English 103 Hybrid
27 October 2013
Women, Sports and Expectations
In Sara Maratta's article, "Move Over Boys, Make room in the Crease," Maratta takes a stand against unequal representation of female athletes in the sports world. Maratta describes her love of hockey and how being a part of the sports world opened her eyes as to the amount of mistreatment toward females in the athletic world such as female athletes, coaches and journalists (Birkenstein 537). The nature of sports and female athletics has come very a long way in such a short amount of time. Many strictly male dominated sports now have many women participating in them. So many women have been participating in male dominating the past few years that they are now creating special divisions of those sports for female athletes. Female athletes have been crossing the cultural barriers of sports for the past decade or so and have had and amazing turn out. Women are now being recognized greatly for their effort in sports and are now being taken seriously as athletes. Though there has been much success in these past years for women being equally recognized in sports, there are still aspects in the sports world in which women are still treated as lesser equal to men.
Women that are athletes are pressured by social media to not only be able to perform at the same level as male athletes but to also maintain a certain feminine physique. Female athletes such as hockey players are not entirely forced to have a certain body type since they are covered by all of their equipment. Athletes like basketball and volleyball players, on the other hand, have more of an obligation to maintain their feminine qualities due to their sportswear showing more of their body. This leaves these women, "although most likely as fit and as talented as most men,” with the task of constantly putting extra effort and thought into their performance and looks in order to fit the female athlete stereotype from fans and media.
Another way women are not treated equally in athletics is the salary that they are given. According to research done by the women’s sport foundation:
"The minimum salary for WNBA players in the 2005 season was $31,200 and for NBA players the minimum salary was $385,277. Also, In NCAA Division I-A, head coaches for women's teams receive an average salary of $850,400 while head coaches for men's teams average $1,783,100, which totals to a difference of $932,700" (King). Many sports programs that support women sports are desperately trying to create awareness to the overwhelming gap between female and male athlete salaries. The main obstacles in reducing the money gap are media coverage and sponsorships. In the world of sports, media coverage and sponsorship go hand in hand and directly affect one another. The popularity of a sport, its players and the size of the audience determines the amount of media that covers the sport and the athletes. Business and organizations that are willing to do so, sponsor the athletes teams and programs and then becomes a main source for an athlete's salary. The problem with female sports is that it does not get enough media coverage. When given the choice to watch men or women’s sports fans will generally decide on watching the men. Men’s sports are constantly picked over women sports due to them being perceived as more entertaining. Fans assume that women playing sports would barely be tolerable and would have nowhere near the same entertainment value of men’s sports. If fans would not assume the worst of female athletes and give them a chance, they would see how capable women are in athletics and how entertaining they can really be (King).
The women that are athletes in the athletic society are not the only ones that are being given the short end of the stick, but also female coaches and sports reporters as well. Many believe that women are incapable of giving valuable comments and opinions when reporting...
Cited: Birkenstein, Cathy, Gerald Graff, Russel Durst. They Say I Say With Readings. Second ed. New York: W. W. Norton & Company 2012. 524-527, 537-543 Print.
Garcia, Art. "A Woman Coaching Men?." NBA. Ed. Joe Murphy. Turner Sports & Entertainment Digital Network, 18 Nov. 2010. Web. 20 Oct. 2013.
King, Billie Jean. "Inequity in Athletics." Women’s Sport Foundation. N.p., 12 Apr. 2011. Web. 18 Oct. 2013.
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