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Female Olympians Face Extra Hurdles

Female and male Olympic athletes do not compete on equal stadiums. Women need to clear at least four major hurdles. Men are men and do not need to be cleared.

First, the female elite athlete had to do Fight to compete in the Olympics.. Women were finally allowed to participate in 1900, but only in a limited number of venues such as golf, sailing, tennis and croquet. Of the total of 997 athletes that year, only 22 were women. Today, in Tokyo, of the 613 Olympic athletes representing the United States, 329 are women.

By winning the battle, the woman began a seemingly endless battle. Equal pay for equal work.. For example, consider women’s soccer. “It’s a lot better than men, but … women’s national team players just go home. 89 cents per dollar paid to menAnd earn much less income with the winning prizes and bonuses they continue to build up for our country.

Even the most successful and prominent female athletes do not seem to be able to close the gender pay gap. In a ardent 2021 testimony at the House Committee on equal pay for equal work coaching and reform, soccer star Megan Rapinoe said:You can’t just exceed inequality or be good enough To escape all kinds of discrimination.. ”

According to Congressman Carolyn Maloney, “Women’s national team players are a source of public pride, and wage discrimination against them is a source of public anger. That is why the women’s team won the World Cup in 2019. When Crowd chanted “equal pay” With “USA”. “

Since 1991, the women’s national team has been The most successful international soccer team in the world, Won 4 World Cup titles and 4 Olympic gold medals. Given their remarkable success, the stars of our national football team should be one of the most rewarding athletes in the world. Embarrassingly This is not the case..

The experience of these players emphasizes the inevitable facts. Even the most successful and prominent women cannot overcome gender inequality in wages.The life of low wages Chained impact on womenHas less wealth, more debt, and less money saved for retirement than men.

In addition to fighting for equality in gender pay, world-class female athletes Rampant sexual abuse In many cases, they were exposed by Olympic officials. The story of Larry Nassar’s sexual abuse began as early as 1997 when he was appointed “Doctor and Associate Professor of the Gymnastics Team at Michigan State University.” According to one gymnast, her concern was that “Nasar was an’Olympic doctor’and was dismissed by a coach who said,’I know what he’s doing.'”

Michigan State University softball player Tiffany Thomas Lopez said, “Three college athletic trainers and one staff member said Nasar was sexually inadequate during treatment … she said,” World-famous. I was fortunate to receive the best possible medical care from my doctor. ” “

Hundreds of women have filed complaints against him, some of which date back decades. Olympic gold medalists Biles, Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney, Gabby Douglas, Jordyn Wieber, Kyla Ross and Madison Kocian are among those who have said they have been abused.

Nasar’s crime has attracted public attention, thanks to several prominent Olympic athletes who have raised their voices. Gold medal-winning US gymnasts Simone Biles and Aly Raisman appeared in 2017 as one of dozens of gymnasts who were sexually abused by former US gymnasts doctors. Since Nasar’s imprisonment, Raysman has partnered with Darkness to Light, a key advocate for the prevention of child sexual abuse. ”

The changes appear to be in the air, as all media attention has been focused on these incidents. Time and continuous effort will tell you.

The fourth unique female hurdle facing Olympic athletes today is The right to play while pregnant and caring for the baby. Female athletes are against stereotypes and by continuing to compete against the social story that they should be “easy” during and after pregnancy.

Unfortunately, the struggle of a female athlete does not end with the birth of her child. The major barriers will continue. Allyson Felix, who won multiple gold medals on the track after her daughter was born in November 2018, wrote in the NY Times Oped: Caesarean section at 32 weeks due to severe preeclampsia that threatened the lives of me and my baby. Her daughter, Kamlin, was born seven weeks early. Cammy weighs 3 pounds and 8 ounces and spent about a month in the NICU before Felix returned home. The birth of her daughter was a turning point. Alison transformed into a “fighter for women’s equality” almost overnight.She said, “I took on Nike with almost one hand. [her sponsor] Treating female athletes better when she talks about breaking confidentiality clauses and how the company reduced her salary and promoted her return to competition soon after she became a mother. became. “

In response to tackling these hurdles, many elite female athletes have become activists, encouraging people with the power to correct these mistakes and sharing their punishing journey with audiences around the world. Allison is currently advocating childcare support for mothers who are training and competing after the Olympics. She also testified in parliament about the risk of maternal mortality for pregnant black women. Since then, she has started her own shoe brand. SayshAnd when she won both medals in Tokyo, she ran into one of her works.

She and her fellow activist Olympic athletes, who are fighting these gender hurdles, are fighting for equality for all women and girls who dream of athletics and raising their families. But you don’t have to hire a courageous superstar to tell the truth to power to make long-deferred changes to level the competition.

About the author: Dr. Rosalind C. Burnett is a senior scholar at Wellesley College and Caryl Rivers is a professor of journalism at Boston University.They are the authors of New soft war against women.. (Turcher / Penguins.)

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Written by Fem Society

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