Saturday, March 24, 2012

Why Don't We Care About Women's Sports?

During this time of March Madness and the NCAA Hockey tournament (let's go Red!), I found myself wondering why most Americans put so much energy into following men's sports, but couldn't care less about women's basketball or hockey. While it can be said that this is because men are naturally more athletic, so in any sport that both genders compete in, the male games will be more exciting, I feel that this doesn't fully explain the issue. Why aren't there any sports that would be more exciting to watch women compete in, such as ones that favor smaller, more graceful people rather than the stronger and faster? Or do these sports exist and I just am not aware of them?

The only women's sporting events that I can recall watching are gymnastics, swimming and beach volleyball, all of which have been every 4 years at the Olympics and also feature fairly revealing outfits. I think that there could easily be a team sport that it would be more exciting to watch women play than men due to the nature of the sport, or variations on currently popular sports with rule changes that favor women, without incorporating sex appeal, such as the Lingerie Football League (that's a thing, I promise).

On the other hand, am I imaging this lack of exciting women's sports simply because I don't enjoy watching them as much as their male counterparts? It could be true that many people prefer watching women's soccer and I just don't know it. Please enlighten me with your opinions on this matter.

Edit: just realized I forgot that women's tennis is extremely popular. That is because I dislike tennis, not women.


  1. I think part of the reason that people find men's sports more exciting is that men are more athletic, or built more so for physical activity, but I think there is more to it. There is a perception that sports are designated for men- as kids, boys are meant to play sports, and girls with Thier dolls ( I don't believe this but it is a typical stereotype). Because children are socialized at a young age to believe sports are designated for men, the thought of women playing sports is alien to some men and women, and leads to a disinterest in woman's sports for those people. If someone feels uncomfortable about women playing sports, why would they watch? I may be wrong, but I think socialization plays a huge role in the way we perceive women's sports, and how interested we are
    In watching them.

  2. I can see where you are coming from with this train of thought. It is rather upsetting how many people crowd into Lynah Rink to see the men's hockey team play here at Cornell and how the women's team has to put up banners everywhere in order for people to show. I'm not a fan of this unfair treatment of gender and sports, but I think Alex is right in saying that boys were stereotypically given sports as "their own."

    It is interesting, however, if you have ever been to a ballet, you will see mostly female dancers and then a few lead male dancers. Dance has been primarily "given" to women just as sports like football and basketball are more stereotypically male. I don't think either is correct, and seeing how there are so many different types of people within gender, it is unfair to assume anything.


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