The Problem With The “Lady” Longhorns: Feminism In Sports

Sanika Madan

“Why are men’s sports more valued than female sports?” is a question that most female athletes have been asking themselves for a long time. Last year, our class kept making jokes about how people announce the teams during games. How the women teams were always introduced as the “Lady Longhorns” while the men were just the “Longhorns.” We would laugh at how we thought they should be called the “Manly Longhorns” to make it more fair. Behind the laughter there is a lot of truth to it and it raises the question, “How much more valued are men’s sports over women’s sports?” 

Take the US Women’s Soccer team. They have won four Olympic gold medals and four Women’s World Cup Titles while the US Soccer team for men has won zero. So how come the US Women Soccer team only get ⅓ of the salary that the men got even though they are ranked #1 for Women’s soccer while the men aren’t even in the top 10? The average salary for Women’s basketball is $75,000 while the average salary for Men’s basketball is $6.1 million. Many women’s basketball players have been coming out and sharing that they earn zero revenue from press conferences while men earn over millions despite the NCAA earning just as much from their games. Even softball was just made so schools that promote playing baseball wouldn’t get sued for the law passed in 1972, aka “Title IX”. Title IX was responsible for anti-discrimination when it comes to gender. Softball was only presented to girls at the time because it was a less popular spin off of baseball, again putting the spotlight on men. Even softball with its popularity just as high as baseball is still presented in a way that softball players don’t have the option of a career outside of college like men do with MLB. Despite the high achieving success of women’s sports there will always be a prejudice when in comparison with men’s sports.

Many people will comment that men’s sports are way more popular than women’s sports and the statistics for that don’t lie, but men’s sports are promoted way more than women’s sports so clearly they would have more of an audience. Women don’t get nearly the same resources as men do. Even on TV, comparing the framework for the men and the women you can see obvious differences in quality. Between the production value, the quality of commentary, and lazy camera work, women have always gotten the short end of the stick so of course men’s games will come off more exciting. This also brings up publicity. Less than 4% of restaurants in the US play women’s sports, and only 10% of sports networks play women’s sports. How are women’s sports going to get an equal revenue as men without an equal playing field to start with?

Despite all the runt that women’s sports have to take in, women athletes still find their way to be highly successful and highly engrossing. Although, a lot of questions are still left unanswered. Would playing sports for school still be an option for girls if it weren’t for Title IX? Why does society put men’s sports on such a high pedestal while women’s sports are seen as so beneath them? Will there ever be an end to the machismo in sports? Unfortunately there is no saying what will happen in the future. Just think about this, do you think that your sex should discriminate your chances of making it to the big leagues ?

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