Sports and women, do they mix after all?

A quick reply to a tweet yesterday led to a lively discussion and got me thinking about women and sports and the relevant stereotypes such as:

  • Women aren’t interested in sports.
  • Women don’t understand sports.
  • Women aren’t welcome in sports audiences, at least to “real” sports like football and ice hockey.

Just as I was calling people out on one stereotype, I was called out on another. And it got me thinking, are these true? Any of them? And if so, which ones?

I know plenty of women who are interested in and have extensive knowledge of sports, even the traditionally “guy” sports. I even shamelessly use the division between “girl” and “guy” sports, both by the gender of those doing them and those watching them, to my own advantage should the occasion arise. But I’ve always considered us a bit of an anomaly. And I’ve always viewed us, egotistically perhaps, as fighting the establishment, going against the general prejudice. Braking the stereotype and pointing out the narrow-mindedness of people.

Have I been wrong?

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