By Elisa Vilanueva @BBELISACATS
You have just won your second medal in the Olympic Games, a personal accomplishment and every athlete’s dream. As you hold up your medal, there are photographers surrounding you.
You wake up the next morning to check your name in recent headlines. But you can’t find anything. Then you find an article with the headline “Wife of Bears’ lineman wins a bronze medal today in Rio Olympics.”
Now you know how it feels to be a woman.
Since media was created there has so much neglect of professional female athletes. It has always been easy for young boys who aspired to be professional athletes watch their idols on TV. However, for young girls who had interests in sports the task was harder. And it is still the same today.
If you go onto SportsCenter’s Instagram account, you can see that there’s one picture posted regarding a women’s team compared to the hundreds of posts towards men’s teams.
Of course, ESPN has their own women’s account dedicated to only women’s teams. But not even they are frequent posters. And why do they need a separate women’s account to cover these sports?
When women are finally publicized for their noteworthy athleticism they get shunned as “the female Michael Phelps” or “ex-fiancé of the Niner’s backup quarterback makes a remarkable play.”
Their names aren’t even put out there to be remembered.
There are also instances where female athletes are only praised for their glorious bodies. Tennis player Maria Sharapova is an example. While she is out competing, commentators will continuously address her body and look instead of a play by play of her performance. How can somebody’s body become more important than their talent?
The underlying question is what makes male athlete so much more superior than females?
Media is made to grab their audience’s attention. Sports have always been stereotyped as something only men are interested in. When companies such as ESPN create media, it is geared towards men because mostly men watch sports.
But is this true? Sure, you can say a couple of years ago men were a great fraction of sports viewers. Now, there are more women interested in sports than before. According to a Gallup Poll in 2015, 51 percent of women are sports fans while 66 percent of men are sports fans. There is not a significant difference between these percentages.
However, when women are addressed in media it is still put in terms that will grab men’s attention.
For examples, a typical Sports Illustrated cover is a male athlete in him team’s uniform. When a female athlete is on the cover she is either in a dress or practically naked. Instead of the magazine displaying a female athlete’s pride and sportsmanship, they just present them as stereotypical women.
Female sport’s fans need to make a stand against sexist media coverage.
It is important to attend women’s sporting events. The more people that are there the more coverage an event will get. It is also important to get more women into sports.
Although half of women watch sports, the more women interested the more likely these networks and companies will take action. Nothing will change unless the audience fights. And if you aren’t happy with these companies’ coverage of sports, don’t support them by giving them views and post sharings.