Women’s sports face inequalities

Freshman Sa’Nye Cannon cheers on teammates during a JV women’s softball game on Thursday, Sept. 8. Photo by Arianna Peper.

Title IX states that no person on the basis of sex should be discriminated against in any educational activity receiving federal financial assistance, but today, inequalities between men’s and women’s sports can still be seen.

In 1972, Title IX of the Education Amendments was enacted by Congress and signed into law by President Richard Nixon. This tries to prevent discrimination between men’s and women’s sports that are federally funded. According to the Women’s Sports Foundation, created to “enable girls and women to reach their potential in sport and life,” since Title 9 has been passed, multiple amendments have been proposed trying to exempt sports from complying with Title 9.

These amendments include attempting to exempt revenue-producing sports from obeying Title IX. Another challenge to Title IX was that “event and uniform expenditures on sports with larger crowds or more expensive equipment do not have to be matched in sports without similar needs.” While the amendment regarding revenue-producing sports gaining exemption was not passed, the amendment regarding matching expenditures was added to the final version of Title IX, signed in 1975 by President Gerald Ford.

Inequalities in women’s sports at Webster is not old news. It has been noticed by student after student, year after year. It is talked about around the halls of Webster, and throughout classes. Every year as sports start up, students are reminded about the inequities between men’s and women’s sports, just by looking at the number of spectators.

The Varsity football home game on Aug. 26, had an attendance of 1,598 spectators. This is over two times greater attendance than the Varsity volleyball team had combined on its home games on Aug. 30, Sept. 7, and Sep. 8, with 660 spectators total.

The administration states that efforts have been made to increase crowd support for women’s games, such as T-shirts and donated tickets. They also recently added advertisements for all home games at Webster on the daily announcements shown to students every morning, as opposed to primarily advertising certain sports, such as football or men’s basketball.

Along with more advertising by the administration, there are other ways that women’s sports can be supported. Cheerleaders currently only cheer at all football games, and home basketball games for men and women, and the band only plays at home football games. Instead of having these two only participate in certain sports, they could increase their participation in other sports. Having cheerleaders and the band show equal support for both men’s and women’s teamswould be a small step in equality between all the sports.

One can visit the Women’s Sports Foundations website to fundraise or donate to their cause, or email CBliss@WomensSportsFoundation.org with any questions about “your gift.”

Students should also try to support as many sports teams as possible, for both men’s and women’s sports.

Coaches of these teams should try to communicate when important games are to students, so they can come out and support the team. Information about these sports schedules can be found on statesmensports.org.

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