opinion

COLUMN: IU women's sports don't receive enough recognition



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Sophomore guard Bendu Yeaney makes a layup during the game against Minnesota on Feb. 6 in Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. Bobby Goddin Buy Photos

With it being Women’s History Month, it’s important to reflect on how far women have come in a society built on the patriarchy.

However, it's equally important to acknowledge the areas we still lack equality in. Female athletes are constantly under scrutiny, more so than their male counterparts are.

On Feb. 23, University of Arkansas softball player Danielle Gibson hit four home runs in a single game. Hours after it hit the news, she received hurtful, sexist and demeaning messages about how “softball is easy” and “a home run in softball is a pop-up to second base in baseball.”

However, it has actually been proven that the game of softball is nearly equivalent in difficulty to baseball.

This is a problem that should hit home for everyone. This isn’t just a problem in professional sports, but women experience it right here at IU and other schools.

If you simply take the time to comprehend the coverage the men's teams get at IU, and then compare it to what our women’s teams receive, it is in no way equal.

I’ve heard countless students complaining about how our football and men’s basketball team weren’t up to par this year. I also hear very little talk about how our softball team had their greatest start to their season in the history of IU softball.

Let’s talk about women who are dominating the sport they play more often. When they succeed, don’t downplay it. You wouldn’t downplay the success of a male baseball or football player.

An example that has always stuck out to me is that men’s basketball tickets can reach fairly high prices, yet women’s basketball games are free for students.

While this doesn’t sound negative, since they are just trying to encourage students to attend the games, it actually begs a deeper question: Why should they have to make the tickets free to encourage students to go? Why are students so willing to watch men’s basketball but not women’s?

The answer is students and sports lovers often don’t take women’s sports as seriously as they do men’s. They are playing the exact same sport at the same skill level, yet their attendance rates are significantly lower.

Many students are missing out on women’s basketball games. They are actually at times more exciting than men’s games.

I challenge you to go to as many women’s sporting events as you can to see what they’re all about. If you go to all the football and men’s basketball games, branch out and attend a women’s sporting event this semester. You won’t be disappointed.

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