Hey, You Play Like A Girl! Renata Primmer

When people think of the sports world they may think of the rushing enthusiastic crowds, the everyday intense practices and the hard kicks and hits, but do they picture woman or men? Most people picture big muscular men, running fast, shooting layups, and swinging forcefully. However, do people realize women are just as successful in the sports field as men? Due to the lack of social media, lack of woman pay, and a lack of emphasis, woman are cheapened in the sports world. Between what can be found on the cover of a Sports Illustrated article to what is really inside can be considered a complete bias to male and female athletes. Then, hand a game winning check to the same ranked pro soccer player, one male one female, with the same winning goal and see the major difference in money they receive. Contributing to the inequalities, the advertising market for male pro sports versus women’s exhibit a dramatic difference in lack of public announcement for female players as opposed to men. Take this big picture into the little leagues, and see why girls are practicing on rough dirt when their male counterparts get perfect turf. While people may say men deserve it all, others will say it is unjust to belittle female athletes in this way.

She may look tired, but she is strong on the inside.

"Being it is a “female” sport, the rules are often downplayed and “rearranged” for the common female athlete to be able to thrive and stand out. However, this degradation often causes the key aspects of the sport to be taken away, taking away fans enthusiasm to go cheer on the other gender."

Spirit - something all athletes dream about seeing and hearing at their home stadium regardless of it being their first match for the season or their championship game. From the ringing bells and the loud speakers, to the screaming fans, the calls by the referees, the action packed announcers, and the “pregame” energy, there is always something to look forward to. For the woman, there is turnout, but the energy is lacking compared to the male enthusiasm. Is it the gender that throws off fans? Definitely not. Does the energy female sports bring on simply the affecting component of the liveliness of the crowd? Being it is a “female” sport, the rules are often downplayed and “rearranged” for the common female athlete to be able to thrive and stand out. However, this degradation often causes the key aspects of the sport to be taken away, taking away fans enthusiasm to go cheer on the other gender. From 1928 to 1960, women were not even allowed to compete in races of more than 200 meters, because it was felt that running for longer made them too tired. Only as recently as 1984 for women to make up one-fifth of the competing athletes in the Olympics. Discrediting woman and taking away the camaraderie of the activity automatically changes the whole advertising standpoint- girls for “show” on the covers, guys you can actually read about.

If men can represent our country, so can we.

"Discrediting woman and taking away the camaraderie of the activity automatically changes the whole advertising standpoint- girls for “show” on the covers, guys you can actually read about."

When people look at a Sports Illustrated article, they see a skinny woman in a bathing suit on the cover which is appealing, eye-catching, and intriguing to men. This phenomenon known as the male gaze, is designed to draw the reader in- but can it draw in a female? Sepp Blatter, who was president of FIFA for 17 years, said in 2004, “Let's get women to play in different and more feminine garb than the men.” He wanted women to play “in tighter shorts,” because “beautiful women play football nowadays, excuse me for saying so”. Does this comment represent how men actually view athletes? Are tight shorts more import than true athleticism? Take a closer look inside the magazine. When the reader open the magazine they will see big guys in football articles, bodybuilders, and men promoting workouts, or more superfluous news in the sports world. People may be reading about Michael Jordan hitting 35 points in a basketball game, but no one is reading about women's softball being back in the Olympics- something so inspiring to softball players, and women athletes as a whole. “Women in sports suffer from insufficient media coverage, not only in regards to their lack of presence in major sports publications but also in their stereotypical depiction in print journalism.”, claims Jessica Shaller from St. John Fisher College who looked into the problem further. Reporters, editors, and journalists are often subjective in their sharing of news, and stress certain aspects over others based off their personal interests or what they believe is more important to the desired audience or more appealing. So how is the woman relevant to the overall magazine? It isn't. Women are paid to “look pretty” and be eye-catching and all people care about are the stories about the males. Women are paid to be on the cover and males to do the work, but the difference in pay for female and male athletes is astonishing.

We can win metals too.

"Women are paid to be on the cover and males to do the work, but the difference in pay for female and male athletes is astonishing."

Not only are women differentiated by ability, size, and demeanor, but it results in an unequal amount of pay from males and females. People can try to advance women's rights, but how can we move forward when the amount of money on a check is unequal for the same game played by men? Different gender, different pay? Economic Editor at ThinkProgress puts together an article claiming, “But the complaint pointed out that if the USWNT were to lose all 20 friendlies in a season, a player would get $72,000, while if it won all 20 she would get $99,000. The men, on the other hand, get $100,000 a year for losing all 20 friendlies, $1,000 more than a victorious female player. Meanwhile, they get about $263,000 each for winning all 20 matches–so a winning women’s player makes just 38 percent of a winning men’s player.” Also, male soccer player Michael Bradley earns $5,874,000 more a season than the highest paid female in a national league being they get a little over $100,000! Many changes need to be made in regards to men still being paid more for losses, than women with major wins. Take into account the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission which is a federal agency that administers and enforces civil rights laws against workplace discrimination. Being this is a federal agency and a civil law, there is not enough action and information known to limit the discrimination. The law states against it, meanwhile it is still happening. So how can we prevent the discrimination between women athletes in regards to camradery, contrasting skill, and unfair pay?

Flaunt your muscles and make them look pretty.

Next time someone goes to book the next basketball game for women and men notice the price difference. Notice the wide range of seats available for the men games versus the woman. Notice the comradery of the sports. Notice how the male games have fans all dressed up screaming, eating hotdogs and having a good time. Then on the contrary, notice women's games are promoted with an occasional advertisement here and there. Notice the available branding the men's teams get versus the woman and then see how much money is getting put into men's facilities versus the amount of pay women receive for a single game. Take into account the hard day-in and day out work these female athletes do and the amount of hours, motivation, and dedication they have, and then think if it is fair. Same work ethic, same ability, and nothing done about it.

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