I guess I have to start somewhere!

Writing an introduction at this point was more difficult than I anticipated. Not knowing where to begin, I started with a quote from the series of essays that has inspired me the most thus far. In the end, I do not anticipate that this will be my “starting point,” but nonetheless it was the only way I could think of starting being that Solnit’s quote was so prevalent to this project. I grappled with wanting to touch upon my own experience as an athlete in the introduction, but in the end, I decided that It would be best because it will increase my credibility throughout the rest of the project. I also had some trouble “beefing” it up. I am not finalized on the essay topics therefore I was not able to preview what I wanted to address about that in my introduction. SO right now it is definitely a little choppy. I wanted to end with a “thesis statement” of some kind in order to introduce the topics I will be discussing. I also usually write introductions after I have complete the first draft of the body of the project, because I do not want to go into writing the essays feeling I have to explain what I mentioned in the introduction, but rather create the introduction around what I have written about in the essays.

The gaps in my knowledge are still general feminist concepts/theories. I am not going to directly incorporate them into the introduction necessarily, but I do think that having a better understanding of their language and usage of worlds and phrases will allow me to better articulate the points I am trying to make. While conducting my research the questions that continue to present themselves are 1. How do you argue with money generation—sport is a business model? And 2. Why are the successful women in sport still underrepresented when they have proven to close the gap? I think even after this project these questions will continue to haunt me, but as I read more and more, I find evidence in athletes like Serena Williams or the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team, that at their caliber there should not be a difference in wages or representation in the media. Yes, currently male sports generate more money, but is anyone in the industry’s highest levels really trying to put women’s sport on that same map?

I admitted there was a lot I did not know before starting this project. Being that I study the sport industry because of my Sport Management Major, I have always been aware of the gender gap. More than 60% of my classmates are male and I am a part of a small percentage. But after conducting my research and reading about women who have voiced their opinions on the current state of inequality, I have come to realize the disparity more and more each day. I notice when I am reading the daily sport news how it is rare to find an article on a woman, I notice in my sport management classes when I am in a group project with all males that I am assigned less work/ responsibility, and I notice that when I am applying for jobs in sports the population of women in the front offices are limited. I notice this now, the parts of womanhood that I was ignorantly blind to before. I also thought I wanted to just comment on the harsh reality that women live in the industry, and I will, but I also want to comment on certain people’s success and how they have overcome obstacles in an industry that is not favorable to promoting female involvement at the same level they do men.

My plans have been to immerse myself in research over spring break so that is exactly what I am going to do to fill what the empty spaces that remain in my research. I have been having fun with exploring genres I want to emulate and blindly researching different topics, but now I need to get more specific with what I am looking for and how I am going to be concise with what I decide to write about. I do wish to get back to my patronous a bit more. Although David Sedaris does not necessarily write about females, or athletes for that matter, I think reading his work is refreshing and a great stylistic example that could encourage me to start drafting some of the essays.

Allison Skaggs

Hello all! My name is Allison Skaggs and I am a junior at Michigan. I am from Orange County, California and decided to come to Michigan for a different kind of college experience! Currently, I am on the women's varsity water polo team and plan on majoring in Sport Management. Some things I enjoy during my time off are reading, swimming, attending sports games, and spending time with friends and family.

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