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Sports are a vital aspect of modern culture that draws the attention of many people

April 11, 2011

Sports are a vital aspect of modern culture that draws the attention of many people. For instance the most popular sports in the country right now include NFL, MLB, college sports, and much more. There is one significant aspect of sports that need to be taken into consideration: the fact that most of the country cares only about male sports and don’t bother to follow female athletics. Why do we only watch men’s college basketball? Why are there no women in the NHL? Why do women golfers play from tees closer to the hole than men?


The reason that this country only follows male sports is because it has become a tradition to watch sports with the most physical and athletic players to watch. This argument is based not on the belief that women do not have the ability to play sports on par with men but that men are born to be physically stronger. There are no women in sports like the NFL or NHL because the physical domination of men would cause serious injuries to women playing. Furthermore, many people believe that women are worse at certain sports and do not have the ability to play certain sports. Mill would argue against this stating that we don’t know what women are capable of and can’t deem if they are worse at something than men.


Let’s take the sport of baseball for men and softball for women. Compared to women, men play with smaller sized balls and larger field size. Honestly, I don’t know how many innings softball players play or what league softball players play in after college. I can guarantee I am not the only person who has no clue about certain women sports because society seems to have no interest in them. But what is the reason behind this concept that causes society to have never gained an interest in female athletics? This answer comes back to the idea of tradition. Society has grown accustomed to want to see the most physically dominant athletes out there who are the most athletics in their respective sports.


Mill states that women are considered by society to be weak and incapable of performing at the standards of men. He argues that society creates this conclusion without any evidence or without testing women’s abilities. Moreover, he believes that men don’t want to compete with women because they mentally know they are capable of it. Not that I am an antifeminist, I disagree completely with Mill’s statements. Sure there can be some women stronger than men or a team like University of Connecticut’s women basketball team that can beat a weak male college basketball team. But in reality, men in nature are born to be physically more dominant than women. There is a reason why women play on different sized fields, various sized balls, etc. They do this because they play at the standard and level that they are capable of. In other words, women might have the ability to compete with men; for the most part, they can’t because of physical standards of male athletics versus female sports.

  1. lernerm permalink
    April 11, 2011 6:46 PM

    I think that you make some good points in your post – we do enjoy watching the best (i.e. the most athletic and physically gifted) athletes more than simple excellence in a whatever sport. However, there are times when “tradition” gets in the way of talented athletes.

    Take, for example, Manon Rheaume, the only woman to ever play for an NHL team. She only in two games (exhibitions at that), but she was also a world-class athlete. On the women’s side, she won a silver medal for Canada in the Olympics and two World Championships. In both of the games that she played, she was pulled halfway through. It seems to me as if “tradition” turned her try-out into more of a marketing stunt than anything else. Surely a goalie with that much talent deserved more of a chance than that.

  2. April 11, 2011 6:50 PM

    I agree with what you had to say. In my discussion section this week, our GSI asked us to compare the NCAA Basketball final for men and women. Only two or three students in my entire section knew who played in the women’s final while the majority knew about the men’s final. Another interesting topic is how men’s sports are often covered more in the media than women’s sports. This perpetuates the gap in attendance and popularity between the sports. Of course there are irregularities, but I believe this gap will continue to be sizable in years to come.

  3. Pierre Gerondeau permalink
    April 11, 2011 9:43 PM

    I agree with many of the points in the main post as well as the comments. I think James Barbour makes an interesting point in saying that women’s sports don’t get nearly as much media coverage, making it harder for them to be as popular as men’s sports, which are written about and seen on television each day. This is probably for the same reason that people think that women can’t play on men’s sports teams, and Mill would definitely disagree with this. Major sports networks like ESPN and Sports Illustrated probably think that people don’t want to read about or watch women’s sports, for the same reasons that they think that women aren’t physical or tough enough to play “men’s” games. If more women’s games were televised, there is a better chance that their leagues would be more popular. On a related point, the WNBA had their draft today, and Maya Moore was the first overall pick from UConn, but I’m not sure if many people knew that because the draft got zero coverage compared to the NFL and NBA drafts that people know about years in advance. Maya was the top women’s player the past few years, on one of the best programs even though they didn’t win a championship this year, and many people probably don’t realize her accomplishment, or the accomplishments of the other athletes who were drafted today. They may not be the men’s players that people like today, but the women’s players are still better than a good chunk of the population, and deserved to he hailed as top athletes too.

  4. mstranseth permalink
    April 11, 2011 10:05 PM

    I definitely agree that tradition is the primary reason why American society watches men’s sports more so than women’s sports. As far back as we know, men have always been associated with strength and athletic ability while women have been associate with frailty and children. Just look at statues of Greek or Roman gods. The men are all huge, muscular men able to literally hold up the world while the women tend to be beautiful and elegant. Perhaps there are some deep down psychological elements that make people uncomfortable, or at least wary of athletic women, because it seems to unnatural to us. I don’t see this changing much in the near future, but it is always interesting to think about.

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