A few weeks ago I launched my latest project on Facebook. It’s called “I pledge to attend one women’s sports event in 2010.” Yup, it’s that simple.
I’m an avid sports fan and a delusional Chicago Cubs fan. I played softball in high school, volleyball and track in middle school, and 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 Olympics season? 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?
One morning on the way to work, the Goddess spoke to me thru Frank Deford of NPR:
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]
Even if we don’t go to Vegas, we can move from supporting women’s sports in theory to supporting them in reality by the simple act of going to a single event, sliding $10 under that 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 is 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
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 similarly priced, if not lower, in other parts of the country (N.Y.C., D.C. and L.A. excluded). I think in this economy many of us can still afford these prices.
As I said, I’m a Cubs fan and I’m still going to make my way out to Wrigley Field at least once this summer. So 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 and it’s practically cheaper than seeing a movie. This is what I call easy and fun activism.
Read more women and sports coverage from Ms.