Gender Inequality in Sports
Gender Inequality in Sports
For many female sports players, sports writers, and sports fans, the competition doesn’t end out on the field--beyond the ring and rink, women have to compete with society and at times with each other for respect, visibility, and legitimacy. Sports are a tool with which we affirm societal values; courage, determination, national identity. Athletes are elevated, entrusted with hopes and reverence of the people. People pay to have a successful athlete’s name grace the back of their replica jersey--it’s an affect of aspiration, an idolization you take with you when you leave the house.
When women’s achievements and success are deemed a distant secondary to their male counterparts, women’s-only competition is not progress or inclusion but segregation.
The winning basketball coach is a woman. The all-time leading U.S. soccer goal scorer is a woman. Yet women still do not feel safe attending sporting events, or participating in sports communities. For women to truly bring out the best in each other on the designated sporting apparatus, we must work to dispel some of the worst in society: misogyny, erasure, rape culture, transphobia.
What work remains? How do we set about it? Who’s already doing it? We pose these questions to our fabulous panel of guest contributors, assembled from every facet of sports culture, and present their dispatches as testimony of a contest without set rules, referees, or a finish line yet in sight.
But we can all agree that no job should involve persistent—and potentially dangerous—harassment.
Beauty and strength are not antithetical. They are harmonious. Don't call me the, "Cutest Weightlifter". My semi-stardom did not come without a price.
n Arizona they want to know, why I like hockey instead of football. I've gotten reactions to pieces I've written from fans in Canada telling me that 'maybe if I was from a hockey town, I would understand things better' - forget the fact that I've been on skates since I was three and came home from the hospital in a snowsuit - and I've been told to 'watch the game' more times than I can count.
The You Can Play Project was launched in 2012, dedicated to getting rid of homophobia in sports, with its original campaign based primarily in the NHL. Most in the NHL seemed to understand that a gay player would be a great addition in a locker room, either because players have gay family members, or because a large portion of the players come from progressive countries where gays have more rights than in North America (for example, same-sex relationships have been legal in Sweden since 1944).
In 2005, there was still a laughable belief among some decision-makers at the FIS that ski jumping wasn’t safe for women “from a medical point of view.” The fear? Your uterus might fall out. The baseless argument reeked of the 1980s Olympic narrative that marathons were too hard on women’s bodies.
The Heart of the Game is a film that chronicles the struggle of an African American girl, Darnellia Russell, fighting for her civil rights as a young mother to play the game she was divinely gifted to play
Fallon Fox is an MMA fighter with a record of 5-1. She competes as a featherweight and is the first openly transgender MMA fighter.
I have an admission to make.
It seems from this side of the coin, when I encounter others who say they admire what I do, they appear to believe that I had this whole tough trans woman thing all figured out from the jump. Believe me, this is far from the reality. As a matter of fact, I suppose that I was looking for something to help me “figure things out,” as many other women do when I first stepped into an MMA gym.
Baseball’s biggest problem is not how long it is, but how long it has shut certain people out.
I had the opportunity to challenge people’s expectations and pre-conceived notions about female athletes.
One of roller derby’s biggest challenges is compassionately and empathically addressing growing pains.