“You Play Like a Girl”

http://masculinityandgenderrolesinsports.blogspot.com/p/gender-roles-in-sports.html

Growing up, you have all probably heard of or have used the phrase, “like a girl”, as a way to imply that a person is not good at something. Even I, a girl, have caught myself using this phrase. I believe this phrase stems from two existing ideologies.  The first is the belief that girls cannot play sports or preform physical activities as well as men. The second is the ideology of gender roles; that women are the homemakers and should not be spending their time playing games. I think this article does a great job at explaining the gender roles and ideologies in sports. Over the past few years it seems that female athletes are starting to get the recognition they deserve however we still have a long way to go.
Why is it that men sports are so popular and that many professional women sports teams are getting cut because of lack of interest?

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4 thoughts on ““You Play Like a Girl”

  1. There are so many reasons why men’s sports are more popular. Of course older common ideologies of women needing to fulfill gender roles of homemaking instead of playing sports still exists. Men are still viewed as being physically superior. Another huge reason men’s sports dominate broadcast media is the fact that mainly men are in charge of broadcast media. They make up the majority of the sports commentators, team owners, and television network owners. When a certain group dominates the narrative, they will likely spend time talking about themselves in a favorable manor. As a result, men will continue to state that they are better at sports then women and viewers will continue to believe it.

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  2. I think the disparity between men and women’s sports teams (at least with regard to the first ideology you mentioned) has been caused by the fact that the sports industry is primarily male dominated. As mentioned in the Baynton disability reading, inequality based on gender has been justified through physical differences (disability) and It seems we are still experiencing the ramifications of such gender inequality today.

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    1. To add one other point to my comment above, I attribute the lack of spectator interest to the viewing priorities given to men’s sports by those in control of the industry (primarily men).

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  3. This is something I have struggled with for years. As a female soccer player, at the collegiate level, the phrase “you play like a girl” and the lack of attendance at women’s sporting events is frustrating. As you said, this is slowly beginning to change and I believe that is because of obvious success, such as the women’s US national soccer team winning the world cup. Unfortunately, as was said before, men are in control of the industry and men’s sports have had a longer time to grow and develop their fan base and programs. There is also greater funding for men’s sports which allows the athletes to be paid more and have access to more resources which in turn allows more men to join professional leagues because they are well taken care of while it is a greater risk for women to join professional leagues due to how little they are being paid. It is unfortunate that the degrading phrase of “you play like a girl” sounds as if it is a characteristic of disability, as mentioned in the Douglas Bayton reading.

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