Female Athletes Must Fight For Equality

Female Athletes Must Fight For Equality

Beth Cummings, News and Features Editor

We are forged in blood. Sweat swirls into our tears as we dust ourselves off after another painful athletic success. We shoot the same shots. We kick the same balls. We’re paid…less? Men have been competing in professional athletics since the early 1900’s: women started almost 50 years later. Even with the accomplishment of entering the game, there was no equality, not even on the most basic level. Uniforms, rules, amenities, and pay are still drastically different from what our male counterparts receive. This is a problem. 

Science clearly supports the idea that men’s bodies are faster, stronger, and overall, more athletic. If a man and a woman were to both put a golf ball 200 meters, the former would require approximately 90% of her maximum force, while the latter would only need around 60%. Statistically, women have to work harder to achieve the same results.  Of course, women won’t be able to dunk on the nets when genetically they are not nearly as tall. Of course, the javelin will not be thrown as far. To compare one to the other as justification for why female athletes do not deserve the same amount of appreciation is to compare an apple to an orange: completely ridiculous. 

An internet scandal from a few months ago over the difference in gyms provided for NCAA male and female athletes highlights just how deep this issue runs. Training is important for these women, and they were only granted a room with very few weights and machines, unlike the fully outfitted fitness centers available to the men. Sedona Prince, a player for the University of Oregon, was the only one brave and dedicated enough to address the issue. She called out the national sports organization for its blatant mistreatment and misogyny and stood up to those who tried to silence her. One argument brought against her was that the revenue brought in by women’s basketball is not nearly as much as that from the men, which on a surface level seems to be a fair point; at its crux, the argument falls apart. How can women be expected to generate the same excitement for their sport—excitement that leads to increased proceeds—when the opportunities and promotion available to them is inferior? 

We work as hard. We have been playing for just as long. We have earned what men receive simply because they are men. This is the 21st century. We will no longer accept misogynistic ideals simply because we are told to. It is time to acknowledge how hard we have fought, and will continue to fight, for a world in which our daughters’ blood, sweat and tears are equal to our sons.