Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Separate Is Not Equal

It's really sad to read the phrase, "I know it's only women's basketball," in 2010. It's also extremely offensive and sexist of sport writers to imply that women's leagues are inferior to men's.

But this exact sentence appeared on the Web site of a news publication Tuesday night.

At first, I thought it might be a misprint so I refreshed the page. When the page reloaded, the statement was still on the screen. I kept reading but couldn't shake my feeling of disappointment.

Why was it necessary for the reporter to make this comment? It was irrelevant to the story and indirectly claims that women's basketball can't measure up to the skills displayed in male leagues.

This is untrue.

In fact, many men's teams have performed poorly this year and women's sports have excelled. A good example of this is the UConn Huskies.

I'm not a fan of UConn, but the women's basketball team have put on an impressive performance this year. The Lady Huskies have been undefeated this season, while the UConn men's basketball team lost its last four games. You do the math.

And when it comes to the NBA, I'll admit that it is the most popular sports league. I will, however, not admit that the WNBA depends on the NBA for its funding. Don't believe me?

Then read Slam Online's article "WNBA Weekly Mailbag – 2/17/10 – On net losses, and a twist on the double standard," where NBA Commissioner David Stern is quoted as saying that the WNBA is more profitable than the NBA.

“The NBA is far less profitable than the WNBA,” he said. “We’re losing a lot of money ($400 million) amongst a large number of teams. We’re budgeting the WNBA to break even this year.”

This is more evidence that the WNBA does have an audience and is growing by itself.

But this post is not about whether men's basketball is more profitable or popular than women's. It's about gender equality–something that still hasn't been reached in the world of sports or outside of the arenas.

Publications should consider equal coverage of women's and men's sports and refrain from interjecting sexist comments into their articles. By doing this, reporters are sending the message to readers that women's basketball is a joke.

When it comes to limited coverage, I understand revenue and Internet traffic is a huge factor for online publications, but I truly believe the WNBA and women's college basketball leagues could be just as successful as male athletics if given equal media coverage.

Click for more blog coverage on gender inequality in women's basketball


Mrkoosh said...

That's ridiculous. Some men will never accept that women are just as good as men. It's sad :(