Sex Sells

Women are continuously sexualized in sports, creating dangerous effects.

Sports contribute to sexism in modern life.

Women Working

Sports contribute to sexism in modern life.

Claire Satiroff, Columnist

 Though many steps have been taken to put an end to sexism, the ideology remains prevalent today. One way it is expressed is through sports. Sports are often divided into two facets: masculine and feminine. Football, soccer, and swim are often viewed as masculine sports, whereas gymnastics, volleyball, and dance are viewed as feminine. The sexism of sports does not end at these gender barriers, though, as it is also displayed in uniforms and emotional appeal.

There are major differences in each sport, whether it’s from the rules to the uniforms. However, there is one common factor displayed in every female sport: sexualization. Men in sports are allowed full coverage and, therefore, respect, whereas women are dressed in bikinis and are viewed as unprofessional. These women are just as talented as their male counterparts, and they have dedicated their lives to playing a sport only to be treated as a sexual object. The excuse that is used for this issue is that “sex sells,” which is often used as a motto for female leagues. This means that the sexualization of these women gains the leagues, which are mainly run by men, views, and therefore more money. These men are essentially selling women’s dignity in order to gain a few extra bucks.

Not only is this a disgusting sexualization of women, but it is also incredibly dangerous. Women are commonly viewed as “delicate” objects, but they have just as much force and strength as men and will not let the skimpiness of their uniforms get in the way of a win. They will tackle and dive just as a man would. Yet, the lack of coverage from their uniforms can lead to danger. Mpora states that Deborah Poles, a former Chicago Bliss player was reported saying, “I remember leaving a game one day, just drenched in blood.” She is only one of many who have had to face these challenges. According to Harvard Health, women are more likely to suffer sports-related injuries, and uniforms play a huge role in that. Women are continuously viewed and treated as sexual objects in sports, and the long-term injuries, to say nothing of the ethical mess, are not worth this sexualization.

This is not the only factor that contributes to sexism in sports, though, emotional appeal is also a major factor. Men are allowed to watch sports and experience anger or disappointment over their team. Yet, if a woman were to show any emotional response, she would be deemed hysterical. Men are commonly seen screaming at televisions whereas women must remain composed and ladylike. This contributes to the overarching theme of the emotional divide in gender perception. Men are only allowed to have emotions such as anger or frustration and women are only allowed to be joyful and calm. Neither are allowed to go outside of their gender assigned roles without facing ridicule. Yet, these assigned roles can lead to physical crises. Since males showing extreme amounts of anger towards sports has been so widely accepted, riots often ensue after sporting events. According to the Washington Post, this mainly happens because of mob mentality. When one person starts to riot, the others will follow in order to express their emotions. People will often make decisions in crowds that they would not otherwise make because they do not view themselves as an individual but rather as part of a large entity. This makes it even more dangerous, as people are not in their right mind and will not think of the consequences of their actions.

Women and men are not the same, bearing many biological differences. Regardless, that does not mean that women should be consistently objectified and sexualized for doing what they love. The phrase “sex sells” is a disgusting excuse used to continue the sexualization of females in sports. Additionally, the view that men are allowed to have outrageous temper tantrums over a game will have unnecessarily ugly side effects. Both of these factors continue to contribute to the sexism and objectification of females in sports.