Writing at the intersection of motherhood, feminism and my Latinidad

02 March 2010

Women's History Month: Support Women's Sports

Today's Women's History Tidbit:
1989: Gloria Estefan & the Miami Sound Machine receive the first star on Miami's Calle Oche Walk of Fame.*


 Over the weekend I launched my latest project on Facebook. It's called "I pledge to attend one women's sporting event in 2010." Yup, it's that simple.

As regular readers know, I'm an avid sports fan and a delusional Cubs fan. I played softball in high school, played volleyball & ran track in middle school and played one year of Little League baseball. I still tease my husband that he got lucky because I don't mind when ESPN is on.

During the Winter Olympics, women athletes were garnering a lot of media attention, but don't they always during the run up to and thru the Olympics? But what happens afterward? It's like a vacuum comes and sucks all the energy and love for women athletes away. So how can we try to sustain that love?

Then one morning on the way to work the Goddess spoke to me thru Frank Deford:
Ladies, to help your athletic sisters, you have got to descend on Las Vegas and demand the right to lose good money betting on games, just as men have forever...There are a lot of reasons why girls from all over the country decide to go play their college basketball in a chilly little backwater called Storrs, Conn. — but a prime one is simply that UConn women's basketball is popular. The home games bang out. The glass grandstand has been smashed there. The players are celebrities. They are treated, well, like men. But UConn remains the prime exception. Even as more and more women participate in sports, not enough of us, either sex, seem to want to watch — to care — when women play in teams. (emphasis mine)

While this space and Facebook aren't Vegas, we can move from supporting women's sports in theory to reality, to action by the simple act of going to one event and sliding that $10 under the glass window and saying "One please."

In Chicago we have a women's football team, softball team, soccer team, roller derby and a WNBA team. Below are a sample of their ticket prices:

Chicago Force (football): $3 kids/seniors/students, $10
Chicago Bandits (softball): $8 - $13
Chicago Red Stars (soccer): $15 - $50
Windy City Rollers (roller derby): $20
Chicago Sky (basketball): $15 - $125

If I missed anyone, just hollar! And I didn't even attempt to list all the colleges where women play around here.

And this is Chicago. I'm going to assume that tickets are the same if not lower in other parts of the country (NYC, DC & LA excluded). I think in this economy many of us can still afford these prices.

As I said, I'm a Cubs fan, I'm still gonna make my way out to Wrigley at least once this summer. This isn't about not attending men's sporting events. This is about getting out to support women athletes as well. It's inclusive, not exclusive.

So head on over to Facebook and pledge. It's quick, it's simple and it's practically cheaper than seeing a movie. Now this is what I call easy & fun activism.

Media for the pledge:


* Source: 2010 Women Who Dare Engagement Calendar from the Library of Congress

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