Tennis, an industry leader in gender pay equity, does a grand disservice to women when it continues to have them play fewer number of sets than the men in their premiere events. The tradition perpetuates offensive beliefs about women being the weaker sex and reinforces repressive ideals of what is feminine — slender as opposed to powerful, glowing as opposed to sweat-drenched.
Fans greeted her with lewd signs, drivers threatened a boycott and journalists peppered her with hard-hitting questions like whether she wore makeup or if she worried her purse would get in the way of the steering wheel. This was the reception Janet Guthrie received when she first arrived at Indianapolis Motor Speedway 43 years ago. “The truth is until I got there, I had no idea that hostility toward women in men’s fields ran that deep,” Guthrie said. “I had been working and playing in men’s fields my whole life and never encountered it.”
Nine out of 10 women’s basketball coaches in the Big East are men. And while that might be an extreme case, the dwindling number of women’s coaches is a major concern among women’s sports advocates. While more women play college sports than ever before, only 38.8 percent of NCAA Division I women’s teams have a female head coach,[/DROPCAP] according to NCAA figures. By contrast, in 1972, when the gender equity law known as Title IX was enacted, more than 90 percent of women’s teams had a female coach.