Why Gender Equality Will Never Exist in Sports

Recently I participated in the intramural flag football co-ed league and I was astonished by the outrageous rules that existed in order to make sure girls get involved in the play. It made me think of Mika Lavaque-Manty’s chapter in The Playing Fields of Eton, entitled, “Being a Woman and Other Disabilities.” The chapter goes into the topic of gender norms in sports and also examines the world of sports now that Title IX exists. I think the idea that girls and guys can play the same sports equally is preposterous. I’m sure I am going to get backlash for this and it may seem irrational, but I have facts to back this idea up.


Co-ed flag football game appears to be fair and equal, but is it?


Missy Franklin was a hero at the 2012 London Summer Olympics, but how might our view of her change if she was competing against a male in the lane next to her?

Take, for example, Missy Franklin, the gold medal winner in the 2012 London Summer Olympics for the 100m backstroke. She won the gold medal with a time of 58.33 and beat her own national record. If sports were equal and everyone competed together regardless of gender, Franklin would have lost to the man who came in dead last in the 100m backstroke by nearly five seconds, which is an extremely substantial amount of time considering the separation between eighth place and first place in the event for the men was about 1.5 seconds. I totally believe that all women should have the same opportunity to play sports that men do, but in separate leagues. The idea of co-ed sports just does not work because males statistically play sports at a higher level than their female counterparts because of biological reasons of higher level of testosterone and muscle mass. In 1985, “The Journal of Applied Physiology” released a study that showed that men have 72.6 pounds of muscle compared to women who have 46.2 pounds of muscle with 40 percent more muscle mass in the upper body and 33 percent more muscle mass in the lower body. Men have a significant advantage in competing in these sports and I think it is unfair to group women and men together for competitive events.

Going back to the IM football league and the ridiculous aforementioned rules. It is required that every other play a girl is involved, which is called a “close play.” If a male to male pass occurs it is an Illegal Male Reception, which results in a loss of 5 yards as well as a loss in down. This is not gender equality in the slightest. This is altering the rules of a game in order to give the perception that everyone involved is equal. In a way these rules are biased against male players because in a given play it limits who a quarterback can throw to and then the opposing team can just double cover every single girl making it so much more difficult for them to make the catch. At a certain point, when there are this many rules that need to be implemented in order to keep the game fair for everyone involved (both male and female), are the players all really playing equally?



  1. jmd96 · November 17, 2014

    I really liked this blog. I think that until everyone thinks like this, they will still not realize why mens sports are so much more popular than women’s sports. They are played at a higher level and at a faster pace than that of their female counterparts. They are able to do things with their bodies in which women are not able to do (evident in the statistics that were said above). Given this, it is evident we are not created equal, and in which case makes our sports not be equal. This blog was strong because it was a personal experience, and you were able to relate it back to Mikas chapter on women and their equality in sports. The facts you used to support the claim were strong, and was a big reality check that the first place winner of women’s would have been 5 seconds behind the last place of the mens. It was short, yet got the point across in the time needed… Job Well Done.


  2. caitstew12 · November 18, 2014

    I agree that females are less equipped to compete in some sports but in others women surpass more males. In one of the readings we did that talked about endurance and extreme sports, women were significantly more equipped to compete in general. I liked your tone in this blog in general and I too find it a little insulting that the rules were so altered for the IM football teams. I remember when we played/learned sports in gym class during high school sometimes our rules would be similarly shifted if there was not two different matches: one for girls and one for boys. This was good, nice job.


  3. haleyzap · November 18, 2014

    Maybe your mind is limited by only thinking of sports that exist today? You haven’t taken into consideration anything that women are better at, AKA extreme distances. https://maizeessaize.wordpress.com/2014/11/10/are-women-the-weaker-sex/


  4. dverdere · November 18, 2014

    Haley, thanks for the input because I never considered that kind of a sport because it is not readily in the news. It is an interesting perspective to consider and makes my viewpoint seem limited.


  5. aricerq · November 18, 2014

    Having friends who have participated in the co-ed flag foootball league here, I can agree with you that I don’t think that they should be combined. I do believe that men, in certain sports, are indeed capable of faster times due to their biological disposition for larger muscle mass and average size, and flag football in my opinion is one of them. Even the girls who I know that were playing on the team were astonished that the rules that were put in place to make play fair and equal were anything but, and actually made them feel weaker, handicapped even, throughout the game. Maybe this game can be played co-ed, but without these rules.


  6. ashdh · November 19, 2014

    I appreciate the unpopular stance that this blog post takes. Though equality should be strived for in all aspects of life for men and women, there are definitely certain areas where equality is just not feasible. I agree that the idea of men and women participating in the same league for certain sports is not a good idea, as males simply have more muscle mass and higher testosterone levels, as you indicate. Sports that involve physical strength should be separated based upon gender, but this is not to say there are no sports where men and women can compete together. In my mind, racing might be an example of such a sport. Men have no natural superiority in operating machinery over women. In my opinion, sports like these might be even more exciting if they are made co-ed and women deserve the right to compete against men in sports like these.


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