One day, saying someone plays like a girl will be a compliment,” reads the cover of the 2010 Dreams for Women calendar.
Inside, each month features a “postcard” of a different world-class female athlete and her dreams for change — on everything from the environment to body image and double standards.
Amanda Reaume, the 25-year-old Vancouver woman behind the Dreams for Women calendar, said her goal was to challenge people. “We’re just trying to get people to think,” she said.
The $20 calendar supports the Antigone Foundation, founded by Reaume about 18 months ago. The foundation encourages young women to become politically and civically engaged through scholarships, a magazine and outreach programs.
All of the athletes who sent in their comments for the calendar seemed happy to have a chance to speak out on the issue of equality, said Reaume, and the theme seemed especially relevant this year because of the Olympics. It’s compelling stuff, especially when coupled with images and descriptions of athletic achievement.
Each month’s “postcard” is unique:
– “I dream of a world where women are front page, not centrefolds,” wrote Cathy Priestner-Allinger, a 1976 silver medallist in speed skating, and executive vice-president of sport and game relations for the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee.
– “I dream of a world where the wrinkles on my grandmother’s face are as cherished as signs of beauty, wisdom and laughter,” wrote Kirsten Manley-Casimir, a two-time Canadian National Beach Volleyball champion.
– Canadian ski jumper Katie Willis wrote: “We dream all women will soar.”
The collage of Willis’s words is set against a sunny photo of her and her smiling team. It was sent in during their court battle to be able to compete in the 2010 Winter Games, she said. Though they lost, the 18-year-old Calgarian said, the fight to soar isn’t over. “This has made us stronger,” Willis said. “I don’t think we’re going to stop.”
Added Reaume: “It’s so outrageous that we’re in 2010 and we still have this very obvious example of women’s inequality in sports. It’s our hope that this calendar becomes a historical object of a time when women weren’t included [in ski jumping].”
Reaume, who graduated from the University of B.C. in November with a degree in English, said she has always been interested in the issue of equal rights. Hence, the Dreams for Women calendar also lists historical dates and factoids relating to women, from birth dates and anniversaries to achievements.
For instance, Jan. 6 notes that Barbara Hanley became Canada’s first female mayor on that date in 1936.
“It’s important even as we’re looking forward and dreaming of the future, to look back at what women of the past have accomplished,” Reaume said. “It’s great for us to get people’s perspectives on the world they’d like to see.”
Because playing like a girl should never be considered a bad thing.
By Chantal Eustace, Vancouver Sun
Photograph: Ian Lindsay, PNG, Vancouver Sun