It is obvious that male athletes rule the world of sports media. Why are female athletes under represented in the media? Is it because of the simple lack of interest in women’s sports?
I found a documentary created by the Tucker Center for research on Girls and Women in Sport at the University of Minnesota. The film touches on why female athletes do not receive more media coverage despite there involvement with the sports industry. Forty percent of sports participants are female, however; these women only receive 2 to 4 percent of media coverage. There are some amazingly talented female athletes like Maria Sharapova, Li Na, Danica Patrick, and many more. It is unfair that women do not receive recognition for their achievements and skills like the male athletes do. In fact, media coverage of female athletes has actually decreased in the past 20 years. This shocks me because of the expansion of women in sports as well as the growing feminist movement.
When women athletes DO get media recognition, they are often perceived in sexual manner. The female athletes shown in magazines are in sexual poses and wearing scandalous clothing rather than portraying their athleticism by wearing their uniforms. This can be looked at in a positive or negative way: Is it good to show that the athletic female body type can be portrayed as sexy, therefore inspiring women to be confident? Or is the media undermining the skills and talents of the female athletes by focusing on their bodies as sexual symbols?
If you are interested in the documentary, you can watch it on Youtube: Media Coverage and Female Athletes