Gender Inequity in the Locker-Room
Breaking barriers in a male-driven career path has never been easy. Sports columnist and commentator Christine Brennan touched on the battles that she faced as a young reporter at the Miami Herald that put [her] in the Florida Gator’s locker room where [she] had to wait on the loading dock while all her male competition got all the scoops. Those days are over.
Brennan is a living example that this is not the case. She mentioned that “in 1983, Miami won every day with a woman in the locker-room, and that woman was me.”
Despite these obstacles, Brennan was able to effectively report on the beat just as successfully as the men and made a name for herself in sports journalism. Her reports on the Tanya Harding scandal ultimately led to a successful book deal, adding even more to her plate. Over the years, some women in sports media have found it difficult to balance their personal and professional lives. This wasn’t the case for Brennan.
She stated that “[she] could’ve absolutely carved out time within [her] career for marriage and kids. You can do that. It’s all going to be flexible and you’ll be able to take time off when needed.” It’s crazy to believe that in 2017 this questioning of women’s capabilities to balance is still being brought about. In a world so dominated by men, women, especially in sports journalism, have an obligation to work hard and demonstrate grace and ability in times of hostility. By putting in the extra effort and maintaining a competitive will to succeed, slowly but surely we will see dramatic change. Brennan brought up a touching story from when she was just beginning her career.
She relayed a message that had been given to her by her mother when she was in her twenties actively reporting on air and on the field. Her mother first made her picture her life as a movie. She then went on to tell her that if her “movie” ended with her getting married and having a baby instead of pursuing her dreams and passions in sports, the audience would sob out of sadness because of what she would be giving up.
Overall, Brennan is a classic case of overcoming obstacles and women in sports must see the importance of striving for one’s aspirations despite the critics and keep pushing for equality within this career path.