Women’s athletics a battle for respect

Here’s a great example of how girls can see a variety of role models (cognitive development) through greater exposure to female athletes.  This also demonstrates how institutions (US government/laws) influence gendered norms.  With the introduction of Title IX, gendered norms of femininity started to change as more and more girls became athletes.

4 thoughts on “Women’s athletics a battle for respect

  1. As a female that has played soccer for thirteen years, this article certainly drew in my attention. Many females know that they have to prove themselves when playing a “man’s sport”, such as Lisa Leslie playing basketball. In my opinion, I believe that she has done more than prove herself and could definitely beat a bunch of guys in a game of basketball.

    This issue crosses the line in which our society’s ideas of gender roles of women playing sports is not seen as acceptable. Many individuals prefer to watch men’s sports, like the NBA, because it is perceived to be more competitive because that is the role men tend to hold over women, to be more competitive, tough and strong.

    With that being said, women everyone are testing that stereotype and can inspire other women that they can succeed in sports just as men do. It is unfortunate that women are seen this way, not only in sports, but I believe the WNBA is taking the right step to fix this.

  2. This post got my attention because I played sports all throughout High School. I have always gotten bothered by comments I hear my guy friends make about how the WNBA isn’t even considered a real sport to them. Just because women are playing the same sport as men does not mean they have any less of a right to play that sport.

    I feel that the reason that men do not take the WNBA as seriously as the NBA may be explained by biological factors. Because men have more testosterone because of their XY chromosomes that can be explain why some (not all) men are more aggressive. Because most men are naturally more aggressive than women they might feel that men’s sports are more entertaining to watch. Regardless, I think that in today’s society it is completely ridiculous that we cannot have ONE professional basketball league with both men and woman. And although we are a long way from men and women actually playing on the same basketball teams I think that the WNBA is making moves in a positive direction.

  3. This post sparked my initial interest because I am fascinated with women in sports. In a mostly integrated culture, it amazes me that women still have to play on a league of their own. This relates back to the cultural norms of typical masculine and feminine behaviors.

    I think that most people watch men’s basketball, mainly the NBA, because sports are seen as masculine. In American society sports are seen as masculine, which means that men are the ones who should partake in them. Yes, we have grown a lot in allowing women to form sports teams, but they are still restricted to their own league. How come women cannot play alongside men if they are just as skilled in the particular sport? For example, in the movie “She’s the Man”, Amanda Bynes’s character, Viola, was laughed at for wanting to join the boy’s soccer team after the girl’s team was cut. Viola ends up going to the rival school, disguised as a man, and making the soccer team, proving she was just as good as the men on that team. Because she was just as good as the guys, she should have been aloud to play on their team as a woman.

    Another negative side effect to women and sports is the stereotypes that come along with it. In the movie “Love and Basketball” the lead girl’s mother called her a lesbian for being more concerned with basketball rather than her looks. Her love for basketball does not come with a love for women. Basketball was a passion, just like singing or dancing can be for someone. However, since basketball is seen as masculine, her mother considered her to be masculine and homosexual. The character, Monica, was masculine in high school so people misinterpreted her sexual orientation.

    The line between sex and gender are easily blurred. It is hard to accept that a woman can be heterosexual and masculine, or a man can be heterosexual and feminine. It is hard to accept that notion because we have been taught by society that being a man means you are masculine and being a woman means you are feminine. There are many people who are masculine and feminine and are attracted to the opposite sex. Unfortunately this social stereotype transfers over to sports. Men’s basketball gets a higher audience because it makes more sense to people. The same can be said about women’s gymnastics over men’s gymnastics. The more masculine the sport, the more men’s teams will be supported. The more feminine the sport, the more support women will get.

  4. Hello. I’m commenting on this blog in response to the “participation – gender watch” assignment that is due by midnight and is worth 5 points.
    I clicked on this article because my sister is a serious athlete. She plays year round soccer for her club team in addition to playing for her high school team in the spring season; she looks forward to playing soccer in college. Even though this article was about basketball, I still found it intriguing.
    In high school, my sister says says, the better team and the athletes that have the most friends gets the higher turnout; she said that gender doesn’t really matter. I think this is interesting because if high school students get comfortable with equality and gender in athletics, I think they will be due for a rude awakening when/if they get the opportunity to go professional. (In this blog post, I won’t mention playing college sports.)
    At my sisters high school, the girls basketball team went to states. They had packed bleachers every single game in the regular season. This gives me a new idea, from a psychological standpoint.
    Let’s say that a female basketball player gets comfortable with high school games with many spectators, high energy games, and lots of crowd interaction. Once that player gets to a professional team and the basketball games have low turn outs, that can affect how the athlete plays the game. The high school game and the professional game are complete opposites.
    This gives me a new idea, that maybe the athletes were better in high school; because they were dependent on a crowd that is absent in a professional league. Maybe that is why professional women don’t get enough respect, because they were better when they were younger. Of course, this post is speaking from a hypothetical standpoint.
    In our American culture and society, men have always dominated. They get more respect because they are viewed as someone who can do the job better than a woman. It’s unfortunate in our society, but this is relevant to the class because it shows that a glass ceiling can be seen everywhere; from the workplace to the basketball court. Someday women’s basketball will be just as popular as men’s basketball. Nancy Hogshead-Makar, senior director of advocacy for the Women’s Sports Foundation, is optimistic about it “You can only go up.”

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