A lot of the time when an American is talking about a great football game they watched Sunday, it’s pretty safe to assume it involved big men, helmets, and touchdowns. In other words, the NFL. After this last weekend though, many of us (a record-setting many of us in fact) are still buzzing about an entirely different kind of football game. Whether you call it football, footie, the beautiful game or even just… soccer, you’ve surely heard about the US Women’s National Team defeating Japan 5-2 in the FIFA World Cup Final.
We are the Champions!
Besides all of the jubilation and pride that goes along with such a big win, it provides lots of food for thought regarding women in sports. Before the games even began, there was a gender discrimination charge regarding the athletes playing on artificial turf, and more recently, chatter around the team payout of 2 million dollars– for some perspective on that figure, FIFA recently spent about 27 million dollars producing a promotional movie about league history. If you’re intrigued by these issues, we have many books in the collection to help you learn about women’s sports. Here are three of the best on the subject:
Women and Sports in the United States: A Documentary Reader provides a comprehensive collection of views on the post-Title IX era from various information sources: scholarly articles, journalism, legal documents and even first-person accounts.
Playing with the Boys: Why Separate is Not Equal in Sports investigates the barriers that prevent women from competing equally. The authors use plenty of contemporary examples, rely on data and provide full notes to back up their claims.
2014’s Qualifying Times: Points of Change in U.S. Women’s Sport takes a look at the issue with a wide lens, but from a base of the physical culture of women. For example, the introduction is titled The Politics of the Ponytail, and the first chapter is devoted to what upper-class American women wore when they decided to do something as shocking as play tennis in the 1800’s. It’s lively and informative.
More great material on the subject can be found here.