BY ANJALI SINGH
Do you want to be a sportsperson? Does it seem risky to you to make a career in the gender bias industry? The sports industry is considered to be male dominant. Okay! Tell me who comes to your mind first when I say ‘sports’? Is it Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, Ronaldo, Messi, or LeBron? I’m pretty much sure half of you would think of a male athlete. There’s nothing wrong with it. They all have immense achievements. It just tells how much fame and respect men get for performing well. But their popularity and achievements should not make us forget what women are bringing to sports.
Women In Tokyo Olympics 2020
Women of color have proved themselves over and over again. In every game or tournament, we’ve seen them making us all proud. On 8th Aug 2021, the Tokyo Olympics 2020 came to a close. It became the most gender-equal game in history. In this year’s Olympic games, women represented 49% of all participants. This was the highest-ever female participation in any summer games. Women shattered many records and dominated the medal count at this event. We witnessed outstanding performances by our many women of color at this sports event- US women clinched 66 medals out of 113 medals. That is 58% of the total medal won by the US. The US topped the medal chart at the Tokyo Olympics with this great contribution by American women athletes. In China and Japan, 53.4% and 51.7% were women medalists respectively.
Gender Discrimination In The Sports Realm
This performance by women has brought the attention of everyone to the exposure of women in sports. Is it fair we notice the potential of women in sports only when they bring a medal home? If it wasn’t for the Olympics, I think, not all of us would have known about their performances (or even their names). Women’s sports don’t get much coverage. They don’t receive equal promotion as men’s sports. People often say women’s sports lack excitement. Do you feel the media coverage could be responsible for this attitude? Or for lesser female participation in sports? Besides media exposure, it’s often seen that women’s sports face funding issues and gender pay gaps.
Gender discrimination in sports is not today’s discussion. There was a time when women weren’t encouraged at all to participate in sports. Now things have changed a lot. Yet we can say it’s not fully eradicated. Apparently, Mithali Raj was asked about her favourite male cricketer. In reply she said, “Do you ask the same question to a male cricketer? Do you ask them who their favourite female cricketer is?” She even pointed out how much publicity men receive as compared to women.
Another example of women facing hardship in this gender bias industry is of US women athletes fighting for equal paychecks. There are many women who tackled sexism in sports.
Female Athletes Who Redefined The Possible
Many women athletes are smashing the patriarchy with their achievements. Naomi Osaka, no.1 tennis player from Japan tops this list with her achievements. She is the highest-paid woman athlete ever. PV Sindhu, the first woman and second athlete to win 2 Olympic medals for India. Also the only Indian in the Forbes list of highest-paid female athletes. Serena Williams, an American tennis player with 23 grand slam singles titles. She revolutionized women’s tennis and is an idol to many. Sania Mirza, India’s leading female tennis player. A stereotype breaker and an inspiration to many women out there. Simone Manuel, Allyson Felix, Simone Biles the list will keep on going.
This industry is no longer male-dominated. Women are equally dominating the sports industry all over the world. To glorify exposure of females in sports, give equal attention and support to sportswomen. Then in every household, school, and college, athletics would be seen as equally important as any other field for women. Remember, sportsmanship is for every woman. Wait…one more reminder, we all play “like a girl” and we’re proud of it.
Our talent does not lie in using the spatula, its with the bat and tennis racket. Give us one and let us rewrite the story.