Women and Sports

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It has taken many years for women to gain a semblance of equality in sports. Throughout history, women have been both excluded from playing sports and discriminated against in sports. Men’s sports have always dominated the college athletic field, but women were finally given a fighting chance after Title IX was passed. Title IX, among other things, requires scholarships to be equally proportioned between men and women’s sports. Although this was a huge gain for women, gender inequality still exists in sports today. An example of this persisting inequality can be seen when looking at men’s baseball and women’s softball. In college, baseball and softball are both major NCAA sports. It is widely accepted throughout today’s society that baseball is a man’s sport, and softball is a woman’s sport. Very few people question why the two sexes are separated into two different sports, or wonder why women play softball instead of baseball. Fewer people know that women have been essentially excluded from playing baseball for a long time. This paper will focus on why softball has not changed the way women’s basketball has, why women continue to play softball, the possibilities and dynamics of women playing baseball with and without men, and the most discriminating aspect of women being banned from playing professional baseball.

Basketball was created as a sport in 1891 by James Naismith, and it quickly became popular among both men and women. It initially started with the same rules for each gender, but according to Patricia Cain in her article, “Women, Race, and Sports: Life Before Title IX,” the rules quickly changed for women. Cain (2001) states that, “Almost immediately, however, some educators began changing the rules of basket...

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...New York: A. S. Barnes and Company.

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Ring, Jennifer (2009). Stolen bases: Why american girls don’t play baseball. Chicago Il: University of Illinois Press.

Shattuck, Debra (2011). “Women’s baseball in the 1860s: Reestablishing a historical memory.” Nine,19(2), 1-26. Retrieved from http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/nine/vo19 /19.2.shattuck.html

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have to choose? Retrieved from http://www.womenandsportsfoundation.org/en/home/advocate/foundation-positions/equity-issues/baseball_and_softball

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