Women’s athletics vying for respectability
Posted on Oct 25, 2012 in Sports
While society has progressed in its views about religion and sexuality, women are still viewed as inferior, especially in the athletic arena.
Women, in general, have progressed to larger, more demanding roles since the early 20s. More businesses and careers have begun incorporating a more diverse work environment for both genders. Today, in America, women and men are starting to be viewed the same in the work force.
In the 39 years, since Title IX opened playing fields across the country to girls, the number of women playing sports has skyrocketed. Women’s professional leagues have come — some have stayed and others have gone — and the skill level of female athletes has improved tremendously.
Women’s exercise fitness gear has increased about 19% over the past ten years. In the marketing aspect, women have moved quickly into the sports field especially in tennis and running. Beforehand, they were just seen as fans, accompanying their boyfriends and husbands to the game. As the market expanded, sports stores had to accommodate women’s athletic apparel as a mainstream source of revenue.
However, in the athletic arena, women are still viewed as inferior. While more and more women pursue their dreams in athletics, the mindset tends to stay the same. The Women’s National Basketball Association began in 1996 and has shoveled out many famous female athletes. In spite of this, ESPN only shows three to five WNBA regular season and final games whereas many NBA game can be seen on TV.
“I think society in most cases still see women as inferior,” says former basketball player Shawni Cee.
The Olympics is a prime example of how women are still not overall appreciated. Women took home more medals than men did and this was the first time that had ever occurred in history. While women’s gymnastics and volleyball was heavily televised due to Americans’ persistence, most of the other sports were on obscure channels or not seen at all.
Here at UAB, only 50 students may attend a volleyball game, but stands are mostly filled at a men’s soccer game. If women’s soccer game is scheduled after the men’s game, only about 30% of the students stay to watch the women play.
“They [women] train and work just as hard as men as long as they take their sport as serious. I just think that as a whole, women in sports aren’t respected as much as men by society. It is still there, but no one acknowledges it,” comments freshman Sarah Stephenson.