October 11, 2012
Sexism in American Sports
Sexism is a highly controversial topic, no matter the application. Throw it into American sports? We might just have a scandal worthy enough to make it to the back page in a crummy tabloid. I’m not saying it’s an unimportant issue, any amount of sexism anywhere is a major problem, I’m just saying it won’t be making the front page anytime soon. Why isn’t sexism in sports making front page news?
In the newspaper article -written in 2004 during the Athens Olympics- Sex Sells, and Many Athletes Are Cashing In by Thomas Huang, Huang discusses female athletes’ use of their sex appeal. Huang writes, “Advocates for women’s sports don’t blame the athletes for taking advantage of the Olympic spotlight—and potentially earning more money and corporate sponsorships. But they argue that this ‘sexualization’ of female Olympic athletes diminishes their accomplishments—and ends up hurting other women.” Diminishing their accomplishments and hurting other women? How could any women want to harm their own reputation and cause other women’s reputations to be on the line as well? Huang continues his writing, “Dr. Kane and other experts argue that several factors are behind this trend: . . . Some younger female athletes are less inhibited about posing nude, because they’re not as aware of the struggle that female athletes have gone through to gain an equal footing with men.” What struggles have female athletes gone through in the past?
Published originally in Nine: A Journal of Baseball History and then republished in Sports Talk, the scholarly article on the historical aspects of baseball called The Patriotic Pinch Hitter: The AAGBL and How the American Woman Earned a Permanent Spot on the Roster by Patricia Vignola reviews the beginnings of women in baseball. Vignola writes,
Throughout the 1940s the American woman was capable of being more than a temporary hire. She was a professional musician, a war correspondent,...