[cross-posted from Power Forward, my blog on sports and culture]
I’m excited to say that I am at The Frisky today writing about the semi-controversy around a woman blogger in Houston being fired for an inflammatory blog post about an Oklahoma Thunder Girl’s weight.
My piece uses that as a starting point to talk about how both the NBA and NFL alienate female fans and about misogyny at large in sports culture:
And yet these dance teams and cheerleaders — these very obvious signs of our culture’s unending desire to cater to the sexual fantasies of heterosexual men using a particular type of female body — are being watched by ever-increasing numbers of women. The NFL reports that 45 percent of their audience is women and the NBA estimated in 2010 that 40 percent of all fans of their league are women. The NBA has tried to reach out to women by selling them high heels; the NFL has made a particular effort to appeal to more women by selling merchandise targeted at their female fans and actively supporting the fight against breast cancer (so. much. pink.). Yet besides a few female sideline reporters and some women offering colorful commentary after games, women watching the NBA playoffs that are happening right now won’t see themselves represented on screen except for the fleeting glimpses of the women on the NBA dance teams — women like Kelsey Williams.