Women have overcome many political hardships throughout the years that prevented them from taking part in certain activities. How and when did things change for women in the sports industry?
When it comes to minorities, people often think of race and ethnicity such as African Americans, Hispanics, and other less represented cultural groups. However, for a long time, women were considered a minority. For instance, women couldn’t vote until 1920. Women also faced discrimination and unequal treatment due to the superiority of men. Basically, women were homemakers while men did everything else. This was definitely true when it came to sports, but now, things have definitely changed.
According to the Japanese Center on Research of Women in Sport, women’s sport history dates back to the 19th century and included horseback riding, archery, golf, tennis, skiing and skating. However, women in the upper social classes were mainly the ones to experience these activities.
An article on the Sport Journal website describes the one thing that truly expanded women’s opportunities in sports: Title IX.
It required American society to recognize a woman’s right to participate in sports on a plane equal to that of men.
Although this was enforced, it really took a long time for women to become the dominant force in sports that they are now. Women are able to compete in the Olympics, at the collegiate level and even have their own basketball league, the WNBA. Women have continued to set records in previously male dominated sports as well such as soccer, tennis and basketball.
The Japanese Center on Research of Women in Sport also includes a quote from the Basic Act on Sport that stated, “Sport is a universally shared human culture”. Men, women, young and old can take part in sports, therefore, it shouldn’t be denied or limited to anyone. Sports should be the universal force that binds us together instead of separating us.