Rachel Maddow on women’s soccer amazingness

So, women’s sports are totally boring cause they’re less athletic than men and nothing exciting ever happens, right? And anyway, women aren’t interested in sports and men certainly don’t care about women’s sports, so they’re a terrible investment, right?

Just watch this.

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Holy crap.

(A transcript should be available at this link soon.

Boston, MA

Jos Truitt is Executive Director of Development at Feministing. She joined the team in July 2009, became an Editor in August 2011, and Executive Director in September 2013. She writes about a range of topics including transgender issues, abortion access, and media representation. Jos first got involved with organizing when she led a walk out against the Iraq war at her high school, the Boston Arts Academy. She was introduced to the reproductive justice movement while at Hampshire College, where she organized the Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program’s annual reproductive justice conference. She has worked on the National Abortion Federation’s hotline, was a Field Organizer at Choice USA, and has volunteered as a Pro-Choice Clinic Escort. Jos has written for publications including The Guardian, Bilerico, RH Reality Check, Metro Weekly, and the Columbia Journalism Review. She has spoken and trained at numerous national conferences and college campuses about trans issues, reproductive justice, blogging, feminism, and grassroots organizing. Jos completed her MFA in Printmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute in Spring 2013. In her "spare time" she likes to bake and work on projects about mermaids.

Jos Truitt is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Development.

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  • davenj

    US-Brazil was a great game (not in terms of refereeing, it was awful in that sense) because it was arguably the two best teams on the planet going at it and playing a beautiful, flowing style that only the most developed women’s national soccer programs can cultivate.

    As far as fandom, credit to ESPN where credit is due. They’re airing EVERY Women’s World Cup game, and they’re airing them live. The coverage is as good as you’d get watching soccer on ESPN, and as a result the games are accessible, easy to watch, and the broadcasts are high-quality. It has been easy for me to catch every game so far, which is quite an achievement by ESPN.

    This is still a once every four years occurrence as far as the event goes, but I think we’re seeing growth every single time in terms of degree of coverage and the games getting watched.

  • http://feministing.com/members/dark_morgaine_le_fey/ dark_morgaine_le_fey

    I have to admit, I am one of those women who does not like sports. That being said, I have come to realize sports are ubiquitous, and will never go away. If I must have a game on in every family restaurant I visit, it’s nice to see that sometimes they will be women’s sports. Not that men’s sports are bad, but it becomes grating to think that the supposedly universal entertainment venue of sports would be forever closed to half of the population. I don’t think this means things have permanently changed, but I see it as a good sign for the future. Good luck to the American team tomorrow!

  • spiffy-mcbang

    Most guys, once they realize that women playing a given sport can put on as exciting a show as the men, will as readily watch the women as the men when they’re on TV. Not all, of course, but most. Soccer is obviously a good example. MMA is another, even if there’s still some amount of pushback against women fighting. Unfortunately, in some sports that gap in interest between watching the men and the women is probably going to remain wide; I doubt women’s basketball will become as popular as women’s soccer, for example, until you have a ton of women dunking the shit out of the ball.

    But all this got me thinking… if we think pushing women as credible spectator-sport athletes is a good thing- and I’d guess most everyone here does, even the non-sports fans- wouldn’t it be a good idea to take the sports that don’t put a premium on top-end physical capability, like billiards or bowling, and have the men and women compete against each other? Right now there are men’s and women’s pro tours for both those sports, and it never made sense except in light of the fact the tours began when everything was automatically separated by gender. There’s no reason for it now, though. And even though those are not popular sports, I’m inclined to think it would still become a major step forward in acknowledging that women can compete with men in a sport defined by skill over technology (like auto racing or, to a lesser extent, golf).

    • davenj

      I agree with things like billiards, bowling, auto racing, and the like, but I don’t think golf fits the bill. Anyone who watches golf closely recognizes just how much the sport depends on arm and leg strength. Without a separate LPGA tour there are only a few women in the world who could even attempt to compete on the PGA level, and their development without the LPGA events would be hindered. Sorenstam took a swing at it, and was unsuccessful, and she was the absolute best the LPGA had to offer, and had years of experience. Golf really does have a lot to do with upper body strength, and at the amateur/youth level women have a significant disadvantage that would be compounded over time without a separate tour.

  • http://feministing.com/members/eadske/ Katherine

    This reminds of a conversation I had with one of my managers. We were talking about basketball and how I believe they should integrate the teams. He said that can’t happen because women aren’t as athletic.
    I beamed with pride at this article. Maybe I’ll tag him in my post on facebook about this!
    (I understand they’re different sports but still…)

    • davenj

      This is a great event, but it’s not an example for integrating male and female sports. Your manager is right about the athleticism gap. The USWNT practices against younger men’s teams regularly to get high-level competition. As great as the team is, there’s not one person on it who could play on the Men’s National Squad. And basketball contains an even bigger athletic hurdle.

      The mentality that women’s sports must compete against men’s sports to have value is a trap.

  • http://feministing.com/members/toongrrl/ toongrrl
  • http://feministing.com/members/lalareina/ lalareina

    As a person who enjoys sports I’d love to see just once see them covered in a space like this as the great event they are rather than the usual ‘we showed the guys we can play too’ vein.

  • http://feministing.com/members/defenderofpants/ David

    i was one of those people jumping up and down in pajamas. of course, i didn’t record myself doing it.

    i’m still reeling from that game.

  • red_haired_dancer

    The video isn’t working… is there somewhere else I can watch it where it will work? I tried to click through to “Watch video on the Rachel Maddow show” but it didn’t work there either.

  • http://feministing.com/members/jopkins/ Prax

    You can find the video on YouTube.