This paper reflects the research and thoughts of a student at the time the paper was written for a course at Bryn Mawr College. Like other materials on Serendip, it is not intended to be "authoritative" but rather to help others further develop their own explorations. Web links were active as of the time the paper was posted but are not updated.
Women, Sport, and Film - 2002
Society, athletic women, and film have always been used as a medium to express the discrimination against women athletes today. The year 2010 has commissioned me to write a movie script about women's sports and current society. There are four crucial elements that define the reasons why women have been abused by men in the athletic world which are the following: history, race and class, gender, and sexual orientation. Each of these elements point to the drastic change in feminine power over athletics. The theme of Women Kicks is about women that kick down discrimination and focus on the real issue, their love for the sport.
Women Kicks is about the New York's professional women's football team called "Women Kicks" in a world with the new WNFL in 2010. Currently there are no existing women's football teams, however I want to portray in this movie how society would discriminate against a women's professional football team. It is very unrealistic to today's audience to have a women's football team because for the past decades, football has always been a man's sport. I want the audience to believe that anything is possible with the movement for women's rights in athletics. In the opening scene, the women's football team is speaking before a high school audience in New York City. They are watching a clip from a Womens Movement documentary about women marching through the streets of Washington D.C. protesting for the right to work. The team's quarterback, Sarah Cunningham tells the audience, "I believe that the women's movement has not ended, but has just begun. Only, seventy years ago, our ancestors were fighting for the right to work. Now we must fight for our descendants for the right to play." The team's coach, Joe Contonelli tells the audience, "We should also focus on women's increasing power in the athletic world today. How many of you guys watch the WNBA." Suddenly, a boy in the audience screams out, "The WNBA sucks!" Joe says, "Well, we must always remember that women's sports do not appeal to the majority audience. The WNBA started about 20 years ago and it has the highest ratings from women athletics in country." Here, I remind the audience about the strong objection to women's sports everywhere.
Next, Women Kicks opens the discussion to questions from the audience. "Hello, my name is Mary. I am currently on the girl's JV football team. The boys JV team harasses us constantly. They even scream out obscene comments like and throw toilet paper at us during our practices. I have always been told to keep peace in situations like these, however my team and I are losing our patience. We need advice about how to fight for women's rights without violence or hatred in our actions." "I am amazed by the strength of your team. I understand that it is really tough for girls to play their passion at the cost of mean rumors and nasty comments. I had a similar situation in high school myself. My high school had no girl's football team. I had to play with the boys during recess. The other students would laugh at me because I was not like the normal girl. I would come home crying and my mother would tell me, 'Remember to focus on the sport and not on the discrimination. Be strong because you must always be persecuted for equality.' I hold on to that advice dearly because I remember to focus on my passion and I ask you and your team to do the same," said Alyssa Greco.
Sam Donahue, the high school's gym teacher asks the team, "I have been working at this high for the past 30 years. Each year, there are less girls participating in sports teams. Do you believe that societal pressures have affected the love of sports for women?" "I am not surprised that there are less girls playing on sports. These days, girls must fall into the category of a magazine model that is tall, thin, and unhealthy. It not sexy to look healthy in today's image. Look at our team, no offense to my teammates. We are all too muscular and magazine articles continue to call us names like, "Men Kicks" because we our physical bodies are not thin like the ideal societal figure. We don't get endorsements because we do not look pretty according to societal standards. One important thing that I have learned in this business, is to remember what you believe is beautiful. It is very sad that there are less girls playing on teams, but hopefully this matter will change in the future," said Sarah Cunningham.
"Hello, my name is Sylvia. My question is, do you believe society discriminates against women more than non-Caucasian athletes?" "Good question Sylvia, but I have no answer. I think that both of these groups have fought a good fight for the right to play sports. I personally think that is a battle for other groups too such as poor athletes and homosexuals. Hard work will get you far in a sport, but these issues of race, class, gender, and sexual orientations can push you down. Athletes must learn to recognize this issue, but they must always focus on the game against themselves. The real battle is not against other teams or society, it is against themselves. I hope that we will all leave here remembering that even though these issues of discrimination continue to exist in 2010, the real game is with ourselves," said coach Joe Contonelli. "Well, I hope everyone will continue to aspire in their love of sports. Please come watch our team play the Boston Power Chickas in Giant's stadium this weekend," said Joe Contonelli. Thank you for all your comments Women Kicks, said Sam Donahue.