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The Gender Issue Is Finally Addressed

by Photo of Karly Redpath

ESPN’s new series “Nine for IX” will discuss gender issues that arise between men and women.

The Gender Issue Is Finally Addressed

In this article…

Since the implementation of Title IX in 1972, the legislation has fought for equal participation for female athletes and funding for the sports they play. Although Title IX has allowed the opportunity for both male and female athletes to be represented in educational programs (like sport), we tend to ignore the ever-present gender gap that can still be found.

ESPN's new series 'Nine for IX' hopes to address the gap between men and women not only in sport but in other areas as well.

It is clear that women are underrepresented in sports broadcasting and coverage. There is little to no female sports coverage on television, and highlights from women's sports are rarely covered on major sports networks. 90% of all sports coverage features men's sports. Women's sports get 5% of coverage time.

It is true that the media's support of female sports has increased in the past 41 years, but not as much as some might think. It wasn't until 1992 that women's sports coverage surpassed the 3% of coverage that horses and dogs receive.

In light of all this, the idea for the female-oriented series was thought up by Libby Geist, who worked on ESPN's '30 for 30' documentary series and is producing 'Nine for IX.' Like the statistics throughout all sports coverage, the '30 for 30' series featured three female athletes in their 51 films.

Geist acknowledged the gender gap in sports on the 40th anniversary of Title IX last year.

"The notion of women being underrepresented in film as well as sports is a universal problem and something that is constantly being talked about but there's not a lot of action towards," Geist said. "When the [40th] anniversary came up of Title IX last year, it was a great motivation to say 'We've got to do something,'"

In February ESPN revealed that 'Nine for IX' would air a series of nine hour-long documentaries focusing on female athletes with films directed by female filmmakers. The first documentary airs tonight at 8 p.m. CT. Venus Williams's stand for female tennis players to receive equal amounts of prize money as men at Wimbledon will be tonight's 'Nine for IX' topic.

Watch the 'Nine for IX' trailer:


The other eight episodes after 'Venus Vs.' airs tonight will cover prominent female figures in the world of sport. Some of these include Pat Summitt, Mia Hamm, sports journalist Lisa Olson who fought sexual harassment in by the New England Patriots, late scuba diver Audrey Mestre, and runner Mary Decker.

All of these women were chosen because they represent something larger than themselves and larger than the gap that often separates men and women in the sports world. These women have chosen to stand up for themselves and push themselves even in the face of adversity. The series is bound to get people's attention and will hopefully be the first step in starting a movement towards recognizing the importance of and sparking enthusiasm in women's sports and their coverage.

Let CHARGED.fm get you sports tickets this summer!


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