Constant Fight for Equality, Even on the Field

Alysha G. - LLI Cleveland

Women have always had to fight to get even close to where men are. They had to fight to vote and even to get an education. Playing sports is no different. Women have to deal with inequality constantly.

The schools tend to pay more attention to boy's sports than girl's sports, if they even have those. The government has seen the issue and has taken efforts to fix it. They created Title IX. Title IX was made to make sure that schools do "not discriminate on the basis of gender when it comes to applying the funds to sports programs," according to Gender Participation Issues Related to Sports - Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. 

Women were not considered physiologically capable of long-distance running. Some believed that a women who attempted this would not be able to bear children because her uterus might fall out, that she could grow a mustache or that she wanted to be a man.
— William H. Glover, Jr.

Title IX helps out students, like Heather Sue Mercer, that are discriminated against and not allowed to play due to their gender. 

Then, women also had to fight for equal pay. The government responded by creating the Equal Pay Act of 1963 that was made to make sure that men and women were paid equally when they did the same amount of work. The Act inspired women to work more, but, even in 2017, it is still an issue. In Carli Lloyd: Why I'm Fighting for Equal Pay, Carli Lloyd, a professional Olympic gold medalist soccer player, stated that her team, "captured the Women's Word Cup title in Canada in July," drew the "highest American television rating for soccer in history," and "helped generate $17.7 million in profit for the Federation." Even after all this- the National Women's Soccer League still underpays them. 

Inequality is jarring.
— Carli Lloyd

That isn't even the main problem. Carli Lloyd wrote, "It isn't about a money grab. It's about doing the right thing, the fair thing. It's about treating people the way they deserve to be treated."With a goal like that, it was obvious that her soccer team wouldn't just give up. They are now another group of women willing to do what they can to get the quality they deserve. 

In the article, Long Days, Google Docs and Anonymous Surveys: How the U.S. Soccer Team Forged a Deal,  it states, "They sent out anonymous surveys to their teammates, to better gauge what people prioritized, but might not want to say aloud," and "conferred with teammates... to propose changes as small as a single word in page after page of precise contract language." The group ended up bargaining with U.S. Soccer to try and get more equality. The women did gain some important things, but "the new deal does not guarantee them equal pay with the Men's National Team." Equal pay was their main concern- and they still didn't get it- even after working so hard.

Women have worked so hard to get to where they are now. There have been many good things, but it is still not enough. Title IX gave us the right to be able to play sports and not be discriminated against for being women. The Equal Pay Act of 1963 gave us the right to be paid equally compared to a man doing the same thing. But even with these improvements, we cannot deny that a woman is still not really equal to a man. We can't even play sports without being reminded that we are seen as less than them. 


Sources Considered:

  • Glover, William H., Jr. "Gender Participation Issues Related to Sports - Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972." Web Blog Post. Lexis Hub - Practice Legal Commentary. LexisNexis, 3 March 2011.
  • Lloyd, Carli. "Carli Lloyd: Why I'm Fighting for Equal Pay." Web Blog Post. The New York Times. The New York Times Company, 10 April 2016. 
  • Das, Andrew. "Long Days, Google Docs and Anonymous Surveys:  How the U.S. Soccer Team Forged a Deal." Web Blog Post. The New York Times. The New York Times Company, 5 April 2017.
  • Rios, Edwin. "The US Women's Soccer Team Scored a Much-Needed Pay Bump." Web Blog Post. Mother Jones. 5 April 2017.