Because I don’t have a Penis: Inequality in the World of Sports

Laura Chittim is a sports enthusiast and attempted blogger from Humber College

Now, before you presume this is a feminist bashing man for ‘all its wrong doings’ post, let me assure you, I am not one of those people. I am simply, a 23 year old woman who feels that because I don’t have a penis, I’ve been treated differently my entire life. You see I’ve always played sports; rep basketball, baseball, badminton, karate and the list goes on, all predominantly male based if not completely the guys team. Why, because I didn’t have a choice, there weren’t enough girls to make a girls only team, and in reality why does it matter, I could beat most of them anyway, but I digress. On these teams there was always at least one guy who didn’t want to play with my sister or myself all because we were girls.

I would think, what gives? I’m really no different; I have as much skill as the next person on the team. why so much animosity? Still when I play my Sunday night hockey, the guys treat me differently. Now I’ll make a point: I’m not very good, but competitively I’m treated differently and the only reason I can think of is because I am a girl. This makes me think of the ‘Like a Girl’ campaign used to depict the difference of how children and adults react to ‘acting like a girl’,and the odd outcome, the children believed girls and boys were equal, where the adults displayed them as weak, unintelligent beings. If you want to see what I’m talking about watch the video here. It’s like once guys hit a certain age we lose equality, maybe because we’re now depicted as sex symbols, possibly it’s because of knowledge passed down from generations ‘that the only place for a woman is in the kitchen’, or more likely society depicts women to be weak and that it’s irregular to see women even playing a sport on TV.

On that note, I dare you to go to a sports channels broadcasting schedule and tell me how many times you see ‘Women’s__________”. I took to the challenge, and out of the 5 TSN stations I came across nothing. NADDA, ZIP, ZERO NONE. How are our young girls suppose to have a female sports idol is they can’t even see one except for every four years during the Olympics.

With that another side note….. Women’s sports are slowly making their way out of the Olympics, or long fights have had to be made to add them like; hockey in 1998 and women’s ski jumping in 2012.

Even at 23, it’s hard to understand why, because I’m a girl in the 21st century I’m not depicted as equal on the field/court/ice. The worst, girls that do play sports are considered different by many of their peers being called names, like butch or stereotyped as being gay. Since 1897 women and society have been pushing for equal rights; being considered a person, the right to vote, the right to an equal wage so why is it taking so long for the world of sports do to the same? (To see an interesting timeline of the evolution of woman’s right check it out here).

Some disturbing facts:

  • Women make up 54% of college students and only 43% of college athletes.1
  • Title IX compliance has been driven by law suits and threats of law suits. Although the law states that schools that violate Title IX will lose their federal funding, in thirty years no school has ever lost federal funding for not complying with Title IX.
  • Male college athletes receive 36% more scholarship dollars than female college athletes at NCAA institutions.1
  • Men’s college athletics receive more money than women’s in scholarships, recruiting, head coach salaries, and operating expenses.1
  • Men have substantially more employment opportunities than women in college sports. Women are 16.9% of the Athletic Directors, 44% of the head coaches of women’s teams, 2% of the head coaches of men’s teams, and 27.8% of the full time athletic trainers.

Note, Title IX of the Education Act opened athletics to women and girls, it’s the American Amendment for sex discrimination in Athletics. More Info Here.

In all, I don’t think I’ll ever get it. That because of my biological make up, I will not be as good as my brother, friend or neighbour. What differences can be made to make this equality possible?


One thought on “Because I don’t have a Penis: Inequality in the World of Sports

  1. Dave April 15, 2015 / 10:02 pm

    Sports television will continue to air predominantly male sports because it’s what keeps the viewers from changing the channel. Our society and culture has shaped us to watch what is entertaining. Let me ask you this question, if you had to choose between watching the NBA-Allstar game or the WNBA-Allstar game, which would game would you choose? I personally, watch the NBA-Allstar game to watch some of the greatest athletes in the world display their physical attributes to go along with a lifetime of precise training to reach their maximum physical and mental capabilities. I watch the NBA-Allstar game for the flashy dunks, the incredible speed of some of the athletes. I watch the NBA-Allstar to watch the Lebrons, the Kobes, the Wiggin’s.

    That’s not to say women don’t belong in the game of basketball. The game of basketball is played differently, in a sense, when watching the WNBA. Our society has been molded to seek excitement when watching sports. It’s not that I don’t enjoy, per say, watching a WNBA game, it’s that the game is not as entertaining as a NBA game. For example, there are only a handful of WNBA players to have dunked in a game. Comparably, European basketball is not as entertaining as the NBA either, so it’s not just about the dunks.

    Men will always be groomed to play a sport that involves the use of physical attributes that women, biologically, are unable to do so. Because of this, any sport where an athlete’s physical ability is predominantly used for the upper hand will always be more entertaining to watch and thus the inequality in sports will continue


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