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Kristina Kosloski
Prof. Bruner
ENGL 120
23 April 2015
Final Draft
Females Throwin Some Punches

Womens rights in sports still do not have as equal of power compared to men in
the media. Womens place in sports have just changed over the past 40 years and in today
world there is still little attention given to women when it comes to athletics. For
example, womens sports are not televised as often as mens sports. ESPN most
frequently discusses news topics revolving around mens athletics. Sports such as college
football, the NFL, mens college basketball, the MBA, and mens golf are most
commonly discussed and broadcasted over the media.
In an article titled One Sport Voice, written by reporter Nicole Lavoi discussing
women athletes in the media, it is seen that the female athletes who are given the greatest
amount of spotlight tend to be seen for their physical looks, instead of for their athletic
talent first. Nicole Lavoi stated, Market-sex sells, and people want to see sexy images
of female athletes, it is what the market wantsno one is interested in seeing real female
athletes that arent attractive, sexy or feminine (Lavoi). This being on the more
conservative platform, the movement of womens rights was looked down upon. The
south is very big on their athletics and in the early 1900s women had no place of power
outside the kitchen. In an article discussing the Title IX establishment, high school

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administrators complained that boys' sports would suffer if girls' sports had to be funded
equallyUnder Presidents Reagan and Bush, enforcement of Title IX came to a halt
(Empowering Women in Sports). Not only is this seen in high school, but transitioning
over into colleges, the Womens Sports Foundation found that, male athletes still receive
55% of college athletic scholarship dollars, leaving only 45% to be allocated to women
(Womens Sports Foundation). This as well is seen more so in the south compared to the
northern schools.
On the more liberal side, women have made more progress when trying to gain
power in the world of athletics. It was said that, currently, television coverage of
women's sports is inconsistent at best and non-existent most of the time. While the
exposure of female athletes improves during the Olympic Games and World Cup soccer
where they demonstrate ratings successes, these are only quadrennial occurrences
(Lopiano). Within the past women of the south have had a harder time making their mark
into a mens positions, but the liberals believe more so in womens rights than the
conservative party. Liberal feminism's primary goal is gender equality in the public
sphere (Lewis). These legal changes apply also to women in athletics and how they are
perceived. Women in the present deserve to have the same amount of sports media
coverage as men. They work just has hard if not harder to make a name for themselves in
the world of sports. According to this article published in December of 2014, forty
percent of all sports participants are female, yet womens sports receive only 4% of all
sport media coverage and female athletes are much more likely than male athletes to be
portrayed in sexually provocative poses (Multimedia).

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In addition to women not being given the same attention as men in sports, women
also have just started to break the barrier when it come to taking part in careers that men
are generally known to only have. Within the past year three women have become NBA
referees and this is brought up a great amount of conflict, especially one argument being
that women should not be looking over a mens basketball game, and that men know
more about the sport of basketball than women. Lauren Holtkamp, the third female NBA
referee in the US, stated in an article by USA Today, I felt I was really on the cusp of
earning this opportunity. I felt really healthy physically, mentally, emotionally and I felt
confident in the work and trusted that the work would be enough, regarding being
allowed ref in the NBA (Zillgitt). Lauren was one of two other female referees who was
struck with much criticism by coaches, players, and even other NBA referees. One
would think that if a women is just as knowledgeable as a man in mens basketball rules
then they should be able to part take in the same career. We find that society is what
established this outlook that women and men cannot have complete equality, especially in
Within career revolving around sports, women have also been fighting to be
giving equal income to those of male athletes. The Womens Sports Foundation found
that, Total prize money for the PGA tour, $256 million, is more than five times that of
the LPGA tour, $50 million. Similar discrepancies exist throughout professional sports
(Womens Sports Foundation). This similar correlation is found throughout the several
sports including basketball, tennis, softball, soccer and more. The Womens Sports
Foundation also found in womens soccer that, for finishing in third place in the 2003
Women's World Cup, each U.S. women's national soccer team member was awarded

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$25,000. They would have received $58,000 if they had won the Cup. For reaching the
quarterfinal of the World Cup in 2002, the U.S. men's national soccer team members
received $200,000 each (Womens Sports Foundation). This is lastly another example of
how a professional womens sports team is treated unfairly.
Over the past 30 years the role that women have been allowed to play in the world
of sports is surly increasing. Although these changes have been slow, it was seen that the
major shift in womens rights did begin in the northern more liberal regions of the United
States. As seen, women form the north have ben able to participate in certain events
sooner than women in the south. This issue is more so a social problem that women as a
whole have been fighting.
These two opposing viewpoints reflect on our nations differences when is comes
to womens rights and standing in todays society. We would like to believe and
truthfully say that women and men are equal in all things, but women are still fighting to
get attention brought to them in the athletic field.

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Works Cited
"Empowering Women in Sports - What Is Title IX - Feminist Majority Foundation."
Empowering Women in Sports - What Is Title IX - Feminist Majority Foundation.
Feminist Majority Foundation, 2014. Web. 22 Mar. 2015.
Lavoi, Nicole M. "One Sport Voice." Opposing Views of Media Portrayals of Female
Athletes. One Sport Voice, 5 Oct. 2011. Web. 23 Mar. 2015.
Lewis, Jone Johnson. "Liberal Feminism - Women's History Definition." N.p., 2015.
Web. 22 Mar. 2015.
Lopiano, Donna A. "Sports Management Resources." Media Coverage of Women's Sports
Is Important. Sports Management Resources, n.d. Web. 19 Mar. 2015.
"Multimedia." Media Coverage & Female Athletes: Tucker Center for Research on Girls
& Women in Sport. N.p., 6 Dec. 2014. Web. 22 Mar. 2015.

Zillgitt, Jeff. "Lauren Holtkamp Unfazed on Being NBA's Third Full-Time Female
Referee." USA Today Sports. USA Today, 30 Sept. 2014. Web. 22 Apr. 2015.

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While writing this paper I found it very interesting and intriguing to discover how
this topic, revolving around female athletes, is still very much a problem in todays
world. Although these issues and problems that are being addressed do focus around
womens rights, I think it is great to see women taking a stand and fighting for quality in
athletics. The overall discussion revolving around the image women has in athletics,
mainly for sex appeal, is shocking to still see in the present time and female athletes
deserve to have spotlight for their athletic talent and abilities.
Being a female athlete myself, I can definitely attribute to this issue because I see
it first hand in my sport. Swimming was one of the sports that women were allowed to
part take in once women were giving the right to play sports, but even then men in the
world of swimming today are giving more coverage and attention then women. I could
easily name off some of the fastest female swimmers in the world, but the majority of
people in today society would list off Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte when it comes to
talking about competitive swimming. People dont realize the impact women have made
in the world of sports, especially to young girls who are finding their passion in sports.
While doing research under this topic, I enjoy discovering articles where women
would speak about their image and impact in sports and how they should get equal
representation in athletics as males do. It was not difficult to show the change over the
past few decades of women in sports and it is clear to see that there is still come change
to be made. Especially in the media, women do not receive nearly as much show time as
men do and I think a shift in this will start since women are starting to make major marks
in careers of broadcasting and sports reporting.

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