Race, gender, history and sexual orientation play major roles in women's participation in sport. Through out the history of women in sport, opportunity has increased. Many athletes and coaches are presented with the issue of sexual orientation throughout their sporting career. Regardless of sexual orientation, all female athletes are affected by heterosexism. One's racial or ethnicity background greatly shapes the experience they may have in sport. This essay explores the many issues women in sport face today.
Historically, it has been understood that the "natural order of the universe" consisted of man to the marketplace, woman at home with her family, woman the mistress of domesticity, man the master of all else, man the rational thinker, woman the guardian of morals, man dominant, and woman subordinate. The injection of equality between the two genders challenged the foundation of the social order. Women's sports in the late 1800's focused on correct posture, facial and bodily beauty, and health. In 1916 the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) holds its first national championship for Women. In 1919, Suxanne Lenglen shocks Wimbledon in triumph in a dress that exposes her arms and lower legs. In 1925 Gertrude Ederle becomes the first woman to swim the English Channel, breaking the existing record by more than two hours. In 1932, Babe Didrkson sets the world record in three track and field competitions. Amelia Earhart disappears over the South Pacific in her round-the-world flight in 1937. In 1949 the LGPA is established. Marcinia (Toni) Stone is the first woman to break gender barrier when signed to the Negro American League Team in 1953. In 1960 gender verification testing for women was enforced at...
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...a in sport: The U.S. dept. of health and services released information indicating that 30% of suicides are committed by gay or lesbians (Cohen, 279.)
Although Title XI has brought women's history in sport a long way and has provided women with the opportunity for fair play, many objectives are still left unmet. For every one dollar spent on collegiate female athletes, two dollars are spent on males. As long as there are expectations for male and female children to participate in certain activities based upon their gender, equality between the two sexes will not be met. The touchy subject of homophobia in sport has begun to draw interest over women in sports today. This major issue needs to get world-wide attention before great efforts are made to stop homophobia in sport. White people realize the concept of their white privilege and the responsibility it entails.
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