Throughout the history of women in sports, women had to ?merge? then ?submerge? with male dominated sports organizations and structures in order to participate. The Olympic Games is a key example of women have to merge and submerge with a male dominated organization. The first modern Olympics, held in 1896, did not allow women participants. And when women were allowed to participate, in 1900, it was in only three sports and out of the 1,225 athletes, only nineteen were women. The Olympics have allowed women to ?merge?, thus enabling women to participate in the games and rise to the level that they compete at today, however women are still ?submerged? within the dominant male sport structure, as can be seen with the present imbalance of men?s and women?s events and the significantly higher number of male athletes than females. Though equal participation of male and female athletes needs to be further developed, the mere idea of female participation in organized ?male? sports is socially and culturally significant by empowering women and breaking barriers that hinder women in all aspects of life.
Women have always been regarded as the "weaker" sex and the role of the woman was always to be submissive, passive and obedient to men. With sports, women hardly had a role at all until the twentieth century. Using the Olympics as an example, female athletes were not even considered at the onset of the modern games, and when they were allowed to compete in the second games in the 1900s, their presence was not taken seriously, only nineteen women competed, and only in three sporting events: golf, archery, and tennis. However, the "merging" of women into the Olympic games has come a long way, as can...
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.... This problem is not one that can easily be solved. Until everyone, including women, unlearns the stereotypes, which hinder women all around the world, something as simple as women playing sports will not fully be embraced or accepted.
The merging of female athletes into male sporting arenas has been a milestone in illustrating women's capabilities, but we are still only partway there. As is illustrated through the submerging of women in the Olympics, women are still not social equals to men. Countries that restrict women to the extreme still thrive and refuse to allow women to pursue sports because of the cultural beliefs, and even in democratic societies women are still not regarded as equal to men. Until the idea of equality is truly accepted by society, women's sports will always be submerged, not only on the playing field, but in the entire realm of life.
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