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Miss Athlete (\'ZINE)
 

Miss Athlete (\'ZINE)

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I had to complete an action project for my Gender and Pop Culture Class, and this is my action. I made a \'Zine (self made magazine) in order to expose people to the problems with advertisement of ...

I had to complete an action project for my Gender and Pop Culture Class, and this is my action. I made a \'Zine (self made magazine) in order to expose people to the problems with advertisement of female athletes. Feel free to comment or express your opinions, but please be respectful. Thank you and I hope you enjoy it!

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    Miss Athlete (\'ZINE) Miss Athlete (\'ZINE) Document Transcript

    • MISS ATHLETE A guide to navigating sports for women Exclusive Interview! Kajsa Trollsas of Sweden Women Can HIT Too! Why aren’t women allowed to check? Underrepresentation? Special Edition: Women's Hockey Issue! FEMALE ATHLETE or MODEL ? Title IX What it did for female athletics We sure can’t tell! Can you? A ‘ZINE produced by Allyson Stokosa Female athletes current representation in the media Rules of Equal Ads Become a critical consumer of female advertising *Athlete of the Month*
    • A Look at the Author…
      • Well, my name is Allyson Stokosa and I am a freshman at Grand Valley State University. I’ve played hockey throughout my whole life, about twelve years, I started playing when I was six years old. I’ve played for multiple teams and had experience with both boys and girls teams.
      • While women’s hockey has grown immensely over the years, it still has a long way to go. And the differences between men and women’s hockey has drawn my attention recently.
      • When I was first starting hockey, I played with the boys with only one other girl on the team. My dad was the coach so there really wasn’t much discrimination as far as gender goes. However, once I reached the age of nine, I was expected to begin playing with a girls team due to the change in physicality. Boys would begin checking soon, which is a form of physical contact in which the players push their shoulders or hips into an opponent in order to knock them off balance or crush them into the boards. Apparently, girls are too fragile for this type of playing, seeing how they were not permitted this type of physical contact.
      • I didn’t particularly want to switch to girls hockey, thinking it wouldn’t be as much of a challenge, and I wanted to check even at my tiny size, and I knew how to throw around my less than one hundred pound frame.
      • Another aspect prominent in hockey is the competiveness of girls and boys. As I grew older, the competition grew fiercer. When I was fourteen to sixteen
      years old I was on a team that commonly practiced with a boys team. They were one to two years younger than most of the girls on the team. Myself and a few other girls would often stay after practice and play keep away with some of the boys. It was always a big deal when one of the girls took the puck away from one of the boys or kept it away from multiple boys, but it was almost expected that the boys would take it away from the girls. I remember telling one of the boys I could knock him down, and he would always laugh and say “yeah right!”. Then, one time it happened, we were playing keep away after practice and we collided in the center of the ice. He fell flat on his back, and I stumbled but didn’t fall. Everyone who had seen what had happened was snickering, and the first thing he did was offer an excuse, he said that I tripped him and it wasn’t a fair hit. Another occurrence that didn’t really strike me as out of place until recently also happened while running with the boys team. I was one of the best runners on the girls team as far as distance, and I usually was first to finish out of 1
      • the girls and also beat around half of the boys. About halfway through our training, the boys team coach told them that if I lapped them, they would have to do another lap. I didn’t slow down because of this rule and as a result some of the boys had to do extra laps.
      • As you can see from my experiences, males are conditioned to think that they are naturally better than girls, and it is not acceptable to be beaten by a girl in anything. I feel lucky that my parents exposed me to the world of sports, and my dad was supportive of me playing or learning to play any sport that I was interested in. He tried to teach me how to throw and catch, and he was my hockey coach for multiple years. Although, even my dad would use sex as a way of driving my brother to do better. He would say “your sister is faster than you!” or something similar to do with skills as a way of motivating him to do better.
      • I feel that it is very detrimental, to both boys and girls, to use gender as a form of motivation. By teaching young boys that they are expected to be better than girls in every area concerning athletics, they become resentful of girls who exhibit more impressive skills and it causes unnecessary rivalry amongst the sexes.
