In the last year I’ve been thinking about women can create and be part of changing the occupational landscape in coaching. Change can happen from the ground up, from women. Change can also happen from the top down, when those in power champion social change. For the 2018 Women Coaches Symposium I put together a keynote around many of the false narratives I hear about women coaches, and provided some data that can help all women and gender allies challenge those false narratives. To see the full video, click here.
This week the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport released a new report : 2018 Tucker Center Research Report, Developing Physically Active Girls: A Multidisciplinary Evidence-based Approach.
The report includes eleven chapters written by leading multidisciplinary scholars. Evidence-based chapters include psychological, sociological, and physiological dimensions of girls’ physical activity participation, as well as chapters on sports medicine and the influence of mass media of girls’ health and well-being. Because “girls” are not a singular monolithic group, chapters focus on girls’ intersectional identities and include invisible, erased, and underserved populations such as immigrant girls, girls of color, girls who identify as lesbian, transgender and queer/questioning, and girls with cognitive and physical impairments. The report ends with a Best Practices chapter and a Positive Model for Developing Physically Active Girls to guide thought, program development, interventions and research.
To read and download the full report, Executive Summary or the Positive Model click here.
If you read this blog, you know I am passionate about advocating for and increasing the number of women sport coaches.
Here are two recent pieces I’ve written about various aspects about women sport coaches.
Women Want to Coach in Contexts.
Leadership should not be defined by gender on the sidelines in the Sports Business Journal.
One Sport Voice will return next week after a little holiday break. Look for the best and worst of women’s sport in 2010.
Giving a great presentation is both an art and a science. There are many great books out on this subject but the best books in my opinion are by Garr Reynolds (Presentation Zen) and Nancy Duarte (slide:ology), both of whom have new books coming out soon.
One concept I like is The Single Slide Presentation. It is simple, conveys a lot of information, focuses attention on you and your message as the expert, and doesn’t inundate the audience with “death by powerpoint”. For more on The Single Slide method click here and here.
If you’d like to join our bracket group, fill out your picks before the first tip-off tomorrow!
All are welcome and feel free to pass it along!
If you want to join our bracket group, here is the info.
Get in the action now:
Group: School of Kinesiology
Once you create an individual account and fill out your bracket, there is a button to “Join a Group”. Click on that button and then enter the info above. It is really simple and very fun!
Ok, so if you didn’t agree with my critique (and many didn’t!) of the February 8, 2010 Sports Illustrated cover of Olympian Lindsey Vonn that can be interpreted as sexualized, the photographs of Vonn and other female athletes in the 2010 SI Swimsuit Issue being released today (shown here below) might help illustrate some of my original points.
I became aware of these pictures, from a news story in the Minneapolis Star Tribune that ran today which stated, “Minnesota skiing sensation Lindsey Vonn is among a quartet of Olympic athletes featured in this year’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue that is out today in print and online.” The online version of the SI Swimsuit Issue includes video clips of the Olympic Stars doing their photo shoots.
The critique here is the same, when we DO see female athletes (some of the best in the world at their respective sports!) which happens in only 6-8% of all sport media, they are more often than not in poses that highlight physical attractiveness, femininity, and can be interpreted as sexualized. Is it coincidental that the four female Olympians portrayed here are all blond, attractive, feminine looking, and sexy according to societal norms?Arguably, the Vonn SI cover can be interpreted (or not) as sexualized, but these images are clearly sexualizing in nature and tone.
The obvious target market for the Swimsuit Issue is men. Therefore, the idea that “sex sells” is viable and research does support that sex sells. What I want to argue however, and some emerging research is supporting, that sex sells sex…but sex does not sell women’s sport.
The point being, by seeing Vonn on the cover of SI, these images of female Olympians, or any other female athlete… does it make the male demographic more likely to attend and pay for a ticket to an event where these women are competing, buy merchandise, or read a story about them? Researchers say it is unlikely. So yes, sex sells sex but it likely does not promote women’s sport or female athletes in a way that helps to grow women’s sport in a meaningful and sustainable way.
The last point I want to highlight is these type of images also reinforce to consumers what is most important and valued in terms of female athletes and females in general, and meaning is constructed from what is chosen to be included and not included. If you want to read more about how the sexualization of females affects everyone, particularly young girls, go to the American Psychological Foundation’s Task Force Report on the Sexualization of Girls. The report can be downloaded for free, and in short states, “The proliferation of sexualized images of girls and young women in advertising, merchandising, and media is harming girls’ self-image and healthy development. This report explores the cognitive and emotional consequences, consequences for mental and physical health, and impact on development of a healthy sexual self-image.”
Therefore, I hope to see many more images like the one below in the weeks to follow, as Vonn (who I really hope is healthy enough to race given her shin injury) and other female Olympians have great potential to be positive role models, not only for girls, but for us all.
To see a video segment of me talking with KARE11 reporter Jana Shortal about why sexualized images of female athletes are problematic, click here.
As my blog and website have grown (along with my meager Web skills), I wanted a little different look and presence on the Web. What do you think of this new “skin”? I’d love your feedback.