Drawing attention to the sports blogosphere: Blogs with Balls should include women in sports!
Megan Hueter from Because I Played Sports wrote about a recently held sports blog networking conference called Blogs With Balls. Megan points out that this conference is geared towards men, and further contributes to the sports blogophere that leaves out women. The name, “Blogs with Balls,” is in and of itself excluding women. The description of the conference is: “a regional social sports blogger and new media gathering featuring speakers and panelists specifically focused on sports fans, writers, sites, teams, athletes and companies.” To even further their exclusion of women, all speakers (except for four) of the conference are men. Most of the women speakers work in the male sports industry or blog only about men’s sports. The event’s post-party is sponsored by GQ, a men’s magazine. Hueter says that:
It is incredibly obvious that the female sports blogging community (yes, there is one) is seriously under-represented at this “sports blogging event.” In my opinion, if you’re going to use a gender-neutral term like “sports,” you had better include the other gender’s interests and not force us to live in a separate world. This is not only a common, significant oversight, but a dumb one, too.
In addition, the only network of female sports bloggers, WomenTalkSports.com, was not invited to the event. Hueter wants to know why female sports bloggers are excluded in this event?
Here’s my take – because that’s where the money is. As I mentioned earlier in this post, male sports a multi-billion dollar industry. To date, the female sports industry is not at that level. Until women sports bloggers are recognized as part of a bigger, more diverse “sports community,” we will continue to rest in the shadows of our male counterparts.
Hueter makes a good point, and the fact that the sports community continues to exclude women is not fair. One commenter of the blog post named Sarah thought that it was innappropriate for Hueter to write about this publicly. Sarah says that:
Publicly shoving ourselves down the throats of the people who participate in these events doesn’t make us look any better. It makes is look like whiny women who feel we are entitled to equality, just because we are women. Sure, we’re entitled to equality. Not because we are women, but because the quality of our work is equal. With all due respect, the list of panelists for BwB contains people who have not only been doing this for years but have obtained a level of success in it that isn’t rivaled by anyone on your network.
To which Hueter responded:
Above, I was attempting to simply draw attention to a problem…as I believe our exclusion from Blogs With Balls was not malicious or deliberate. The problem I refer to is one that exists not only in sports blogs, but in traditional media as well., and I disagreed as well.
And I agree with Hueter; isn’t the point of blogging to let your voice be heard? Some people think that when women speak up about inequalities that they face in comparison with men, they think it’s innapropriate because of the “crazy woman,” or wait—even better—the “crazy feminist” sterotype. Without writing and speaking, how do you expect to speak your mind?