February 9, 2009

Monday's Wise Words: Women in sports broadcasting

SNM posting on the blog Awesome & Fabulous wrote a great personal story about her childhood dream of becoming the next John Madden being stifled by the glass ceiling over the industry.

"Something had sparked a flame of feminist indignation in the pit of my stomach about watching women relegated to sideline reporting while men got to do play-by-play and color commentary in the booth."

She goes on to explain that her eventual decision to go into sports writing instead of broadcasting had something to do with the obvious conundrum of having her appearance constantly judged. She also calls out both men and women for perpetuating the systemic sexism...

"It burns me up that sexism is still such an accepted part of working in sports that women are privately--as opposed to publicly-- seething about the fact that there is a glass ceiling in sports journalism, for fear of angering the boss over a perfectly legitimate grievance."

In other words, speak up for yourself! The fact that we don't is another issue - explained quite well in the book "Women Don't Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide," by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever.

Anyways, in response to the men in charge at ESPN who assert that the lack of female representation is just a product of what fans want, SNM says:

"That's the best excuse TV executives can come up with? Don't blame us, it's our pig-headed fans? The fact that this is coming from a network that posits itself as the 'Worldwide Leader in Sports' is even more ridiculous. You won't do it because you're afraid of losing a few idiot gut-scratching viewers and some ad money?...You're the Worldwide Leader, ESPN. You own so much of the frickin' sports television market you make everyone else look like a joke. Stop cow-towing to sexism and put a woman, no, two, in the booth already. On football. On a regular basis."

Read the full post.

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