Poniatowski Presents Research on the Representation of Women in Sports Nov. 11
“I think, if we are talking about equality and civil rights, that things aren’t really equal in the sports world between men and women.” This is the philosophy of Dr. Kelly Poniatowski, assistant professor of communications, who will speak on the representation of women in sports at 11 a.m. Monday, Nov. 11, in the Tower Room.
Poniatowski’s research looks primarily at women in Olympic hockey, though more recently she has delved into other sports such as water polo and equestrian sports. Her research has made the comparison between sports and the way women are being represented. What she found was is there is a lack of women’s coverage. “We do not see as much coverage of women in sports as we do men …,” said Poniatowski.
During the Olympics, the sports usually shown during prime time are gymnastics, swimming, beach volleyball and figure skating, which, in relation to women, are considered the more feminine and beautiful sports. Poniatowski will discuss how women are represented in masculine sports such as ice hockey and water polo.
I think this is an important topic because women are often marginalized in sports…”
Her findings indicate that women tend to be feminized in a lot of ways – being described in reference to their sport as mothers, wives or girlfriends. “I think this is an important topic because women are often marginalized in sports and there are a lot of women who play sports and watch sports,” said Poniatowski. “We still need to break down some of those barriers, to give women equal opportunities.”
Laura Tomesetti ’15, member of the College’s softball team, agrees with Poniatoswki. “Especially when it comes to the Olympics, there is a lot more men’s sports on T.V. than female sports,” said Tomesetti. “Just in general, there is always sports going on in the same season, but you never see field hockey or women’s soccer on T.V.”
Luke Gatti ’15, member of the Blue Jays baseball team, has the same opinion. “I feel that women’s sports don’t get a lot of publicity due to the overall popularity of men’s sports,” he said. “Whenever I turn on the T.V. it is a rarity to see any kind of women’s sports being televised. I feel the only time women’s sports do get televised is when the WNBA are in playoffs and when the women’s college softball world series is on.”