I saw this in The Stir - Do you think this is good progress?
This year's Women's World Cup may have been a major tipping point for women's sports -- soccer, at least. And now we have actual, physical proof of that: A Spanish company called RS Barcelona has released the first ever mass-produced female table football (foosball) figurine player named Ella. Apparently, Ella, like Abby Wambach and Hope Solo before her, is a force to be reckoned with. All the guys at the foosball table won't know what hit 'em!
According to RS Barcelona, she looks like the male figurines, but "with more curves," and her "game is as precise and her shot as powerful as the men's ... Complete equality." Yes, awesome, right?
Err, not so fast. I'm not sure about this.
Why is there just one lone woman? Why not redesign the foosball table to include a whole bunch of men and women? Or just women? And really, let's be serious, is an overhaul like this -- to a game played by drunk people in bars -- really the kind of progress we're looking for when it comes to women in sports? Ehhhh.
Don't get me wrong -- having a woman "at the table," so to speak, is certainly a good thing. But it's not the thing. The U.S.-Japan final attracted 13.5 million U.S. viewers. That is progress. That is the direction we need to be headed in. We need girls to make up more than just 40 percent of the American Youth Soccer Organization. We need it to not be a cutesy-named anomaly to have a woman represented or respected on the field. Sure, we're doing okay, but once there's not even a special mention of women being a force in soccer -- or any sport -- that's when I think we'll really have something to cheer about.
What do you think -- is this progress for women in sports?