Women in sport have already taken 2022 for their own, and it’s only been two months. Are we surprised? Absolutely not.
Women in sport have been killing the game lately and you know we’re over here cheering them on as their biggest fans. With more attention (finally) to women in sport, sadly, there are still many misconceptions and myths about women in sport that need breaking.
Here are five (of many) myths about women’s sports we need to break in 2022 so we can all better support women in sports:
1. “No one cares about women in sport.”
A common one, often made by those who live under a rock.
If the past decade has proven anything, it’s that women in sport are a determined, influential and powerful community worth supporting. More and more women are leading in various facets in sport: business, competition, entrepreneurship, coaching, participating, spectating and leadership. The sports industry is still male-prevalent, but women in sport continue breaking through barriers and limitations, showing that they belong in the game.
Curious to learn more about some of these women in sport? Check out our herStory blog series or her Soul Shot Podcast, where we highlight and fangirl over some incredible women in sport.
2. “Women’s sports are only watched by women.”
It’s hard to support women’s sports when fans and viewers often need to search at length for ways to watch or stream their favorite women’s teams. Though the accessibility to viewing and streaming women’s sports has improved (though not where it needs to be just yet), a common myth still floating around is that only women watch women’s sports, especially at the professional level.
The fact that most sports broadcasting companies rarely (if at all) showcased women’s professional sport over the past 25 years as frequently as their male counterparts is most likely a reason why this myth came to be. But, that is not the case anymore. Many people, regardless of gender, support and watch women’s sports at all levels. The rapid increase in viewership numbers for women’s sports games we’ve been seeing over the last couple years is proof that if you make women’s sports accessible, people will watch.
Thankfully, broadcasting companies and streaming sites have started to catch up with the demand for women’s sports, and if you haven’t, we highly suggest you do too.
3. “Women must look a certain way in sports.”
Women are strong, fearless, confident, and competitive. Women are also compassionate, creative, independent and selfless. Women have been subjected to societal beliefs of what a “woman” should look like, how to act, talk and what she can achieve.
A common myth is that girls and women can’t be feminine and love sports, they must choose one or the other. Just because a woman plays and loves sports, it doesn’t make her any less feminine than a woman who chooses other passions or interests. On the flip side, many (outdated) opinions and rules in sport attempt to control how women look while playing sports to ensure their femininity is showcased while competing.
A woman can be athletic, muscular, beautiful, sexy, divine and powerful all at once – she can be whatever and whoever she wants to be.
For those who have been made to feel like they aren’t good enough as they are, we are here to assure you that you are exactly the woman you are meant to be. And to those who feel the need to tell women what they should or shouldn’t look like – STOP.
4. “Women must choose between sports and motherhood.”
Like the other myths on this list, this one is far from the truth. Mothers are badass caregivers, bosses, volunteers, leaders, and you’re damn right they’re athletes too. Women who choose to play sports or pursue demanding careers in sport are not lesser mothers.
Sport is an opportunity for people to socialize, get exercise, and take time for themselves. It’s often people’s safe place, where they feel like they belong and can take their mind off their busy schedules and demanding days. Plus, raising children who see their mothers involved in sport is going to create more generations that know how much women belong in sports, on and off the field.
For all the mothers in sport at all levels, keep doing you – you’re the real MVP.
5. “Women aren’t capable of leading in the sports industry.”
Society, and specifically the sports community, has undermined the capabilities of women in leadership positions for far too long. But today, more than ever, there are women in leadership positions at all levels of the sports industry. One day, it won’t be ground breaking for women to reach the heights that they are because it will be normal, but for now, we’re cheering on the women who are leading the way for others.
In addition, there are so many incredible and influential women who are entrepreneurs, creating and innovating unique ways to give back to the sports community.
Feel free to pass anyone who says otherwise our way, as we would be more than willing to give them a lesson on all the women in sports killing the game.
There are many other myths and misconceptions about women in sport worth breaking, but we hope you’ll use these as a starting point to better support women in sports.
To the incredible women in sports: Keep being the women you needed as young girls. We see you, we appreciate you, and we’re cheering you on.