Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Girls in Sports in Books

My first completed novel is a book about Emily who loses her dad and refuses to continue playing softball. He was her softball coach and she can't imagine taking the field without him.

Why did I decide to write a book about girls playing softball? The general reason is because I strongly feel their needs to be more sports books for girls. The personal reason is my daughter has been playing softball for 4 years and I love to watch her play and love the sport as much as she does. She would look for sports books for girls in library and book stores and found very few and nothing about girls playing softball. Most are about girls playing on a boys baseball team. Sorry, not the same thing.

There are a lot of reasons girls either don't play sports or give up as they get older. Those who stay in sports tend to have greater success later in life. Sports gives girls confidence and self esteem especially in their teen years when they need it most.

Then why do they quit? One reason is that society still doesn't value female athletes. Female athletes are drastically underpaid as compared to male athletes. They aren't featured in as many sports drink commercials. This leads to girls thinking the don't belong in sports. In fact according to one study, 70 % of girls believe they don't belong in sports. Once we starting valuing female athletes as a society maybe this will change. Maybe they will start believing they should be playing sports.

I value female athletes and I want to reflect that in my writing for all the girls out there deciding whether or not they should continue playing. Maybe one day a young girl will be shopping for a book and see the cover of my book with a softball player on it. She may pick it up and decide to sign up for softball again that year. Or decide not to quit. She sees that her love of softball or sports validated in my book.  Representation matters in literature and right now it's not there for girls in sports.

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