Jock Talk: Existence of Women’s Professional Sports is Sexist

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Danica Patrick, an example of a woman in a coed professional sport. | Image by david_shankbone via Flickr

Julia Friedman ’11
Staff Writer

I’m not a complete sexist, even though most people assume me to be.  I support women’s rights.  I’m a fan of equality.  However what I am not a fan of is women’s professional sports, nor do I see their purpose or place in this society.  I’ll say it straight: I don’t think there should be women’s professional sports.

As a female and as an athlete, I don’t believe there should be sports teams and sports associations exclusively for women.  The fact that they do exist, is sexist in itself.

Being a professional athlete is a career.  No other occupation is separated by gender.  For example, I’m a writer, so I want to pursue a career in journalism.  There isn’t men’s journalism and women’s journalism, there is just journalism.  The person who is the better writer gets hired, regardless of gender.

No other occupation is separated by gender.

Some may argue that women need their own sports teams because they can not physically compete with men.  However, the creation of these women’s teams is supporting the notion of female inferiority, not promoting feminism.

Something for these skeptics to consider is that some women are capable of competing with men in professional sports.  For example, in 1980 Ann Meyers signed to the Indiana Pacers and in 1977 Lusia Harris was drafted to the New Orleans Jazz, both are NBA basketball teams.  Meyers and Harris were able to surpass expectations and defy notions about female physical inferiority, thus earning their place on the roster of a men’s professional basketball team.

In 1973, female tennis player Billie Jean King faced off against male player Bobby Riggs in match that is known today as “The Battle of the Sexes.”  In said match, King defeated opponent Riggs 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 winning three straight sets.

A present day example is Danika Patrick, the race car driver.  I personally have more respect for her than I do any other female athlete.  This is a woman who doesn’t use her gender as a handicap.  She succeeds in a sport where all of her competitors are male.

The other problem that I have with women’s professional sports is that they are abysmal to watch.  I myself am an avid basketball fan.  Women are clearly less gifted than men at this sport.  Stacy Pressman, an ESPN columnist said it best.  “I am bored out of my skull at women’s basketball games.  I refuse to be politically correct about this, but 40 minutes of underhanded layups is not entertaining.”

If you go to a women’s sporting event, the number of fans will be significantly lower than if you go to see men play that same sport.  This is true at the professional level and at the collegiate and high school level as well.

In order to attract more fans, women’s teams have to lower their ticket price.  The reason for this?  Because paying $1,250 for a court-side seat to see the Knicks is more bang for your buck than watching the Liberty for the same price.  That’s why it only costs $150 for the same seat.

It’s the same thing with television coverage.  Less than 10 percent of sports news time is spent covering women’s sports.  This is because women’s sports are not entertaining in the least.  Unless of course a brawl breaks out between the Detroit Shock and the Los Angeles Sparks.

People generally don’t care about women’s sports and the fact of the matter is, is that women’s sports leagues were created just to satisfy participants of a feminist movement.

If things were really equal, men and women would be competing against each other, not separately.