      Boys also learn to use excuses to explain defeat, instead of just admitting that someone is better, and that they need to work harder in order to beat them in a rematch. Most don’t learn how to admit defeat, especially to a girl, and learn, instead, that it is acceptable to use excuses in these scenarios. For example, in my hockey career I have competed against a lot of males. In high school I would practice with the men’s high school hockey team, which my brother was a part of. Due to the fact that I was a girl, and a small one at that, they didn’t know how to compete with me. Some wouldn’t try and would intentionally “go easier” on me, so as not to risk actually trying and being beaten fairly. Others try harder than usual or use physical means to prevent a defeat. Only a few played me as they would any other player, which is how it should be. Males are so afraid of being beat by a female that they go through extensive lengths to insure that there is a plausible excuse for why it could have happened. This ‘Zine was designed and written in the hopes that others reevaluate our societal expectations of men and women in sports. Is it really that terrible if a woman can out perform a man? What is so wrong with that? I am also concerned with the portrayal of female athletes in the media and their underrepresentation. Most female athletes are only known because of their attractiveness. Their athletic abilities are not emphasized, only their appearance. And the sports that receive the most coverage are the ones who feature women in a more traditional fashion, in skirts or sports that have an emphasis on finesse (figure skating, tennis, golf). The female sports that require more strength often receive much less coverage. My focus is mainly women’s hockey, but due to a lack of a professional league, I will also use some other pieces involving other sports. The opinions are mine, unless otherwise cited or quoted. 2
    • EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Kajsa Trollsas of Sweden How long have you played hockey? Did you ever play for a boys team in Sweden (are girls allowed to play on boys teams)? I started playing when I was about 9 years old and I actually started playing on a guys team right away since there were no girl teams in the area where I lived.  I played with the boys team for seven years before I switched to girls. Is checking allowed in Women’s hockey in Sweden? Checking is NOT allowed in Sweden either, but there is a lot of ongoing debates about that it should be allowed. What is the highest league in Sweden for women’s hockey? The highest league in Sweden for women’s hockey is called "Riksserien" ( translated National league). And below that we have division 1 & 2. The team that wins the Division One have the possibility to play the team that finished last in "Riksserien“ for the chance to play in that league and swap places with the other team. Why did you come to the US to play hockey?    I came to the US because I wanted to play hockey and study at the same time.   What differences have you noticed between women’s hockey in the US and women’s hockey in Sweden?  When I compare the teams I've been playing with in Sweden and the Lakers, the Swedish teams are more competitive, no doubt! All the players in Sweden work their asses off almost every day in order to get better on the ice. Here, people seem to be more interested in partying.  Do you think women’s hockey is more competitive in the US? The biggest difference is the off ice training parts. Swedes work alot harder off the ice compared with what I've seen here so far. Also, the Swedish rinks are bigger so there's a lot more passing and skating compared with here. Do you think women should be allowed to check in hockey?  Girls should definitely be allowed to check! It would get more competitive and people wouldn't “complain about it" if they got checked on the ice. 3
    • Women Can Hit Too! The main difference bet-ween men and women’s hockey concerns body contact. Men are allowed to ‘check’, a physical move in which one player, either using their hips or shoulders, pushes another into the boards (there are also open ice checks). Women, ho-wever, are not permitted to take advantage of this move. What many may find surprising is that check-ing was initially allowed in women’s hockey. The rule was changed after the Women’s World Hockey Championship in 1990. It was supposedly changed due to the large gap occurring between Canadian and American players and everyone else. The Americans and Canadians dominated due to their generally greater size and strength, so the rule was changed so that the other countries would have a better chance at comp-eting. The rule didn’t really do much good, as Canada and the U.S. continue to dominate. Many women and girls 4 would like to see checking back in women’s hockey. Since most girls still begin on boy’s teams, they become accustomed to the increased level of physicality. When switching to girls hockey, it is a difficult adjustment. Some also argue that it may bring an increase to the fan base, due to the greater level of aggression. There is also the issue of multiple injuries sustained because women do not know how to receive a hit correctly when it is doled out. Reintroducing checking could be a way of decreasing injuries by teaching women how to receive a hit and keep their heads up in expectation of being hit. Allowing checking might also reduce the occurrence of dirty penalties (tripping, hooking, ect.). It would pro- vide a safer outlet for releasing frustration. On the other side of the fence, others believe that checking does not belong in women’s hockey. They think that the lack of physical contact is made up for in greater agility and the idea of “pure hockey”. They mean to say that the game’s difficulty is increased by limiting the physical contact per-mitted. The misogynistic men out there think that women cannot handle the physical contact, we’re too fra-gile, we might break. As I mentioned before, I am five foot tall and I am an avid supporter of checking, I’ve received multiple penalties for checking and I have played with the boys before and received hits from them as well. I have never been serio-usly injured from wo-men’s hockey or playing with boys/men. The truth is, we can handle it, and most would prefer that women be allowed to check.
