For those who don’t know, in a former life I use to play basketball. Basketball was everything from sun up to sun up. I lived and breathed the game. I play on multiple teams with girls and boys, and was rather good at it. If it wasn’t for two knee surgeries, and my short jeans kicking in, I would have loved to make a career out of it. I had to deal with a lot of inequality as a female playing basketball in not only being told I couldn’t play to the sensitive nature I was treated in.
” I know you are only shooting 25 percent today,and let that girl get by, but honey you will get it next time.”
And that was my coach. Luckily my parents raised me not to accept great as you will get them next time.
This walk down memory lane leads me into an issue that has been bothering me all week concerning US Women soccer coverage. All week we as a nation have been hyping up for their championship game against Japan, bringing up points of patriotism, sport, and equality. It seemed like for once our nation was standing behind a women’s sports team ready to show our pride. But *spoiler alert* they lost. And they didn’t lose based off not playing hard or being blown out, but rather in a joke job fashion of missing 3 penalty kicks. The pressure was on, and they lost. What followed were comments like “we are so proud of our girls,” but very few from major media outlets criticizing their last-minute play bad plays or blunders.Now I am all for looking at the positive end of life, but it bothers me that we in this country are almost scared to speak out in fear that it will offended someone in the minority, as well as the minority getting offended and mad when someone does. There are examples of it everywhere from women in politics to models to anything really. When Sarah Palin was “debating” Joe Biden in the 2008 vice-presidential debate, very few people criticize her poor debating skills, or pointed out how Biden didn’t really argue her points when he clearly disagreed with them. In fact, he kind of watch her speak, and was like “oh that’s cute,” when in fact she did a horrible job of addressing anything.
That is not equal treatment. I am not saying we should start using racial slurs or sexist terms, but if you demand equality, then you should receive the same treatment, both good and bad. Going back to sports, if a man led sport had the same result as the women soccer team, the majority of sports fans would be outrage, and frankly pissed off because we lost. When the Cardinals lost the Superbowl a few years back, I was not oh well at least they made it. I was upset at our defense for allowing Number 7 to do work. If you look at it from a national level, the 2004 Men’s Olympic Basketball team got a bronze in Athens, and we as a nation viewed that as a failure. In these cases we expected the best, and viewed less as not good enough and a failure. Even soccer star Abby Wambach said before the game that just being there wasn’t good enough. She, and rightfully so, said winning was the only goal.
Today’s women soccer results were not treated the same. Second for any men’s sport would not be good enough. Missing goals would not be tolerated. Blunders would not be accepted. But for women it is. And then we go and demand equal treatment and same exposure as the men when clearly we accept good enough as our best. It does not work like that clearly. Why do you think the WNBA is not as successful as the men’s game? Because the acceptance of just good enough is alright. Some of those games, even from someone who played the sport, are hard to watch because it is a poor product compared to not only the men’s game, but international women’s basketball. However, you want me to watch your game and support your team when you are jogging down the floor, missing shots, and playing fundamentally poor? If any men’s sport was doing that, I would quickly move on. But because I am a woman, I should support it? Not happening.
We as women can not demand equal treatment if we can not take both the good and bad that comes with it. We can not accept just good enough, and then demand the best. This belief goes beyond sports, and into the classroom, work, and life in general. As a woman, I should not get a job because of my sex or because I am good enough, but rather I should get it because of my hardwork and skill set. The fact I am a woman should not be a factor, or change how I am treated. If we ever want to be seen and treated as equal, we have to expect all that comes with it.
It is then women will be truly equal in all avenues.