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Sexism and sports writing

My friend Stephanie Stradley discusses matters relating to sexism and sports writing in a piece about Will Leitch’s to-be-named successor at Deadspin.

Are Female Sports Bloggers Held to a Different Standard?

On this I can offer an emphatic Yes. Whoever replaces Leitch will face a lot of scrutiny. A female offered that position would face additional pressures. To take an example from TV: if people don’t like Skip Bayless, they call him annoying. If people don’t like Kelly Tilghman, they may call her an annoying unqualified woman, disqualified either by her gender or an imagined affirmative action policy that supposedly placed her above more qualified men.

From my own experience: if I screw up, I know there are people who will attribute that screw up to the fact that I’m a chick. Even if I don’t screw up, some cretins still leave repulsive sexist comments when they disagree with me.

When I do well, readers give me that feedback too but it usually has nothing to do my being a woman. (Rare exceptions include marriage proposals and female readers who appreciate how I represent female sports fans.)

I believe that anyone who wants to excel at a job that is typically not performed by people of their background often feels the need to do additional things. Deadspin has an enlightened readership, but I don’t see any reason the usual dynamics wouldn’t play out.

Good stuff, so check it out.

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