While writing this piece for Role/Reboot last week, I thought about something that Simone de Beauvoir realized as she began what would later evolve into The Second Sex. “One day I wanted to explain myself to myself…And it struck me with a sort of surprise that the first thing I had to say was ‘I am a woman.'”
<a href=”http://www.rolereboot.org/culture-and-politics/details/2014-01-why-eugenie-bouchard-wasnt-asked-about-tennis”>Why Eugenie Bouchard Wasn’t Asked About Tennis, Role/Reboot on January 26, 2014</a>
After 19-year-old Eugenie Bouchard became the first Canadian in decades to make the Australian Open semifinals, reporter (and former tennis star) Samantha Smith decided to ask her…about celebrity crushes and Justin Bieber? Because like Beauvoir, Bouchard isn’t a person first, or an athlete first — she’s a woman. And despite the fact that she was history in the making, the first thing on her mind must be her fantasy dating life, right?
I didn’t want to so much join the Internet masses in beating a dead horse (yes, Internet, Smith’s question was totally ridiculous) as I wanted to examine why we are still reluctant to take women in sports seriously, or even female sports fans. Plus, I relish any and all opportunities to talk about Carol Gilligan and her gendered identity development theories. Good stuff.