This is a project about raising awareness in Bosnia for women’s soccer, and why we should pay more attention to women’s sports. Throughout this page, you will see two interviews and pictures of teenage girls playing soccer, and talking about their experiences. I was inspired to do this project because I lived in Bosnia for three months and am there now for three weeks now. I wanted to provide recognition to these incredible athletes for all that they are worth and give a platform for these teenagers to share their thoughts, and dreams, within their soccer league.
Too often the media sexualizes women’s sports and does not give them the athletic recognition they deserve. Mary Jo Kane, a women’s sports expert working at the University of Minnesota, and has written many fantastic journals on women’s sports. The article she wrote that inspired me the most is about women’s sports in the media. In many cases, the media chooses only to show women playing sports in a highly over sexualized way, and rarely focuses on their athletic talent. “Our findings revealed that in the vast majority of cases, a “sex sells” approach offended the core fan base of women’s sports—women and older men” (Kane). This made me ask the question why? Why do we watch men’s sports more then women? Is it because men want to show how masculine they are in sports, and feel that they can not have women be better at something they are stereotypically dominant in?
Throughout this page, I would like you to think about this, how many times have you seen women’s soccer on tv? How often when you are at a bar or restaurant around the world, do you sit at the counter and see women playing sports? Furthermore, do you think there is a difference in the entertainment factor, or is that just an excuse to not watch women play?
Varvara Šešlija is 16 years old and has been playing soccer for 8 years. I chose to interview her because we are very close and she is one of my best friends. That is why this project is so important to me because soccer is something she excels at in her country and plays not only for her team, but for her national team, and I wanted to provide her with recognition. You can listen below if you would like to hear her story.
Sarah is 17 years old and has been playing for the Sarajevo club for two years now with Varvara. She is in the over 16 league and was happy to have an interview with me after practice. One of the most memorable parts of the interview, in my opinion, was the part when she said that women’s soccer is more about grace and technique and that it is beautiful to watch.
Women’s soccer, as Sarah said, is beautiful, please enjoy some of their best moments that I captured below.
Working on this project made me realize how amazing women are. They are strong and powerful, and I hope that these photos and interviews exhibited that. They deserve to have their voices heard, and their talent showed, which is not often in the media with women’s sports. Sex does sell (Kane) in the media unfortunately, but why can’t pure talent?I call everyone who has an interest in sports, to stop letting the media ignore women athletes. I urge women, men, and everyone in between, to take a stand and try to make people care.
Kane , Mary Jo. “Progress and Inequality: Women’s Sports and the Gender Gap.” CEHD Vision 2020, 3 Jan. 2018, cehdvision2020.umn.edu/blog/progress-inequality-womens-sports-gender-gap/.
U.S. Sports Academy, and Joshua A. A. Senne. “Examination of Gender Equity and Female Participation in Sport.” The Sports Journal, 29 Feb. 2016, thesportjournal.org/article/examination-of-gender-equity-and-female-participation-in-sport/.
Kane, Mary Jo. “Sex Sells Sex, Not Women’s Sports.” The Nation, 29 June 2015, www.thenation.com/article/sex-sells-sex-not-womens-sports/.
Wigmore, Tim. “Sport’s Gender Pay Gap: Why Are Women Still Paid Less than Men?” NewStatesmen , 5 Aug. 2016, www.newstatesman.com/politics/sport/2016/08/sport-s-gender-pay-gap-why-are-women-still-paid-less-men.