In our society, the American society, women are not treated in the same way that men are treated. Some may disagree, but it is fact in multiple aspects. We strive for an egalitarian society in which everyone has equal rank and prestige. We think we live in one of these societies. Unfortunately, this is not entirely true. Sure, women are now allowed to vote and play sports. But, women are typically still categorized as the gender that cooks, cleans and takes care of the kids. These activities are labeled as feminine. This dates back to hunters and gatherers. In most cultures, the men hunted and the women gathered the food and took care of the children. This is an example of a patriarchal society. To go more in depth on our modern day society, women are not paid the same salary as a man is for the same exact job. In fact, women are paid 79 percent of what men are paid. But, the inequality in gender does not stop here. Inequality is clearly displayed in the world of sport in America. Women are not common in jobs involving sports, they make less money in sports occupations and women’s sports are seen as less important than men’s sports.
First, while watching ESPN, you will see a bunch of male commentators who do know a lot about sports. They can talk about it for hours and hours. These men are part of a common-interest association within their gender. They all know sports; they can all talk about sports together and share their knowledge. But, do we see women on the big screen? No, we don’t see them announcing play-by-plays for sports. Instead, we see them on the field interviewing the players, which you would think is a respectable occupation. I think it would be pretty neat if, some day, I got to interview the big time athletes. However, women are not given the opportunity to do more, even if they know as much about sports as the men do. Women are the “sideline candy” in these jobs, meaning they are just there for show and to look good. In short, they are used for their physical appearance and not their knowledge about sports. The CEO of the Women’s Sports Foundation, Deborah Slaner Larkin, says that you hire people that you know. So, men keep looking at the same pool of candidates who are other men.
Another issue with women in sports is that, not only are they not as common in sports reporting, but those involved in occupations in sports make drastically less money than men. For example, Bonnie Henrickson, the old University of Kansas women’s basketball coach, made $505,000 in a season. However, that is not nearly as much money as a male coach would make. Bill Self, the men’s basketball coach at Kansas makes close to about $5 million, not including bonuses.
Additionally, men’s sports are seen as having a higher importance than women’s sports. The top three most popular sports in America are professional football, baseball and college football. All three of these sports are men’s sports. As a matter of fact, the top 10 most popular sports are all men’s sports. Surprisingly, men even make less money when they are coaches for women’s sports teams. Geno Auriemma, the head coach of University of Connecticut women’s basketball, made a little over $2 million last season. Duke men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski makes almost $10 million a year. This is a form of gender discrimination and patriarchy. Larkin says that female coaches are showing they have winning records even better than their male counterparts, but they are not given the respect through money and perks for their contribution to the sport.
In conclusion, women are not common in jobs involving sports, they make less money in sports occupations and women’s sports are seen as less important than men’s sports. I have learned that although America may seem like an egalitarian society, it is not. People do not necessarily understand and recognize the inequality unless they are involved in it. They may see the women reporting the play-by-plays on television and think that they are being treated equally in this so-called egalitarian society. They may see female coaches and think that we have made such progress, but they do not know the difference in salary between male and female coaches.