Disclaimer: This piece was previously posted on Hercircle Media, another blog I write for.
With College athletics in full swing across North America, it is a key time for women’s athletics to be discussed and to acknowledge the difference in the way women are treated in college sports compared to men.
In the National Collegiate Athletics Association, women’s sports are receiving less funding and less attention. Why?
Female athletes are working just as hard as their male counterparts.
Why is this fair?
It can easily be argued that men’s sports bring in more money from viewership and that is why they earn more. Let’s look at the root of the issue. Starting with the media and it filtering down, women’s sports are stereotyped as “not as exciting to watch,” and “not worthy of our time.”
Society is the reason men’s sports have so many more fans and we need to change that.
As sporting fans, we need to be the ones to fix it. We need to attend women’s sporting events and show these athletes our support. Our day-to-day sports culture is centered around men and it is important to bring more women into the spotlight.
The fact that women’s sports are valued less than men’s is not only recognized in the United States or by media companies.
Even in Canada, at Dalhousie University, the 2018 soccer home opener was a doubleheader where the women’s team played first, almost as if they were an opening act. This is a commonly reoccurring issue and was also highlighted perfectly last year with basketball in Ottawa.
The women’s basketball game at Carleton University’s Capital Hoops Classic took place before the men’s game and had significantly fewer fans present. Following the game, the women’s team went on to win a national championship which did not make it into local newspapers while there was significant coverage of the men’s team.
Can’t we celebrate both teams? Men and women? Sure — men’s sports are intriguing because they generally play rougher — but what about the strategy used in women’s games?
Basketball is not the only sport where men are glorified for their athleticism and women are left in the dust.
Look around you. It’s evident in our schools, our municipal programs and our televisions.
We as viewers, need to move away from the idea that men’s sports are more fun to watch and appreciate women’s sports for the skill they require.
Attend a women’s sporting event near you. Support women’s sports. Don’t be part of the problem.