Letter to the Minneapolis Star Tribune

By Grace O’Malley. 

To the Minneapolis Star Tribune:

Thank you for Not Letting Jim Souhan Write about the Women’s World Cup

At the time of the 2006 Men’s World Cup, I was 14 years old.

Despite being pretty wrapped up in my own 14-year-old girl life and only superficially following the Cup, I remember being outraged after reading a column by Jim Souhan titled, “A Dozen Ways To Fix Soccer for the U.S.” I was just entering high school and didn’t know much about feminism or gender equality, but as a soccer player I was deeply offended by Souhan’s “suggestions” about what would make soccer better, which apparently were supposed to be funny.

In order to “make the world a better place,” and have soccer succeed in the American market, he proposed twelve ridiculous improvements, including:

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I’m a female athlete, and I’m part of the problem that female athletes are not supported

2015-Womens-World-Cup-Champions

It’s a great time to be an American woman. The US women’s team just won the world cup. I went to one of the games during groups, and I loved seeing how many American fans there were. There were girls and women of all ages concerned more about their face paint and red-white-and blue head bands rather than their mascara or straightened hair. Apart from the women, there were plenty of boys and men cheering the women’s team, making the gender ratio of the fans pretty balanced. This is the most viewed soccer event by Americans in history. The baseball world series 7th had 23.5 million viewers and this world cup was not far behind with 22.86 million viewers(NPR).

For a New York Times article, Julie Foudy, star midfielder on the 1999 team states explains

“We’re talking about them as athletes, rather than some of the conversations we had in ’99 — ‘My God, who are these women? They’re kind of hot!’ ” This comment well portrays the transition of US women’s soccer over the past 16 years.

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