In praise of women in sports—and how that honors all women

Monday, October 7, 2013

“Ten Reasons Why I Love Women’s Pro Soccer and You Should, too”
Sarah Sentilles, a feminist scholar of religion and author of several books, wrote this essay for the Ms. Magazine Blog last month.  It’s a celebration of women who engage in athletics —a celebration that extends beyond the stadium to honor each and every woman who dares to be strong and who is determined to confront sexism with courage and confidence, while refusing to accept cultural limitations on all she can be and all she can do. Imagine being on the soccer field or seated among the spectators, with the crowd roaring all around you. Then read these words from Sentilles:  “I know the crowd is cheering for the incredibly talented women on the field, but somehow it feels like they are cheering for all women. To root for strong women in a patriarchal culture, to root for people who endure pain and frustration and support each other’s diverse talents, to root for women who come in different shapes and sizes and sexualities and ethnicities is to root for something more than sport. . . .  We’re used to seeing women cheering for men, but not so used to a stadium full of people shouting in support of women. We should do it more often.”  This is just a sample of the kind of incisive and enthusiastic writing you’ll find under each one of Sentilles’ ten reasons.  Read them all!

Related reading right here on our own website: 

“Celebrating Title IX as God’s Good Gift” by Melanie Springer Mock

“Celebrating Women’s Athleticism?  Or Cultural Beauty Ideals?”  (A FemFaith discussion in three parts by Melanie Springer Mock, Kendra Weddle, and Letha Dawson Scanzoni.)

Letha Dawson Scanzoni
Letha Dawson Scanzoni is an independent scholar, writer, and editor. In 1978, she and Virginia Ramey Mollenkott wrote Is the Homosexual My Neighbor?, one of the earliest books urging evangelical Christians to rethink their views on homosexuality (updated edition, 1994, HarperOne). More recently, Letha coauthored (with social psychologist David G. Myers) What God Has Joined Together: The Christian Case for Gay Marriage (HarperOne, 2005 and 2006). Another of Letha’s most well-known books is All We’re Meant to Be: Biblical Feminism for Today, coauthored with Nancy A. Hardesty (Word Books, 1974; revised edition, Abingdon, 1986; updated and expanded edition, Eerdmans, 1992).

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