    • Rules of Equal Advertisement QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF WHEN REVIEWING IMAGES OF FEMALE ATHLETES IN THE MEDIA… 1.  Does the woman look like an athlete? She should not appear uncoordinated or incompetent. Women are more likely than men to be pictured failing at their sport (e.g., dropping the ball). If it's an action shot, she should be doing something athletes do well.                                                                               2.  Is she dressed like an athlete? Her clothing or uniform and equipment should look authentic. 3.  Does she have all of her appropriate clothes on? She should not be dressing or undressing. 4.  Are any significant body parts missing? Women often appear with no heads, which implies that only their bodies or parts of their bodies (such as breasts and buttocks) matter. It is permissible for an individual body part to be featured if the product is specific to that body part and the image is not sexual. 5.  Is her pose or are her movements realistic? If Michael Jordan were posed with this body in this position, would he look ridiculous? The athlete should not appear dainty, submissive, shy, or seductive; she should not be in a pose that is contorted, upside-down, or unauthentic (i.e., lifting weights and smiling; sitting with her legs crossed and twisted into a pretzel). She should not be pouting seductively. She should not be gazing adoringly toward men (neither the men pictured in the ad nor male consumers viewing the ad.) 6.  Do the words and pictures go together? Words often undermine the image. For example, “strong is sexy” or “the beauty of power.” 7.  Does the athlete look her age? 8.  Is the image something any girl could look at and feel proud of as a current or future athlete? 9.  Would you be comfortable if the girl or woman in the advertisement was your daughter, mom or a female friend? 10.  Is there diversity with regard to race/ethnicity? 11.  Does the logo or mascot depiction of a school fairly reflect both male and female athletes? If an institutional logo is a male warrior, the institution should consider a double silhouette depicting male and female warriors. There might be male and female versions as mascots or mascot costumes could be made into gender neutral depictions. *Rules were featured in an article by the Women’s Sports Foundation 5
    • USE THE RULES OF EQUAL ADVERTISEMENT TO JUDGE WHETHER OR NOT THESE ADS MAKE THE CUT OF EQUALITY! 6
    • 7
    • Are Female Athletes Losing More Than Their Clothes When Stripping for the Cameras? W omen’s bodies have been notoriously sexualized in the media. Not only models are stripping for the cameras, but it seems that any semi attractive female will take her clothes off for the sake of self promotion, especially when considering the inclusive coverage of female athletes. At least the ones who are willing to strip it all off for a Maxim or Sports Illustrated photo shoot. Where is the line? Has it already been crossed? Is posing naked empowering or demeaning? For many women this answer is not a clear yes or no. While the media has come a long way in at least acknowledging that female athletes exist, it has given a very limited space for expression. A part of the problem comes from the limited coverage of female athletes in the media. It seems that the only way a female athlete is recognized is through naked photo ops. If they aren’t being featured naked, they are being featured off of the playing field and in extremely feminized poses. There is more room for expression in sports that are perceived as more traditionally fem-inine, where the focus is on finesse rather than raw power and strength. It is easier to see a women in a sport where skirts are worn, at least for most men, then when they are covered with equipment which implies the dan-gerous nature of the sport. With such a large scale underrepresentation of fe-male athletes, some feel like there is no other way to promote themselves. They are not getting the coverage they deserve, so in order to get their name out there they agree to the sexualized photo shoots. Some athletes argue that it is empowering to pose naked and show off a healthy body that they work hard to achieve and maintain. They say it also repre-sents a healthy body ideal, and provides a positive model for girls. The only problem is the fact that most maga-zines portraying the “empowering” naked photos are predomina-ntly male viewed. It would be a less problematic issue if the women were being por-trayed in their uniform or even sports bras and shorts and in powerful poses in order to show that they possess ath-letic skill, However, in most of these mag-azines they simply are shown like any other female would be. (Continued on Pg 13) 8
    • A B A B 1.) 2.) Athelete OR Test your knowledge about female athletes…Can you Sport stars? Don’t worry, we 9
    • A A B B 3.) 4.) Model? tell which women are models and which are female had a hard time too! 10
