“Tomboy” features Billie Jean King and other female sports icons in a new CSN documentary on gender in sports

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“I learned to not let anyone punk you.”

Former basketball player Ros Gold-Onwude talks about growing up playing sports with the boys, and the value that playing sports gives women and girls. “It just makes you tougher. Toughness is a good thing on women and girls, as is excellence.”

Gold-Onwude appears in the new CSN documentary project, TOMBOY, a multi-platform documentary project that includes on-camera interviews, podcasts, an official blog, and a symposium with panel discussion in which many prominent women in sports participated. The initiative seeks to elevate the conversation about gender equality in sports, and bring awareness to the adversity women and girls face in both school and professional athletics. The project launched earlier this month with a series of podcasts and short interviews, and will continue throughout March, Women’s History Month.

 

 

Among numerous female star athletes, the documentary features legendary tennis player and champion for gender equality  Billie Jean King, who comments, “You know, Title nine is only thirty-seven words. It’s not too tough for young people, old people, all of us to look it up. And it says “no sex discrimination.” That means for boys or for girls, by the way. Everyone thinks it’s a “girl” thing. We were so far behind it ended up being that.”

 

 

The story that most fascinated me personally was the interview with Basketball Hall of Famer/Broadcaster Anne Myers-Drysdale. She talks candidly about gender stereotypes specific to women and girls in athletics, and how those stereotypes are detrimental to young girls who pursue sports. “Girls are not self-confident,” she admits. “If they’re going to decide a sport, a lot of them will choose volleyball over basketball because their parents, or the media, or their friends have said well if you’re a basketball player you’re gonna be gay.” Sound familiar?

 

 

“A lot of them will choose volleyball over basketball because their parents, or the media, or their friends have said well if you’re a basketball player you’re gonna be gay.”

These are just a few of the highlights of the multi-platform TOMBOY initiative. A special one-hour TOMBOY, airs on CSN Philadelphia on Monday, March 13 at 10 p.m.EST. Visit CSNPhilly.com/TOMBOY, and engage with the  project on social media by using the hashtag #CSNTOMBOY on Twitter and Facebook,  and visit  @CSNTOMBOY.

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