Why do people care more about male athletes than female athletes?
By Madison Sciba
On Thursday January 26th, the female athletes at Saint Mary’s were invited to the Women’s basketball game against BYU to celebrate National Women in Sports day. This day was to celebrate the anniversary of the passing of Title IX, a historic piece of legislation from 1972 which states: “No person shall on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, be treated differently from another person, or otherwise be discriminated against in any interscholastic, intercollegiate, club or intramural athletics offered by a recipient, and no recipient shall provide such athletics separately on such basis.” (The United States Department of Justice).
At this particular Women’s basketball game, female athletes were given dinner catered by Chipotle and invited to the court during halftime for a group photo. No speeches, no real announcement, no discussion on the female athletes or sports, just a burrito bowl and a photo. The most ironic part of this was that the Women’s basketball team couldn’t even participate as they were in the locker room both when the food was available and when the group photo was taken.
This was not the first year that Saint Mary’s athletics had organized a night for celebrating National Women in Sports day, however, this year’s celebration was even more disappointing than last year’s. At least last year the female athletes were given t-shirts, and a video montage of them was played. However, last year’s was also during Jan Term break so the only people in attendance at the Women’s basketball game/Women in Sports night were the female athletes.
For both events, the only people invited to celebrate National Women in Sports day were the female athletes at Saint Mary’s. No men’s teams were invited and only a few showed up. So much for equality in sports. Don’t get me wrong, female athletes are grateful for the free dinner, but the whole night and celebration seems demeaning.
This brings up a question: Why is there so much more support for men's sports than women’s? Not just at SMC but everywhere it seems as though men’s sports are supported more by sports fans and the general public than women’s sports are. The NBA makes far more money than its counterpart the WNBA. This past fall’s men’s World Cup saw millions of soccer fans tune in to watch teams from all over the world compete in Qatar. That kind of support was not seen in 2019 for the women’s World Cup. US fans celebrated when the US men’s team made it past the group stage, but barely anyone was talking about when the women’s team won their 4th world cup title in 2019.
The 2022 FIFA men’s World Cup was one of the most anticipated and talked about events of 2022, but barely anyone is aware that the FIFA women’s World Cup will be taking place in just 4 months in Australia and New Zealand. It is not as though watching women’s soccer is less entertaining than watching men’s soccer, if anything it can be more entertaining as the female players don’t spend as much time rolling on the field hugging their shins and crying as the male players do.
If the sports themselves are almost the exact same, then why are they more popular when men play than women? Does our society’s history of misogyny play a role in this? In the history of professional sports and professional athletes, the emergence of female teams is a relatively new one. Hopefully as more and more women and girls are competing in athletics, viewership and support for them will increase.
If you are interested in statistics and further reading about women in sports I recommend checking out this infographic from the University of Ohio:
US Department of Justice: https://www.justice.gov/crt/title-ix#10.%C2%A0%20Athletics%20(%C3%AF%C2%BD%C2%A7%20__.450)
University of Ohio: https://onlinemasters.ohio.edu/blog/the-evolution-of-womens-sports/
Life lessons from George Santos
Image created by Kiera O'Hara-Heinz
By Kiera O’Hara - Heinz
Editor-in-chief, Visiting Opinion Columnist
Newspapers and tabloids alike lately have been griping about George Santos and for good reason. The Republican politician was sworn into the House of Representatives less than a month ago but has already made headlines for his outlandish lies.
We all expect politicians to lie, but usually, they seem to be a bit better at it. He has lied about anything and everything. He has said that he studied at Baruch College in New York, graduating with a degree in economics and finance in 2010 (Baruch College has no record of him graduating.) He claims to have studied for an MBA at NYU (no record) and to have worked on Wall Street for Goldman Sachs (no record) and Citigroup (no record).
If that wasn’t bad enough, his lies don’t stop at his resume, extending far into the stories he tells about his personal life. Santos said he was the Jewish grandson of a holocaust survivor, despite not being Jewish, and his grandmother not actually being anywhere near the Holocaust and being from Brazil. He later claimed he meant that he was Jew-ish, as in kinda being Jewish but not really. He claimed to have been a star college volleyball player, the founder of a charity for shelter animals, and an actor in a movie with Uma Thurman (all lies!) He even claimed on Twitter in 2021 that his mother died in the South Tower of the World Trade Center on 9/11, even though she was really in Brazil all of 2001 and didn’t die until 2016.
His lies are so crazy and comical, that he seems almost like a caricature of a corrupt politician villain in a soap opera. In fact, his story is almost like a fairy tale. One day you may be a mediocre drag queen in Brazil, and a few hundred lies later, you too can be an almost universally hated republican House Representative.
No, but in all seriousness, maybe we can take a lesson in self-confidence from the laughable chaos that is George Santos. While you probably shouldn’t co-opt the tragic experience of the holocaust and 9/11 for your own personal gain, maybe you can give yourself a little more credit when it comes to your knowledge of Microsoft suite, etc. I may claim on my resume that I am proficient in excel spreadsheets despite only really knowing the sum function. But you know what, if it ever comes up at work that is what Google and YouTube are for. Learning on the job is also an important skill!
Don’t interpret this as me encouraging you to lie, honesty is important and God knows there is far too little of it in the world, but so often young people have a habit of selling themselves short and have a hard time articulating their accomplishments and skills in settings like resumes and job interviews. Remember you don’t have to be an expert in order to claim a skill, you just have to be good enough. Learn to advocate for yourself and how to explain your experience even if it may seem unprofessional. If a job description is asking for 5 years of experience in a field, could you explain a way for your summer job to fit? Maybe your volunteer service has overlaps? Babysitting is kind of like customer service. Right? Believe in yourself and take a little inspiration from George Santos, if you can dream it you can do it.
Be right back, changing my LinkedIn from conversational in Spanish to professional working proficiency.
Do you think people would believe me if I told them I’m on the U.S. National Ping Pong team, or that I was recently scouted by a record label at round-up for my excellent karaoke singing talent?
Madison Sciba '24,