    • REVEALED! 1.) B. Amy Acuff “ There is nothing that makes me want to train harder and refine my technique more than competition. ” She is a self trained high jumper who was first noticed in her high school career. She went on to participate in the Olympics three times, her best finish in 2003 coming in at fourth place. She was ranked number one in the U.S. three different years and has made the annual world high jumping top ten list five times. It is also noted that she gained exposure through modeling, but you would know nothing of her astounding career from the magazines she posed for. 2.) A. Amanda Beard “ When people say to me ‘You’re like the Anna Kournikova who wins’ I definitely take it as a compliment, because she’s quite gorgeous.” Amanda won her first Olympic gold medal at the age of fourteen, which makes her one of the youngest U.S. swimmers in history to win a gold medal.She has won multiple gold medals in many different competitions and also set a world record in 2004 in the 200-meter breast stroke. Another title won is 2004 was “ the most downloadable athlete”. (Note: the above quote was the one featured in the article about her.) 11
    • 3.) 4.) B. Gabrielle Reece A. Lindsey Vonn “  I am incredibly happy and proud of my accomplish-ments. I gave it 110 percent; I left it all on the hill and I have no regrets whatsoever.” She is known as the most successful female ski racers in American history. She is one of a select few world class four event ski racers. She is the only American to earn a gold medal on the downhill race, and holds 3 World Cup overall titles. In addition she holds the US record for World Cup wins at 33. She holds four World Championship titles, two of them gold in 2009. She won 2010 ESPYS for Best Female Athlete (the highest award in women’s sports), and the Best Female Olympic Athlete Award. In addition, the Associated Press named her named her their 2010 Female Athlete of the Year. She has been featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated twice and is referred to as a TV darling. “ People are already p*ssed off at me because I'm athletic and beautiful; to be smart in addition to that... it's like, too much.” Reece was a professional volleyball player who was reigning in titles when she played for Florida State, she was ranked 5 th in career blocks in the NCAA, and received all tournament honors multiple times. She spent four years playing in the Bud Light Pro Volleyball League and was the captain of her Nike team. In her first season she led the league in blocks, and in all but her last season she scored the most kills. She was also twice named the Offensive Player of the Year and holds the League’s record for kills per match. Her second career gained her even more fame, in some positive forums, gracing covers of magazines such as “Elle” and “LIFE” as well as writing for some (“Elle’ & “Women’s Sports & Fitness”. She was also the first female cross-training spokesperson. In a not so positive forum, she also did a spread for “Playboy”. 12
    • So…What is the General Consensus? I asked a question on Facebook for the purpose of this ‘Zine, it was a poll that could be answered by friends or non-friends. I invited a wide variety of friends to answer the question and gave them the reason for my interest in the topic. The question was “Are female athletes underrepresented in the media?”. A total of 93 people voted, (51 females, 42 males) Here are the results…. As you can see from “Athlete or Model” it really is difficult to tell the difference between models and ath-letes. It is fine to be bea-utiful and strong, but when you only put one side out there, that is all the aud-ience is perceiving. If the media is limiting the cover-age to only the feminine photos it significantly down-plays the athletic aspect of the female. It is important that consumers are being exposed to both the strength and femininity. Now, if you were to see both the more sexualized or beautiful photos next to a picture of them performing their sport or at least wearing their team uniform, consumers would see that the women was feminine and strong. If female athletes were 13 YES: 58% (54 Votes) FEMALE: 88% MALE: 21% NO: 39% (36 Votes) FEMALE: 10% MALE: 74% IDK: 3% (3 Votes) FEMALE: 2% MALE: 7% (percentages of male and female are from the total amount of females or males that voted) posing for primarily female viewed maga-zines then the argument of a healthier body image would be valid. However, it does not seem to have much merit when a lot of the pictures are featured in primarily male viewed magazines and they are highly sexualized. They are not reaching young women by posing in Sports Illustrated. The media needs to begin recognizing fe-male athletes based on their athletic achieve-ments and abilities and placing less value on their looks and bodies. Predominantly white, good looking, female athletes are being portrayed, but what about the women who do not fit into these categories? The less attractive (by social stand-ards) are receiving no recognition for their achievements, they aren’t receiving the coverage they deserve. Anna Kour-nikova has not won a single tennis tournament, yet I bet she is the first person who comes to mind when most think of women’s tennis. She was the highest earning tennis player until this year. If a young girl thinks she can only be successful if she is “pretty” that is a major problem. These discrep-ancies need to be addr-essed and changed for female athletics to grow and for women to get the recognition deserved acc-ording to their athletic capabilities.
