Posted by: bethanys11 | April 7, 2014

“We Can Do It! Before and After Title IX”

     Since we have talked some about women and athletics, and I am particularly interested in athletics, I thought this post was rather intriguing.  Judy Travelstead, the Union County Museum’s Smithsonian project director, developed a “women in sports” panel through which women directly involved in athletics whether they are coaches, news casting, or being an athlete can share their personal experiences.  For this particular meeting, Kelly Burke, a sports anchor at WSIL-TV, spoke about her experiences in sports journalism.


     The title of the program is “We Can Do It! Before and After Title IX”.  Kelly Burke spoke, during the meeting, about how the sports casting career was for her, and more specifically women.  She spoke of how the sports casting world was in her words, a “men’s world”.  This statement in itself aligns with many of the things we have read about -especially regarding the issues many women face while struggling to obtain careers in the athletic field.  Though her talk aligned with the Kane reading in this manner, it also aligned with the quote from the Kane reading that state: “Sport facilitates female bonding, the development of a group identity, and a strong commitment to achieving common goals.”


     The other speakers during this program, coaches and athletes, also spoke about how the success of many women’s teams is overlooked due to the fact that women’s athletics team are, the majority of the time, less popular.  This concept was also covered during class and in the Kane reading.  Though this article highlighted many of the negative issues regarding women’s athletics, it also highlighted many of the positive aspects regarding the fans and family members of women involved in athletics.  One young woman “applauded her mother for being a ‘coach’ and role model for her family.  I agree that there are many negative things associated with women in athletics, but this article alone shows that organizations and businesses are making strides to change the negative stigma associated with women’s athletics. 


I’m interested to hear everyone’s thoughts on this topic pertaining to, and outside of this and other articles involving the subject of women in athletics.  I’ve included the locations I received this information below.



  1. I think this is an awesome panel and I wish I could get a chance to see it. I too am interested in women in athletics, not because I am athletic in any way, but because I love to watch sports. One thing that has always irked me is when people say women’s sports are boring to watch because the women are not as fast paced or are uninteresting; that is so completely untrue. Women can be just as aggressive and entertaining as men, in my opinion. I know everyone has their preferences (I can’t stand baseball but love golf), but it makes me upset when people just brush off women’s sports without giving them a chance. An interesting point you brought up is the fact that sports facilitate “the development of a group identity.” Given that fact, you might think that more women would be interested in sports and less men, given the fact that women tend to be more collaborative (or so it seems).

  2. I think that that is really strong quote that you pointed out from the Kane reading that definitely fits in perfectly with the story! In my opinion, it is such a shame that female sports are less popular because being on a sports team benefits not only men, but women as well. I was never committed to any type of sports team throughout my youth and I feel like I miss out on a lot of skills that I would have gained by just playing on a sports team with others, such as learning how to work with others and trusting your teammates.
    The Kane reading also really surprised me to learn that many women’s sports also lack a significant amount of funding in comparison to men’s sports. By not funding men’s and women’s teams equally, it doesn’t seem to help the issue and will continue to result in less women’s participation in sports! I don’t know how much control we have over fixing the issue with funding, but I definitely think that it should be brought to the public’s attention about how much this can affect women’s participation in sports. Also, I think that it would be beneficial to educate the public (males and females of all ages) of the benefits of playing sports. You mentioned plenty of great reasons and explanations and I think that eventually the popularity of both genders sports and the participation in women’s sports would increase if people were more educated on the benefits!

  3. I think this is a great topic to blog about because it is a complicated situation. I would love to see that panel because I have played sports my entire life and women in sports are an interesting topic.
    There a quite a few different points to be made with regards to this topic. The first thing I think about is I feel often times sports create something different for women then they do men. Like your quote says, “Sport facilitates female bonding, the development of a group identity, and a strong commitment to achieving common goals.” And I agree with this completely, I like to think sports have developed me into the person I am today. However, if you asked most guys why they play teams sports, I can almost promise you will never get this answer. Men like the competition and the aggressive nature that it brings which leads me into my second point.
    I know this is an unpopular opinion, but I have to say that sometimes women sports just are not as much fun to watch. Maybe it is the fact that we are playing sports for a different reason; we play to develop bonds and group identity, whereas men play to be aggressive. That could be a reason that people don’t enjoy women’s sports as much. I would much prefer people competing as opposed to people building relationships.
    I do agree that is unfair the lack of funding women get. Just because sometimes we play for a different reason and get different results doesn’t mean that we don’t deserve funding. Women’s sports build women up and help them to grow, and I think that needs to be encouraged as much as possible.

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