The International Skating Union (ISU), which still oversees international skating competition, was formed in 1892 and hosted the first World Figure Skating Championships in 1896: just four men competed in the event. Then in 1902, a woman, British figure skater Madge Syers, entered the competition thanks to a loophole in the rules; there was no rule disallowing women, wrote Hines in the Historical Dictionary of Figure Skating.
The significance of the schedule as a tool for gender equality may not be obvious to the casual sports fan, but it’s an important factor for many reasons. Events scheduled on weekends gain larger broadcast audiences. Relegating women’s events to weekdays and off-prime hours denies female athletes the same media exposure that their male counterparts have always enjoyed. If women are not given equal scheduling opportunities there is inevitably less media exposure. And less media exposure unfortunately suggests women’s sport is less important.
Boxing has been an Olympic sport since 1904 and was a male only event till the 2008 Beijing Games. "There was a time when men's boxing had 13 weight categories, which dropped to 10 and they could now be dropping to eight in 2020. Women's boxing deserves the expansion. But at the same time men's boxing will continue to fight for its territory," said India's High Performance Director Santiago Nieva. His response quite sums up the situation in international boxing where the general view is that while it's good to have more women at the Olympics but men shouldn't be too drastically affected.
Once again, the culture of silence and intimidation that exists to keep the powerful and successful in power and those who rely on them feeling vulnerable, is hardly particular to any one business. If anyone wasn't aware before, the past month has been a crash course in just how ugly it can be out there for women in entertainment, media, politics, sports, restaurants, tech, finance—pretty much anywhere men outnumber women. At the same time, though one quick search of the Internet shows that it's a conversation that's been waiting to be had out in the open for years, we're finally starting to get a handle on how many boys have also suffered at the hands of grown men, boys who have since grown up and are only now finding an environment more conducive to sharing their stories.