Female athletes struggle with inequalities

Photo Credit: Photo via Ms. Allen
In May of 2020, The Wall Street Journal wrote an article entitled, “The U.S. Women’s Soccer Team’s Pay Doesn’t Rise as It Generates More Money. Here’s Why.” Soccer does not pay its players the same way the MLB and the NBA do.

By: Jackie Poznanski, Editor

Gender discrimination has been a prominent issue for many years. In particular, female athletes are constantly fighting against gender bias on and off the field.  Female athletes struggle with inequalities in male-dominated sports and often experience unnecessary hate.

The Ugly Truth

Society anticipates males and females to embraceaccept, and fulfill particular gender roles and generalization establishments. For instance, males are to be strong, independent, and athletic. Whereas females are to be quiet, obedient, and attractive nurturers. Society demands compliance to enforce this gender order.

Women athletes are constantly judged for being too tall, too muscular, and too “masculine.”  Female participants in sports are often thought to be less appreciated by today’s culture. One of the prevailing arguments states that athletic women face a dilemma. One that states that they must succeed in their sport while maintaining hegemonic femininity.

Struggles of a Women Athlete

While social judgment can be defeating, women athletes experience lower pay and minimal recognition. The gender pay gap spans almost every industry, and girls/ women continue to fight for equal wages daily.

Forbes Magazine states, “In team sports, though, the picture for women is bleak. The top WNBA salary was $117,500 last season, compared with $37.4 million in the NBA. The team salary cap for the National Pro Fastpitch softball league is $175,000; the Boston Red Sox will split $227 million in 2019. ”

While people can refute this argument, the statistics are clear that women are perceived as “less than” in sports. Women put in the same amount of hard work and dedication as males. Arguably more, many women professionals have children and need to balance being a mother as well as a successful athlete. Women often have to put their careers on hold to have children and face new obstacles when returning to work.

Women Breaking Boundaries

Well-decorated female athletes such as Serena Williams, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Alex Morgan,  have made women proud by breaking these boundaries. Serena Williams is a revolutionized tennis player, she has won more Grand Slam singles than any other man or woman in her era. Serena continues to motivate young girls to follow their dreams and not to be afraid to be “strong.” Jackie Joyner-Kersee (track-star) and Alex-Morgan (soccer player) have also expressed through their success that females must stick together and motivate one another. These female athletes struggle with inequalities in male-dominated sports and often experience unnecessary hate as well.

Play Like a Girl

Let’s inspire girls and women of all ages to chase their dreams in sport. To be strong, to build community, to lean into faith, and to be brave in the face of challenges. Sports build character and teach people that pushing through pain can lead to reward, that persevering through doubt leads to overcoming. Society should be grateful the women have a platform to compete against each other in sport. To be able to use their talents in a way that inspires future generations. Females must push for the future of women’s sport, push for young girls to have a fair chance to compete, earn scholarships, and pursue their dreams in sport without the fear of competing against men.

Women are the epitome of strength and resilience! In order to escape these social inequalities, women must use their collective power to lift each other up and consistently inspire. Strong women. May we know them. May we be them.