    • 14 Athlete of the Month Hayley Wickenheiser She is known as the best female hockey player in the world. At age 15 she was chosen for Canada’s Women’s National Team, Since then she has led the team to six gold medals and one silver medal at the Women’s World Hockey Championship. She has earned a silver medal, and three gold medals as an Olympian and was also named “Most Valuable Player of the Tournament” twice (2002 & 2006). Sports Illustrated named her number 20 of The 25 Toughest Athletes in the World. She is also the only female hockey player in history to score a goal in a men’s professional hockey game, She played the 08-09 season with the Sweden division one professional men’s team. In addition to hockey, she is also an elite softball player and played in the 2000 Summer Olympics for Team Canada. TITLE IX Congress passed Title IX on June 23, 1972 which was not originally intended to grant women the right to participate in high school sports, but that is exactly what it did, It states: “No person in the U.S. shall, on the basis of sex be excluded from participation in, or denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving federal aid." This extended to include athletics. The emphasis was that women should have equal opportunities in athletics. In order for an institute to be in compliance they had to follow three primary areas: athletic financial assistance, accommodation of athletic interests and abilities, and other program areas (such as equipment and facilities). Title IX accomplished so much for female athletics. Girls were now permitted to partake in sports that were previously unavailable. No longer were sports for boys only, now girls had found their place in the world of athletics. It remains in effect today and gives women equal opportunities, financial awards are given based on proportionality of female athletes to male athletes.
    • DID YOU LEARN ANYTHING?
      • My hope in creating this ‘Zine was to take action on an issue I felt strongly about. I wanted to make a difference somehow, even if it was only in a small way. I hope that people who view this will be more critical consumers of the media, and may begin to notice things that didn’t really stand out before. I also tried to educate people about some talented female athletes that they may have not known of beforehand. Start conversations on the issues I mentioned, see what others think and try to explain and defend your own position. If you don’t agree with an advertisement you see somewhere, contact the producers, don’t be afraid to raise your voice. Your voice is one of the most powerful tools for change, if enough people speak out against it, things will change, because there will no longer be a demand for it. So please SPEAK OUT!
      15
    • 16 Sources &quot;About Title IX.&quot;  Bailiwick - The University of Iowa Libraries . Web. 11 Apr. 2011. <http://bailiwick.lib.uiowa.edu/ge/aboutRE.html>. &quot;Amy Acuff Pictures, Photo Galleries, Bio & Rating - AskMen.&quot;  AskMen - Men's Online Magazine . Web. 11 Apr. 2011. <http://www.askmen.com/celebs/women/models_250/287_amy_acuff.html &quot;Does Body Checking Belong In Women’s Hockey?&quot;  Total Female Hockey Club . Web. 11 Apr. 2011. <http://totalfemalehockeyclub.com/2009/09/does- body-checking-belong-in-womens-hockey/>. &quot;Gabrielle Reece Pictures, Photo Galleries, Bio & Rating - AskMen.&quot;  AskMen - Men's Online Magazine . Web. 11 Apr. 2011. <http://www.askmen.com/celebs/women/models_150/191_gabrielle_reec e.html>. &quot;Hayley Wickenheiser » Speaker Profile » National Speakers Bureau.&quot;  National Speakers Bureau » Best Speakers in Canada . Web. 11 Apr. 2011. <http://nsb.com/speakers/view/hayley-wickenheiser>. &quot;Lindsey Vonn.&quot;  U.S. Ski Team . Web. 11 Apr. 2011. <http://www.usskiteam.com/alpine/athletes/athlete?athleteId=1001>. &quot;Media - Images and Words In Women's Sports: The Foundation Position - Women's Sports Foundation.&quot;  Home - Women's Sports Foundation . Web. 11 Apr. 2011. <http://www.womenssportsfoundation.org/Content/Articles/Issues/Media- and-Publicity/M/Media--Images-and-Words-In-Womens-Sports-The- Foundation-Position.aspx>. &quot;Mixed Media: Images of Female Athletes - Women's Sports Foundation.&quot;  Home - Women's Sports Foundation . Web. 11 Apr. 2011. <http://www.womenssportsfoundation.org/Content/Articles/Issues/Media- and-Publicity/M/Mixed-Media-Images-of-Female-Athletes.aspx>. Ramsey, David. &quot;Women Hockey Olympians Debate the Values of Checking | Checking, Women, Story - Sports - Colorado Springs Gazette, CO.&quot;  Colorado Springs News & Information : Colorado Springs Gazette, CO . Web. 11 Apr. 2011. <http://www.gazette.com/articles/checking- 92187-women-story.html>. Roenigk, Alyssa. &quot;How Much Should Female Athletes Reveal in the Name of Self- promotion? -- ESPN The Magazine, the Body Issue - ESPN.&quot;  ESPN: The Worldwide Leader In Sports . Web. 11 Apr. 2011. <http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/news/story?id=4540728>.