Insightful author Jennifer Doyle makes a solid case showing sexism can be a barrier to the development of women’s soccer . I thought she sounded defensive early in the article, but as i read through the piece, I thought that it isn’t paranoia if there really are unmarked black helicopters in the sky. It’s a very good read and will provide you with new insight into the challenges girls and women face as athletes.
Doyle makes valid points about the lack of understanding of the specific needs of female athletes caused by the ingrained sexism of medicine and sports culture, which ties back to the high rate of ACL tears in female soccer players. She points out that coaches sometime fail to recognize that the gender differences are not only physiological, but also metabolic, social and psychological.
Beyond that, Doyle brings up the gender inequity of their soccer fields and shoes, the lack of understanding of society’s impact in the physical movement of young women and the failure of some coaches to truly listen to girls.
The article concludes with the positive side of battling the challenges by recognizing the rewards of changing how girls play and how they live. The impact of sexism on soccer is a reflection of the culture we live in. As in society, change will be slow, but recognizing the issue is the first step to addressing it.