Why is it that Womens basketball games are so empty. Recently I attended a women’s basketball game, the first game of the season. In most cases the first game of the season is a very exciting time for both players and fans. I got in my car drove to the arena parked fairly close to the door I needed to enter through and saw about 3 people other than the two friends I came with before I got into the actual arena. This was shocking there was no traffic, no rush of people trying to get in, the gym was fairly empty. Many argue that women’s basketball isn’t popular because they aren’t as good as the men but that’s no excuse. I really enjoyed the basketball game and the Michigan girls basketball team won the exhibition game 74-39 which seems to be an exceptional display of talent by this team.
So if a team is talented enough to score that many points then why is it that they aren’t talented enough to have a following. This is an issue of gender norms, why is it that men get support for athletics and women don’t. My professor says in Being a Woman and Other Disabilities when referring to a women’s basketball game “you don’t see any spectators. Perhaps it’s no surprise:even today, a good many intramural college games take place with no spectators.”
The question is, if the institution invest as much money in womens sports as they do mens sports would they have a larger following. I don’t think that this is an issue of funding I think its a nationwide norm because the uneven following of women sports spreads past college athletics. “For a WNBA player in the 2005 season, the minimum salary was $31,200, the maximum salary was $89,000, and the team salary cap was $673,000. For NBA players in the 2004-2005 season, the minimum salary was $385,277, the maximum salary was $15.355 million, and the team salary cap was $46 million.”
So my questions is, is being a woman a disability in athletics. Yes, clearly women are not equally treated by the public and administration such as men are. Even here at the University of Michigan women are not treated equally in athletics. Womens tickets aren’t nearly as expensive as men’s are. So now the question is what should we do to change this? Is it really a big deal, if people don’t like to watch womens sports what’s the problem with simply not attending those certain events?
There is a deep history of the unfair treatment of women in America and I think this is just another case of injustice. Women are working just as hard as men to get half of the achievements, half of the support and half of pay. That’s where the problem is, having fans is an issue but not as big of an issue as not being equally paid for the same amount of work that come with the same risks. With the minimum salary in the WNBA being approximately 30,000 dollars a year how exactly are women supposed to make a sustainable living doing the same exact thing men are.
This inequality puts definite dents in the confidence of female athletes all over, when will athletics become fair for both men and women.