Role models or Sex objects?

“No matter how toughened a sportswoman may be, her organism is not cut out to sustain certain shocks.” Said founder of the modern Olympics Baron Pierre de Coubertin in 1896.Now that it is 2013 I wish I could say there isn’t any type of discrimination when it comes to sports, but I notice it all the time. From reading the news, watching ESPN, listening to people talk about sports, knowing girls who played the “boys” sports and playing on ODU Co-Rec teams I have come to realize this really does still exist. Women still do not get paid equally, they do not receive the same praise for their success, they do not receive the same amount of airtime on TV or in the news, and the way the media negatively portrays women compared to men.

Why is it that we have discrimination in sports? Statistics show that female sports do not carry the same weight as male sports. A study was done on four major newspapers (USA Today, the Boston Glove, the Orange County Register and the Dallas Morning news) and it was found that women only sport stories totaled just 3.5 percent of all the sport stories. So not only are women not paid equally as men but also they do not receive the same amount of coverage, this supports the idea that women’s sports are not as valued as men.

Our society portrays women athletes as weak, young, thin and sex objects. When you Google male athletes you get pictures of men actually playing sports, but when you Google women you find demeaning, suggestive and hottest female athlete pictures. Why is it that our society portrays women athletes as sex objects? These pictures are not only degrading to women, but create more harmful effects, because athletes are role models. Do we want the children of today’s society to see these degrading photos? I don’t think so. It seems that women athletes are not respected or famous for their talent like the men, but for how their bodies look.
If she is a tennis player why is she in a swim suite on the cover of a magazine? Shouldn’t she be holding a tennis racquet?

We couldn’t have a women’s football league, because of course women aren’t as strong or fast as men so instead our great society comes up with lingerie football. So men get to wear pads, and be completely covered from head to toe, but women need to run around in their underwear just to catch some ratings or to play football? The way we portray women is why we have so many young girls who feel in adequate and have low self esteems, because they do not look like the thin sex role models we portray. This fall I played on an ODU Co-rec flag football team and instead of treating women like equals even the rules of the game are setup so that you have to make a play to a girl after a play to a guy and girls touchdowns were more points. Isn’t it sad to think that we have to have rules that say you have to treat a girl equal and to let them play equally on your team? I was personally offended as a girl who grew up playing football with my older brothers to be told that just, because I was a girl my touchdowns would be more points. These rules are put in place so that girls don’t just sit on the bench on these Co-rec teams, but they also allow gender discrimination to be okay. They are saying that well just because you are a girl you can’t play like the boys, so we are going to have to put in place rules, so that your teammates will use you.

Gender inequality in Sports

The video I have added shows numerous female athletes, but instead of posing in degrading pictures they are proudly in their uniforms saying “I am an athlete.”These women know that men are bigger, faster and stronger, but they want to be recognized as equals and be allowed to play the sports they love. They show that it’s not about gender and that it is about the skill you have.


About ccrew05

ODU Senior majoring in criminal justice and minoring in psychology!
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6 Responses to Role models or Sex objects?

  1. mziar001 says:

    This is a great post and I agree with you very much. Women are discriminated against in sports that are heavily dominated by males such as football and basketball. I however, don’t think that sports such as the WNBA will reach the status of the NBA due to the competition and norm in Western Culture. However, one sport that is receiving much attention is females in Mixed Martial Arts, specifically the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).. The sport that has it’s roots from gladiators fighting in the 1st and 2nd century BCE and the fact of a women fighting would have been pure blasphemy. I will be very curious to see the TV ratings on UFC 157 where two females will be the main card.

    • ccrew05 says:

      After reading your comment I read up on the upcoming fight, because I had no idea about it. From what I read they are expecting big numbers for this fight, but it won’t be the biggest. One article I read said that they are expecting more women to show up and watch this fight. I will update the ratings after the fight takes place.

  2. dozto001 says:

    I agree with your post, however we have no one but to blame ourselves. Who buys tickets to these games and raise money in these associations? We do. Yes it is unfair and should be dealt with, but who is to say we cannot watch these sports. It comes with our upbringing. My father was a huge sports fan and my mother in a sense was clueless about sports. Growing up in that lifestyle, turned me into an avid sports fan (go cowboys!). In all I am saying I do agree with your post on how unfairly women are treated, but overseas women sports are very thought of, look at the Olympics, so perhaps it is just our country. Great post.

    • ccrew05 says:

      I definitely agree that this is a problem that our society causes. If we would go to more female sporting events or if we were to make more outrage about the images displayed we might make a difference, but ultimately it is our fault for this discrimination. I have noticed that in many countries like you said that they honor female sports differently than our American standards, but I believe this has to do with how or society brings up our kids. If we show our children that this discrimination is okay it will carry on for generations.

  3. The first thing that came to mind when I was reading this was the women’s volleyball in the summer Olympics. While I’m sure that the women who excel to international league levels of competitiveness are stellar athletes, its plainly obvious that the beach volleyball tourney is on TV (and boy did they show a lot of it in ’12) because the women are all in bikinis.

  4. Everyone should take a look at the comments section on the YouTube video that Christina posted. Here’s a quote, “Women don’t perform anywhere near at the same level as men. And professional sports are all about the best of the best. So cry me a fucking river you feminist cunts.”

    So yeah, we’ve still got some work to do here.

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