Misogyny infiltrates womens sports

Ava Brenden and Carmen Karsonovich

In 1972, Title IX was enacted; a federal law that ensured that students, of any gender or sexual orientation,  in educational settings, are treated equally. Although by law women are guaranteed an equal amount of space and respect in sports, the law did not change the male attitude towards womens sports. After previously having a terrible dirt field at LOJ, LOSD installed a new high school softball facility about six years ago, on the basis of Title IX. And yet, LO’s students and community significantly lack enthusiasm for softball, despite supporting our baseball team. While there is access to equal opportunity, we as female athletes aren’t treated the same. Is this really being given an “equal opportunity?”

There is an automatic assumption made by the masses when you put the word “womens” before any sport. These assumptions often include expectations about the overall competitiveness, the pace of the game and the ability of female players in comparison to their male counterparts. By reason of these assumptions, womens sports are met with a startling lack of support. 

It is true that when pitted against each other, a male athlete will likely outperform a female athlete, but women and men don’t compete against each other athletically. There is no definitive reason as to why we should find male athletes more impressive or worthy of our viewership. We currently have three nationally ranked runners here at LOHS, and they are all girls. We have the number four girls golf team in the state. We have the number five softball team in the state. We have the number one girls tennis team in the state. Some of the best sports teams in the state are from our very own high school, and none of us are supporting these athletes. 

Football, baseball and men’s basketball are the trifecta of popular sports, and it’s totally okay to support these sports. But all of our athletes (and professional and collegiate athletes) are incredibly accomplished, and the lack of support for our female athletes is apparent. Too many times people have dismissed girls sports for being “easier” or “less competitive,” when in reality we play in one of the most competitive leagues in the state and continually dominate year after year. 

The conversation is no longer as blatant as deserving the right to play. With the help of Title IX, women are now given their deserved right to play sports, but respect is a whole other ballgame. It’s time that we start respecting womens sports in their own right, and quit idolizing male sports by arbitrary standards. Modern misogyny does not look like outright saying that women can’t play sports. Misogyny is highlighting men over women, emphasizing male sports, and only supporting male sports. So many prominent female athletes succeed despite the underlying criticism and slights against their game. It is no longer enough to give us the space to play our sports. It is time that you respect us as well. 

Womens sports are still sports, and sometimes, people seem to forget this. We are not secondary, or a lower level. We compete at the highest level and represent our schools, our universities, and our nation. Women do not only succeed in girls-only sports, or at their own “levels.” 

We ask you to support your female athletes. Show up to games. Highlight all athletes. Female athletes have worked too long and too hard to be treated like second-class athletes.