Essay about Sexism in Sports

Category: Culture
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Words:  518
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The gender pay gap is an issue across all places of work and negatively impacts the lives of all women, but the question comes into play in the sports industry. A place where women are encouraged to participate yet prevented from excelling due to the overbearing male presence. This multi-billion dollar industry is giving majority of its money to the male athletes and has been since the late 1800s, creating and continuing a sexist and unstoppable path. The following discuss and support this idea. The first question that comes into play is when did women begin participating in sports and when did women begin getting compensated for their participation. The first account of women participating in sports is Annie Oakley. She participated in sharpshooting.

Beginning at age eight, then continuing for years, Annie earned enough to pay her family’s house mortgage and provide food for her family. Making more than $200. When Annie was then fifteen, she was able to outshoot a professional named Frank who she married later. They traveled together but the world assumed Frank was a butler, not a professional sharpshooter. This shows how even in the 1800s, the world was sexist and unable to handle a woman being better at a sport than her counterpart. Annie was an advocate for equal pay for men and women throughout her life and fought for women to participate in the military in order to fight this blatant sexism. Annie was one of the first in the sports world, along with Lizzie Arlington. Lizzie Arlington made a big change in society’s views when she was the first woman to sign a contract in the baseball minor leagues in the year 1876. She was paid $100 a week to play as the starting pitcher for the professional teams.

She did not make money for the team but was signed onto the Atlantic League on July 5, 1898. She pitched and gave no runs, the crowds were cheering for the “attractive face and rosy cheeks” pitcher. This discrimination between men and women grows larger in the 1960s when roller derby becomes popular. Joan Weston, a roller derby star, was on the San Francisco Bay Bombers. Weston was incredible, she was so good she was the highest paid female athlete in the 1960s. She did not gain these skills or this pay overnight, she skated full time for over 250 games. Her stardom was well deserved, but the sexism in sports made it so that even her title of being the highest paid female athlete, led to her being paid less than her male rollers by about $20,000.

In the previously complete patriarchal society, women were not allowed to participate in any sports or attend games. The first olympics, 776 b.c., is known to have a “no girls allowed” rule, but the games of Hera were invented. This Hera competition would occur every four years, where the games were created especially for women to compete and the prizes consisted of pomegranates, symbols of fertility, olive wreaths and slices of sacrificial cow. Eventually, in 1900, women competed in the Paris olympics in the events golf, tennis and croquet.

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Essay About Sexism in Sports. (2019, Feb 06). Retrieved from

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