Still No Equality for Women in Sports
Throughout the history of women in sports, women had to ?merge? then ?submerge? with male dominated sports organizations and structures in order to participate. The Olympic Games is a key example of women have to merge and submerge with a male dominated organization. The first modern Olympics, held in 1896, did not allow women participants. And when women were allowed to participate, in 1900, it was in only three sports and out of the 1,225 athletes, only nineteen were women. The Olympics have allowed women to ?merge?, thus enabling women to participate in the games and rise to the level that they compete at today, however women are still ?submerged? within the dominant male sport structure, as can be seen with the present imbalance of men?s and women?s events and the significantly higher number of male athletes than females. Though equal participation of male and female athletes needs to be further developed, the mere idea of female participation in organized ?male? sports is socially and culturally significant by empowering women and breaking barriers that hinder women in all aspects of life.
Women have always been regarded as the "weaker" sex and the role of the woman was always to be submissive, passive and obedient to men. With sports, women hardly had a role at all until the twentieth century. Using the Olympics as an example, female athletes were not even considered at the onset of the modern games, and when they were allowed to compete in the second games in the 1900s, their presence was not taken seriously, only nineteen women competed, and only in three sporting events: golf, archery, and tennis. However, the "merging" of women into the Olympic games has come a long way, as can be seen by the competitive edge of the women in their events, events in which women and men both compete against one another, and sports in which women are actually favored over men , such as gymnastics and figure skating. However, a disparity still exists. In many other Olympic sports, women's and men's times and scores cannot be compared, because the rules are slightly different. For example, in shooting, women and men used to compete together but now, the sexes have been separated and women compete in fewer events than men. In archery, women and men shoot from different distances. Downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, rowing, the luge, and the biathlon all feature shorter courses for women than for men; and in basketball the ball is smaller than the ball used by men, and the basket is set lower than for men. What is the point of having slightly different rules for women and men? Many women contend that the rules of the game changes lightly for women as soon as it appears that women are catching up. Or in those sports where women can compete successfully (such as shooting or archery), the rules are varied slightly so women's and men's scores cannot be compared.
The merging of women into male dominated sports has...