Women’s sports don’t get enough attention

At the London 2012 summer Olympics, women’s athletics witnessed numerous achievements — many of which long overdue. For the first time in the game’s history, all participating countries allowed female athletes to compete, and with the inclusion of women’s boxing, all sports had female and male divisions. But why isn’t anyone noticing? Sure, we can take two weeks every two years to cheer on athletes like Missy Franklin, Gabby Douglas and Lolo Jones in the name of patriotic fervor, but what about the rest of the 50 weeks of the year?

Over the years, national news media has built quite a notorious reputation over their lack of coverage in women’s sports. Major news headlines give little to no information about legitimate sports events in favor of “stories” like “Crazy Packers fans wear bikinis to the game in freezing weather“. Tumblr blog, ScoreBoardforEquality tracks the sports coverage of women’s articles compared to men’s on  USA Today, The Washington Post and New York Times. In most cases, men’s coverage outnumbers (legitimate) female athletic articles by more than five to one.

Not only do teams or individual athletes suffer from lack of recognition, entire leagues deteriorate because of it as well. Due to its shrinking fan base, the Women’s National Basketball Association was forced to shrink team rosters in 2007.

Although under a recent trend, women’s sports have received more coverage and attention — but for all the wrong reasons. Female magazine covers of Sports Illustrated (of which rarely feature an actual female athlete) and Danica Patrick’s GoDaddy commercials reduce female athletes to nothing more than sexual objects, instead of being praised for their physical abilities. The idea that no one would actually be interested in a story about female athletics — unless it involved a full page spread of their nearly naked body — still prevails. Even with the life changing advent of the “Lingerie Bowl,” the players’ physical ability is overlooked and undermined by their “sportswear,” or lack thereof.

Because of the widespread dominance of the media’s attitude towards female athletics, the belief that women and girls are unworthy of our attention when it comes to sports has grown commonplace and even accepted. Even when we zoom in to nearly any ordinary high school, girls sports are second rate.

Even Carlsbad High seems to overlook our female athletes at times. From considerably lower attendance rates at girls games (as compared to their male counterparts), to offering considerably less coverage in the yearbook, CHS slips up. Even though our Associated Student Body strives to make efforts in hopes of increasing crowd support at girls games, students still choose not to attend. 

For the amount of time and effort required to sit and watch a girls sports game —  why wouldn’t you go? You will show your school spirit, see a great game and of course, support our fabulous lady lancers. So next time instead of saying “But it won’t be fun, it’s girls“, grab you spirit wear and head out to the fields to cheer on an extremely overlooked group of incredible athletes for their ability, not their gender.