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Women Basketball Players

December 8, 2010

Espn announced on October 20, 2009 that the Shocks formally from Detroit decides to make a move to Tulsa, Oklahoma in hopes that the city will embrace the city’s only major sports team. The Shocks decided to move because despite winning 3 championships back to back in Detroit, they still can’t fill a stadium like their male counterparts the Detroit Pistons who have been on a losing streak for some years now.

In Mill’s “The Subjection of Women” he exposes the inequality between men and women in hopes of ending the stereotypes associated with each. In this case although the women and men play in the same arena, men’s basketball continues to thrive while the women’s team can’t fill seats. Why would anyone rather see a men basketball team over a women’s team? One possible reason is because men’s basketball is said to be more entertaining that women’s. No matter if their losing or winning they are supposed to entertain us more.

Also, it is statistically proven that annually more is spent on men’s sports than on women’s. Which means men’s sport is publicized more and even advertised more. I used to live in Detroit and while driving on the freeway going towards downtown you see a countless number of build boards with players from the Detroit Pistons and maybe one or two with Shocks players.

Was Mill right when he said female competition would result in the greater intellectual development of all? I don’t think his plan was successful in this instance. Women have come a long way for achieving equality, but they still aren’t equal. In something as simple as a sports team, you can still see a divide. Why aren’t women sports publicized like men’s? Why doesn’t a winning team sell more seats that a consectutively losing one? Because women still aren’t equal to their counterparts.

What are ways in which the WNBA can become more competitive with the NBA?



  1. Joe D'Angelo permalink
    December 8, 2010 1:32 PM

    Women definitely are equal to men. They reached that equality back in 1920 when the 19th Amendment was passed, giving them the right to vote. At that point they had all the same rights as men. The reason it may seem like women have not reached equality is because of gender norms. In our society, men are the ones who are “supposed” to be athletic, not women. People do not want to watch women play sports when they could just as easily watch men play. Is this wrong or unfair? Perhaps it is, but until our society decides to abandon its gender norms, the WNBA will never gain popularity.

  2. Jeff Safenowitz permalink
    December 8, 2010 1:32 PM

    This is very interesting. This idea relates to something similar here at the University of Michigan. Recently, I received an email from the Michigan Athletic Department offering free tickets to the men’s basketball game for any students who attended the entire woman’s basketball game the night before. The department is trying to get people to come support our woman’s basketball team, as they work just as hard as any varsity sport at the school. Its unfortunate that the university has to offer students incentive in order to go watch their peers compete at the Division I level.

  3. Eric Ju permalink
    December 8, 2010 2:25 PM

    Like Joe said in the previous comment, yes women have the same rights as men highlighted by the 19th amendment. Thus it isn’t unfair that the NBA is more popular than the WNBA, it is simply a gender norm. Even if you ask women what they would rather watch, most would probably prefer going to an NBA game filled with he stars that make up Sportscenter highlights, rather than going to a WNBA game to watch athletes that they don’t recognize. It is very unlikely that the WNBA will ever be as competitive as the NBA because society will continue to be more accepting of professional male athletes than of female athletes.

  4. spriel permalink
    December 8, 2010 2:56 PM

    While women have seemingly achieved “equality,” our country still has a long way to go before true gender equality is reached. The previous comment on this article accepts the gender norms, but that is the very problem as to why women haven’t reached the ideal state of equality, for there should not be any norms about women’s inferior athletic skills. This post recognizes the fact that women sports receives less money than men’s sports, and that is a true barrier to equality. We have seen the passage of acts such as Title IX that attempt to level the playing field for women who participate in collegiate sports; yet, proof in our own school’s lack of attendance at women’s games (proof provided by the e-mail Jeff mentions) exemplifies that we have to change society’s views before more money is spent on women sports.

  5. Zach Kudman permalink
    December 8, 2010 4:40 PM

    The unfortunate reality of American sports culture is that men’s sports are consistently more popular and watched than women’s sports. By the elevator in my dorm, there is a flyer encouraging students to attend a women’s gymnastics team event. I have never seen flyers for a male team. As other comments have stated, a large reason for this inequality is the gender norms that have been conditioned into our society. There is a self-perpetuating cycle in sports: because few people are interested in women’s sports, they are covered less by the media. Consequently, this lack of adequate coverage prevents more people from learning about and possibly becoming interested in female athletics. Gradually, it appears that the world of women’s sports is gaining attention on a national level, although progress is slow and surely will encounter obstacles in the future.

  6. Eric Tellem permalink
    December 8, 2010 6:10 PM

    I completely disagree with this article. It is not because male and female atheletes are not “equal to their counterparts,” it is because male and female athletes are not equal to their counterparts talent wise. Even if the city’s womens team is a winning organization and the citys mens team is a losing organization, People want to see great plays, dunks, alley oops, game winning shots, and it happens a thousand times more in the NBA. It is simply more interesting. In sports, its not about leagues being equal, its a competition and like it or not it will be a long time before the WNBA wins this battle.

  7. Andrew Laing permalink
    December 8, 2010 6:35 PM

    I think what Jeff says above about the UofM giving incentives to see women’s basketball games demonstrates that the public would rather pay to watch men then watch women for free. This is based purely on how enjoyable it is to watch the game. It would take a lot more than a free mens game to sit through an entire women’s game. Funny, because the have to stipulate you must stay for the whole women’s game to earn the free mens ticket. Until women get faster, bigger, and more skilled no one (including women) will want to watch them play.

  8. jungle12 permalink
    December 8, 2010 7:12 PM

    Even though with the 19th amendment stating that men and women are both equal I disagree. Yes women rights has improved however, there are women these days that still do not receive the same respect as men, whether it is on the basketball court or in the office. I agree that woman’s basketball is not as interesting as man’s basketball but the amount of viewers of basketball might be the case of demographic. Men love sports especially sports played by other men. Why is that? Maybe because they want to support their “brother”, or maybe because they can relate to the men playing the sport or maybe its because they dream about being a certain athlete. The problem is that women is not supporting their fellow athletic women. The women in this world need to stick up and stand together to fight for equal rights against these awful power hungry men.

  9. jmrusso permalink
    December 8, 2010 9:52 PM

    I think you raise a very good question of equality of men and women in your post. I agree that in ways, men and women are not equal. For instance women will almost always have a better care taking skills then men, it is natural. Another instance is that the average man will almost always be taller than the average woman. The main focus has to be what defines equality. Is it based on rights, physical attributes, etc.? From a males perspective I do not find women attractive when they play sports probably because they are better than me in every way shape or form at the sport. But besides the point men will always be physically greater than woman and therefore are able to perform at a higher level which seems to be extremely competitive. The competition between two male teams always seems to be more heated than women’ sports. A final question I raise is that if women played in sports before men, would the norm change from watching men playing sports to women?

  10. Tony Zhang permalink
    December 9, 2010 8:29 PM

    Women’s sports will never ever be as popular as men sports. Men are just so much more physically dominant than women. Fans want to see exciting play. Think about the highlight reels that NBA superstars have put up. From all the clutch shots to the high flying dunks, I just don’t imagine that ever happening in the WNBA. I personally am a pretty big fan of the WNBA. I love watching my favorite WNBA team, the Seattle Storm, play basketball. However, when I just compare the product of the two brands of basketball, the product the NBA throws on the court is just superior in every way. Women’s basketball can definitely be a competitive sport. But I highly doubt it will ever become more popular than the NBA.

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