The Founding father of Fangirl Sports activities Community on Feminist Allyship and Coping with Web Trolls


When you’re a lady whose opinions about blitzing versus move protection are as robust as your halftime snack recreation, you’re formally a soccer fangirl.

Tracy Sandler reclaimed the once-dismissive time period when she based Fangirl Sports activities Community particularly for feminine sports activities followers. The community blends conventional sports activities reporting with life-style articles. 

A longtime San Francisco 49ers supporter, Sandler is an formally accredited beat author protecting the staff. She travels to the video games and — in non-COVID instances — to the locker room. Along with her writing, Sandler hosts the podcasts Get My Job and The Tracy Sandler Present, highlighting ladies in sports activities.

“We’ve made great strides within the sports activities trade for girls… however I didn’t really feel like there was content material that spoke to ladies, and let ladies be followers how they wished to be,” Sandler says. “There was plenty of gear that was solely pink. I occur to like pink… however not each girl does.”

On this episode of SUCCESS Tales, Sandler tells SUCCESS’ Madison Pieper about standing her floor when males problem her experience, the position of male allies in standing as much as misogyny in sports activities, and never taking trolls personally (or attempting to not.)

Know your value.

It’s powerful being a lady in a male-dominated area—or on one, as is the case in soccer. Though Sandler says that 90% of the lads she’s met in her profession have been supportive and welcoming, the opposite 10% suppose they’ve the best to problem her experience purely as a result of she’s a lady.

“You say, ‘I’m a Bears fan,’ [and he responds,] ‘Oh, actually? Then identify the beginning offensive line for the 1987 Chicago Bears,’” Sandler says. “Nobody says that to a person. And by the way in which, nobody is aware of the reply.”

This hostility typically manifests extra subtly. A person will ask Sandler a query, seemingly keen on her response, solely to disagree with every part she says. “[He] requested what I believe goes to occur, however [he] simply need[s] to argue with me,” Sandler says.

These techniques will be intimidating whenever you’re first beginning out. However it’s your identify on the press move, the ID card or the nook workplace. You don’t need to show your self with a pop quiz, or interact with somebody who isn’t listening, simply since you’re a lady and he’s a person. Maintain doing all of your job to the perfect of your capability, and know that you simply should be the place you’re.

Be a feminist ally, no matter your gender.

Though there’s nonetheless room for enchancment, ladies are extra represented in sports activities journalism now than ever earlier than. Sandler credit groundbreaking feminine sportscasters like Erin Andrews, Pam Oliver and Lisa Salters for proving {that a} girl’s place is on the sideline, within the press field and within the locker room.

“These ladies paved the way in which, so to know that possibly I’ve a small half in doing that for another person, and for younger ladies who love sports activities… actually means rather a lot,” Sandler says.

Along with pushing for extra illustration, extra feminine sports activities journalists are blowing the whistle on types of sexual harassment and on-line trolling that their male colleagues don’t face. However the burden shouldn’t solely be on ladies to name out these points.

“Males must be our allies too,” Sandler says. “Males in these positions must say, ‘This isn’t OK: I as a person won’t stand for this. I can’t permit my colleagues and girls on this trade to be talked to that method.’” Teamwork issues off the sector, in addition to on it.

Observe your intestine instincts when coping with trolls.

One factor feminine public figures are likely to cope with greater than their male colleagues is on-line harassment.

That’s to not say that males don’t additionally cope with trolls. Sports activities, particularly, evoke robust feelings that sadly usually manifest as impolite and aggressive feedback. However ladies are typically on the receiving finish of extra intense abuse, usually sexualized and misogynist.

Totally different individuals handle trolls in a different way. What’s vital to know is that you’re effectively inside your proper to make use of the mute, block and report buttons to guard your psychological well being. 

“Use your intestine instincts: If somebody on social media is bullying you, and saying issues which might be hurtful, report it, as a result of likelihood is they’re not simply doing it to you,” Sandler says. Selecting to not learn the feedback in any respect can be a superbly legitimate selection.

Sandler’s method to on-line abuse is to not take it personally. A minimum of, she tries. 

“If I do discover myself studying the feedback, or if somebody says one thing that I discover upsetting, I’m like, ‘You recognize what? This isn’t about me,’” she says. “As a result of it’s actually not. It feels private, but it surely’s not. They don’t know me.” 

Identical to a quarterback on third down and lengthy, or a kicker on the 45-yard line, it’s important to shut out the noise and let your work communicate for you.


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