Team USA won its first Women’s Volleyball World Crown earlier this month, beating China in the final championship match 26-24. Not many people knew about the victory due to lack of coverage from the media.
The sad reality is that if an all-girls high school like Convent doesn’t celebrate this accomplishment, it doesn’t say much for the appreciation and recognition of women who play sports. If men were on the playing field, the reaction to their victory would have been different. Men’s sports remain appreciated and valued to a higher standard than women’s events within the sporting world in general.
When I entered high school I became confused as to why all-girls sports teams aren’t promoted and recognized just as much as their male counterparts. My male cousins who are the same age as I have multiple tailgates, rallies and spirit days to help their school communities get hyped for games. It is a little depressing that on Homecoming Weekend a few weeks ago, we had a tailgate for the Stuart Hall football team, but no extended pre-event for the girls varsity volleyball match against University High School.
The growing number of women who actively participate in professional sports, intramural and school sports alike challenge the gender imbalance in sporting ability. Young girls like Little League player Mo’ne Davis continue break barriers regarding societal labels in athletics. She is only the 18th girl to participate in the Little League World Series since it first began admitting female players 40 years ago, but her 70 mile-per-hour fastball stuns fellow players and the public alike.
Davis’s accomplishments overpower the fact that the male population purely dominates sports. Her accomplishments also prove that all women can step up, be rough and exceed gender stereotype that females can’t play sports because they are too fragile or delicate.
Although a higher number of women and girls play sports today, men who play professional sports still receive thirty percent more pay than women who play professionally. Most sports commentators remain male, and there is higher participation at men’s sporting events than at women’s.
We need to celebrate women’s athletics by attending more games, going out to women’s sporting rallies and publicly advocating for women in sports. Mothers and fathers, boys and girls should be able to see that no matter who is playing a sport, they should receive equal recognition for their athletic effort. That needs to start changing now.