Women Athletes Need More Recognition!



by Pixabay

There is a fine line between the male and female genders when it comes to sports. Men and women play the same sports, but why don’t they get the same attention and ratings? We see it in basketball, golf, and baseball, and a very important related topic being focused on would be soccer. So why do we see that? And how do we change it?

For instance, gender bias has existed throughout history, whether it is present in the office, education or sports. The “Equal Pay Act,” which was instituted to protect individuals against discrimination based on gender, was only recently passed by Congress about six years ago. Gender bias is a growing problem that needs to be addressed in today’s culture.

During the recent World Cup, many students could be seen watching during lunch and free periods. They were constantly discussing matches and inquiring about the upcoming rounds and the countries taking part. But that was specifically for the men’s World Cup. Of the few people I asked at Pace, none were even aware of the Women’s World Cup.. This further demonstrates that women’s sports don’t receive the attention or ratings they deserve.

Additionally, we’ve observed that women are more frequently sexually objectified than men. Magazines and websites that sexualize female athletes, like Sports Illustrated, do so to increase readership and revenue in order to increase profits. Some evidence of these examples could be from CollegiateTimes. “All of these athletes have had incredible careers and instead of highlighting that with an image of them with their sporting equipment, a medal or them competing in their respective fields, they are encouraged to pose half-naked to emphasize their bodies for the sake of convincing people to buy the magazine.” Female soccer players are objectified by the “male gaze” when they should truly be acknowledged for their tireless work and management.

Unequal pay has been an issue, particularly in modern sports; soccer is our other explanation topic. In 2016 many recognizable female soccer players filed a wage discrimination complaint calling out their executives and illustrating many of the different instances where women were undervalued in terms of uneven pay discrimination.

Now consider basketball, which has a significant salary disparity between both genders.The highest-paid basketball player in the NBA is Warriors star Stephen Curry, who earned approximately $48.1 million in his 2022-2023 season. While the three highest-paid WNBA players, Jewell Lloyd, Breanna Stewart, and Diana Taurasi, who play for the Seattle Storms and the Phoenix Mercurys, all make around $228,094 each. There is a big disparity here.

Whenever we read about how there is a gender difference in sports, there is always one aspect that stands out: female players do not have the same skill set as their male counterparts. But Billie Jean King, one of the greatest tennis players of all time, defeated Bobby Riggs, the previous number one ranked men’s tennis player, in a “Battle of the Sexes” match in the early ‘70s, which was seen at the time as a watershed moment for women in sports.

Why then is gender equality still stigmatized so severely in our society? We can’t change because we’re not ready to. In light of how long this flaw has persisted in society today, it is never too late to take action and strive to remove gender bias and inequality in sports. For ourselves and the future generations of athletes, it is a new day and a new moment to alter and eradicate this inequality.