Women have been sidelined in sports for a long time due to stereotypes that consider men as suitable gender for sports. Women’s participation in sports as cheerers or players has not received sufficient support in the world. This essay examines the views of two authors, Jenny Yabroff and Sarah Maratta regarding the role of women in sports. Yabroff argues in support of cheering by women while Maratta supports the participation of women in all sporting activities including sports journalism and cheerleading. This essay argues that women should not be disrespected by some people who think that women cannot do extreme sports as men do because they are as flexible and strong as men.
The first article by Jennie Yabroff is titled, ‘In Defence of Cheering’. The author argues that cheerleading is a necessary practice because it raises the spirits of the athletes. She says that those who oppose the practice as a game of crazy girls with short skirts who are seeking attention from the crowds. The article also suggests that cheerleading was left to women, and it was not considered an extreme sport like other sports such as football and gymnastics. Although cheerleading has been there for a long time through the history of athletics, it was highly disrespected in 1950s and 1960s when women joined the cheerleading squad. The author of this article uses examples of great male leaders who participated in cheerleading to support their teams, including Ronald Reagan who played football but rooted for Eureka College basket team as a cheerleader. Gorge W. Bush also cheered for his favourite basketball team, Andover, at Yale. However, the stereotypes of 1950s are still seen in cheerleading. Cheerleaders are still seen as bad girls with small skirts, and have no role in athletics.
The second article by Sarah Maratta suggests that women are good athletes but they are not recognized. Maratta argues that women are now accepted in sports, but men are still dominant in the industry. She contends that women are capable of performing extreme sports just like men, but they do not get enough support from fans. Women are not given the chance to show that they have what it takes to be admired and followed. Maratta uses the example of male and female participation in tennis. She observes that women are only admired for their physical looks rather than their athletic abilities. As a result, most sportswomen struggle to improve their physical looks and become more feminine in order to attract more following and admiration. For example, women who participated in Women’s World Cup of 1999 admitted that they had to retain their femininity despite the power and energy required in the sport. Although women are equally talented and fit to play as men, they are still required to monitor and improve their looks in order to satisfy the eyes of the fans.
The two articles have various similarities and differences. In terms of similarities, the two articles suggest that women are able to participate in sports, but the stereotypes of the society have rated them lowly compared to men. Both articles agree that women’s looks play a crucial role in their participation in sports. Maratta suggests that women must improve their looks in order to gain support and admiration while playing. Yabroff agrees by suggesting that cheerleading women have to wear small skirts and show feminine behavior in order to get attention. Both articles also agree that women have the talents and fitness to participate in sports like men. In terms of differences, Maratta suggests that women’s participation in sports has improved significantly while Yabroff thinks women are still barred significantly from sports. Maratta also argues in a wide context of sports while Yabroff focuses on cheerleading.
Based on these two sources, my enthymeme suggests that women should not be disrespected by some people who think that women cannot do extreme sports as men do because they are as flexible and strong as men. From the examples of football and cheerleading provided by the articles, it is clear that women can actually perform well in sports. In the current world, there are millions of fans following men sports like NBA for men in USA and English Premier League for men in England Men’s football world cup is also followed by many fans around the world, but women’s world cup gets a small support. This gender discrimination from fans in terms of support and cheering makes women demoralized and they do not feel motivated to pursue their interest and talents in sports.
Women have talents and abilities to do extreme sports just like men, but the society’s stereotypes have long sidelined them from reputable participation. Women have to look feminine in order to attract fans, unlike men who do sports without caring about their looks. This stereotype deters women from achieving their full potential in sports. Maratta and Yabroff agree that women have been disrespected in sports because they are not treated equally as men. Fans, organizers and communities at large should start changing their attitude towards women’s participation in sports in order to lift their spirits and enable them exercise their talents successfully. Deserve to prove their ability just like men instead of being disrespected because they possess the same abilities in sports as men. For this reason, women should not be disrespected by some people who think that women cannot do extreme sports as men do because they are as flexible and strong as men.
Maratta, S. Move over Boys, Make Room in the Crease.
Yabroff, J. In Defence of Cheering.