, Janet S. Fink, and Sarah Fields. "Women's Sport Spectatorship:

An Exploration of Men's Influence." Journal of Sport

Management 25.3 (2011): 190-200. Academic Search Complete. Web. 07 Mar. 2013. Gill, Emmit L., Jr. "The Rutgers Women's Basketball & Don Imus Controversy (RUIMUS): White Privilege, New Racism, and the Implications for College Sport Management." Journal of Sport Management 25.2 (2011): 118-30. Academic Search Complete. Web. 16 Mar. 2013. Gross, Rita M. "WHAT WENT WRONG? FEMINISM AND FREEDOM FROM THE PRISON OF GENDER ROLES." Cross Currents 53.1 (2003): 8-20. Academic

Search Complete. Web. 16 Mar. 2013.

Kane, Mary J., and Heather D. Maxwell. "Expanding the Boundaries of Sport Media

Research: Using Critical Theory to Explore Consumer

Responses to

Representations of Women's Sports." Journal of Sport

Management 25.3 (2011): 202-16. Academic Search Complete. Web. 16 Mar. 2013. Mulvey, Laura. "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema." Screen 16.3 (1975): 6-18. Web. 16 Mar. 2013.

"Penn State Researcher Finds Lack of Coverage For Women's Sports." Black Issues in

Higher Education 22.10 (2005): 15. Academic Search

Complete. Web. 18 Mar. 2013.


Kula Smith, Hilary. "HILLARY SMITH: Study: Women's Sports Aren't Equal." N.p., 07 June 2010. Web. 18 Mar. 2013.

Corey, Molly Today, 3:40 PM Added Text

This is a really great draft that has a double layer to the representations of women in sports. Very smart. I think you might want to be sure that your thesis establishes that as well. I also think that you did format your works cited page but the program transfer made it wonky.




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