The devaluation of women in sports

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The devaluation of women in sports

Craig Maccubbin/creative commons

Craig Maccubbin/creative commons

Craig Maccubbin/creative commons

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Women in sports aren’t a very common sight. For the most part, we focus on the men’s side of athletics, be it basketball, football, soccer, or even Olympic events. Even when the athletes are given attention, it’s mostly because they are really pretty or extremely sexualized. The more popular female Olympic athletes are noted for their beauty, like Mckayla Maroney and Michelle Jenneke, and much less about their actual performance at the Olympic events.

It’s not really fair to give women attention only when they’re pretty or hot, especially when they actually have a talent in the world of athletics. In fact, women aren’t even given attention when they try at the sport they are playing, instead of letting themselves be sexualized. The WNBA, for example, is not even noted for their talent. Nobody cares about the WNBA, while the NBA is given all the attention, without the men’s need to take off their shirts to be given attention. The athletes of the WNBA are really underappreciated, especially for the effort they put into their sport.

Marielle Beltran from Skyline’s Women’s Basketball team said, “How often do you see female athletes on ESPN? Or like, getting as much attention as men. I feel like female athletes have to work ten times harder to get as much fame and attention as men do. And even if they are famous, it’s probably only because they’re hot, like Skylar Diggins. She’s a good player, don’t get me wrong. But I only heard of her because a lot of guys think she’s really pretty for a basketball player.”

Then there are female athletes who are exploiting their beauty for attention or publicity. Lingerie Football, for example, is not even much of a sport as it is a “show for men”, and not much else. It’s not like there actually is a female division in the NFL, let alone a “WNFL”. The women have to be in lingerie in order to be watched playing football. Most likely, no one would even care about football if they were women using the exact same gear men use in the NFL. Then there is Rin Nakai, a Japanese mixed-martial artist who actually does well in her sport, going 16 wins, one draw, and one loss. She doesn’t actually get much attention for her talent, though, especially in her home country. So she resorted to a thing called “muscle fetish”, since she is a pretty built woman, yet poses very sexually for the camera. She also admitted herself, that she was doing this for the attention and to be able to build a bigger fan base.

Beach volleyball is another sport that showcases their athletes with unnecessarily skimpy “bikinis”. It’s almost as if every year, the uniforms get smaller and smaller and there isn’t much opposition to it, especially since that is essentially the main reason why beach volleyball is even a thing. There already is volleyball in its own then someone had the urge to turn it into a “beach” sport where the women somehow need to wear scanty two-piece outfits.

Additionally, it’s really disconcerting that female athletes have to resort to publicity in order to garner attention, and when they just play the sport they love, they’re given no heed. Unless they are attractive, then they will be given recognition but not because they are a gold or silver medalist Olympic competitors, but because they are a hot girl in the Olympics. Even curlers, who are probably given the least attention in the Olympics, were given attention because some of the athletes in the sport are sexy, or pose nude for calendars. Nobody even cares about the fact that they participate in the Olympics, let alone the sport they play.