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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Women and Men in Sports

Athletic competitions have been around since ancient times. However, in ancient times athletic competitions have mainly focused on abilities that would be valuable on the battlefield. (The original Olympic events included running in armor, boxing and wrestling for example.)
Nowadays, sports are still military-like (American football, in particular), but the military aspect is not as blatant as before.
Sports are a very big focus in American culture. If you take a walk outside chances are you are going to see someone wearing an item of clothing with a sport’s team logo on it. Or you may see a store or company using an athlete to promote their product even if that product is not exactly associated with a healthy lifestyle. (McDonald’s and Coca-Cola are some of the Olympics’ top sponsors for example.)
Usually when we see a sports team’s logo or the athletes promoting a product, it is typically an all-male sports team. We rarely see women’s sports teams’ logos on clothing or see women athletes promoting products.
In fact, we rarely see professional women athletes at all. I can only think of one instance where I saw a game of women’s basketball on television. I think I was seven at the time, and it may have not even been a professional game. Keep in mind, I was seven. I could very well have have been watching a college game.
Perhaps one of the reasons women’s sports aren’t as popular as men’s is because of society’s expectation of women looking pretty all the time. If you look up “women’s sports” on Google images you’ll see a many photos of female athletes in action. Quite frankly none of the photos are very flattering. The other images will be of female athletes in poses looking pretty and/or sexy.
Also after you Google “women’s sports” in the search bar the next recommendation that pops up is “women’s sports uniform malfunctions” and “women’s sports wardrobe malfunctions.”
I think that tells you a lot about our society.
Even when women’s sports were very popular it was only when men weren’t around to play.
In the 1940s women’s baseball was popular mainly because all the men had been drafted and sent all over the world to fight in World War Two. Women’s baseball died out once the men came back from war.
But that didn’t mean women’s baseball was focused completely on the athletic part of the game. The athletes were subjected to charm school. There were many rules surrounding how a player had to dress, how she had to act and what she wore for makeup. One point that was especially stressed was how a player should clean up after the game.
And I can’t forget to add that women’s baseball players’ uniforms had skirts. In case you were not aware, skirts don’t exactly provide any protection when you are sliding into home base. (There is a reason that the charm school guide book said to check out any wounds the players may receive.)
All in all, women’s sports are not exactly popular. Maybe it’s because there aren’t many team sports for women. Maybe it’s because not many women want to play sports. Or maybe it’s because people don’t think women look sexy while playing sports so they don’t want to watch it. Because according to society, we women are supposed to look pretty and do absolutely nothing else.