Puh-lease, Do We Really Need a Women-Only Sports Site?

I thought that sports were one of those few things that brought everyone together.  Everyone.  Not men-only or women-only or college-educated white women who drive dark blue Volvos and drink three soy lattes a day-only.  Think:

  • 1980 US Olympic Hockey team (unless you are Russian, in which case that game has a different, but no less intense emotional feeling for you).
  • New Orleans over Indianapolis in Superbowl XLIV (again, unless you are from Indiana or have Manning as a surname, in which case you are all bonded together for a different reason)
  • 1995 Rugby World Cup – I’ll admit I didn’t watch this one or even realize its significance at the time, but after watching Invictus and reading Playing the Enemy this summer as we traveled to South Africa for the World Cup, well, how could you not be moved by the vision of Nelson Mandela walking onto the field in a Springbok jersey with the mostly white crowd cheering him?
  • 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the one where Brandi Chastain ripped her shirt off in celebration.

The point is events like these are universal.  They tell stories that cross continents, ages and cultures – underdogs win against all odds, city comes back from the brink of disaster, country steps across history of bitter, racial divide, or just the pure joy of sports and competition.  And the point that sometimes, it’s girls who can inspire a nation.  Or a generation.

So why would we need a women-only sports site?

Some women athletes have cheered the idea: it would be a way to get more coverage of women’s sports.  But that’s missing the bigger point that sports sites and magazines *should* cover women’s sports and offer coverage women find interesting in because we are a core audience.  We are fans.  We pay for tickets.  We pay for cable and satellite subscriptions.  We pay for jerseys, t-shirts, hats, memorabilia whether as gifts or for ourselves.  And in the country, s/he who has the dollar is catered to.

By opting out and creating our “own” community, we don’t change anything, we just allow ourselves to be marginalized.

Why would this 3-sport season ticket holder want that?

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