The Sportswoman Takes Second Place

There must have been as many women as men in the audience. The television was switched on an hour early, by my mother, not father. On Saturday night, the entire country, gender irrespective, celebrated India’s win of the World Cup 2011. Everyone on my Facebook and Twitter feeds was talking about it (and I have a fair balance of male-female ratio in my onlineverse). Before you say that’s only true of this country’s favorite sport, the same repeats during football season too. That seems to put paid to the myth that sports only appeal to men.

Why then, do women seem to be lagging behind in sports? My father, a tennis aficionado, tells me that men’s tennis is far more competitive than women’s. And that’s still a sport that allows the genders to mix. I understand that this may not be viable in every sport. The proximity that some of them require, may not be to everyone’s taste. And the physical make-up of men and women being different, it might be complicated to evenly match teams and assess competitors fairly. But if there are enough people of each gender interested, presumably there will be enough players, competitors to populate teams and drive tournaments.

Or could it be that as audience, we’re just not as interested in seeing women compete?


* A version is posted to Yahoo! Real Beauty .

4 thoughts on “The Sportswoman Takes Second Place

  1. Here in the US, women play a fair amount of sports, at school and college and professional levels. I have heard that Title IX ( has much to do with it.

    However, it seems that we live in a world that’s so skewed in favor of the male. Female sports stars have to be good looking to land a magazine cover. The picture spread is more often a tribute to their looks than their athletic prowess. Many female sports personalities have disrobed in front of the camera for magazine spreads, photo shoots, etc. One wonders why… It’s so easy to blame the media for this kind of sexist portrayal but after all, we make up the media and it’s our own creation.

    I like Helen Mirren’s statement about Hollywood. “With all due respect to you many brilliant and successful women in this room, not much has changed in Hollywood film-making that continues to worship at the altar of the 18 to 25-year-old male and his penis. Quite small, I always think.”

    1. @Lakshmi: Valid point, the one about female sportstars having to be goodlooking to land a mag cover, rather than just have athletic/sporting prowess. And LOL @Helen Mirren’s statement! 😀 You really, go girl. Your comments add so much to my posts!

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