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From a list of phrases describing weakness in women tennis players, used by television sportscasters covering mixed doubles matches at the U. S. Open in September 1989. The list is included in “Gender Stereotyping in Televised Sports,” a new study by the Amateur Athletic Foundation of Los Angeles, which found that when describing men’s play sportscasters were almost four times as likely to use phrases denoting strength as ones denoting weakness; when describing women’s play, they used just as many phrases denoting weakness as ones denoting strength.

Nearly lost it all
Less aggressive
Lost control
Not a very intelligent attempt
Running out of gas
After she lost, she wanted to go home
Tired and wounded
Starting to come unglued
Mind is willing but the body isn’t
Running on fumes
Lack of confidence
A little ticked off that she missed that one
In a quandary
Not real centered right now
Needs to put some more hard work in on the tennis court
A little flat
Doesn’t have that spring in her step
Snoozing at the net
Feeling a little pressure
On emotional overflow
A little perturbed
Really hard on herself
Still upset from yesterday
A little lack of enthusiasm on that play
Flat-footed all day
Seems mystified (by her own shot)
Getting a little desperate
Choking on her serve

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September 1991

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