Watching sports with my daughter is different than watching sports with my son. I admit that it shouldn’t be, but it is.
With my son, we get caught up in the excitement of the game, root for our favorites and cheer at the opposing team’s failures. With my daughter, though, somehow I get caught up in giving her a history lesson on women’s sports and trying to convince her that she needs to work harder in every area of her life.
Why? Because the inequalities between the genders are glaring when viewed through the sports lens. Women’s sports continue to play second fiddle to men’s. And in everyday life, women earn 77 cents for every dollar that men make.
I don’t want my daughter to be on the sidelines cheering the men on, whether it be in business or sports. I want my daughter to be the one everyone hopes will hit the big shot. I want her to have the same opportunities that her two brothers have. I want her to be treated equally and paid equally.
I’m big fan of the WNBA for those reasons. I want the women’s game to be appreciated on the same level as the men’s. After a promising start, the league’s momentum slowed down. However, it seems that, talent-wise, the WNBA is rebounding these days and marketable personalities are also flourishing.
When I was invited to attend a “Dads and Daughters” day at a New York Liberty game, I said yes without even checking my calendar. I wanted to give my daughter the gift of seeing amazing athletes who were once little girls like her. My daughter quickly became fascinated with one of the players, Cappie Pondexter. The tattooed-covered scoring machine put on a show the day we went and my daughter couldn’t wait to learn to dribble like her new hero. (The reason she opted to dribble like a pro and not shoot like a pro is that my daughter is very petite and can’t quite hit the rim yet.)
I hope these WNBA athletes continue to inspire my daughter (and sons, too). I want her to persevere and break through glass ceilings, to avoid the temptation to stand by and let others receive all the opportunity and glory.
As if you need more incentives to watch the New York Liberty play, there is currently a “We Stand for Women” sweepstakes running where fans can win NYC concert tickets and future Liberty tickets. The contest runs through August 17.
Disclaimer: I received tickets to attend the game with my daughter. Although I was given tickets, the ideas within this post are my own and I strongly stand by them.
Editor’s Note: This post has been cross-posted at NYC Dads Group.