Kate Round's author of "Why Men Fear Women's Teams," explains the many reasons why women's professional team sports have not succeeded in the United States throughout the past years. Rounds specifically states in her article, "The lack of support goes beyond economics, to sexual bias and homophobia," (Rounds, 44). Rounds has definitely brought up a subject with many reasons blamed for the tragic lack of support professional team sports. Rounds points out that professional men's sport teams grab all the attention by the fans and media. I believe the lack of support from the fans and media is a huge loss for women's sport teams. Bill Byrne, the organizer of the WPB L, quotes, "Exposure is the bottom word," (Byrne, 44).
Byrne believes television will make the difference with the support of professional women's teams. I also believe that more television exposure will aid in the result of full arenas and total support for the women teams. Television exposure will only help to a certain extent. There are other factors hurting the support of women's sport teams in the United States.
The United States has found it difficult to deal with strong, aggressive female athletes. I believe the male athletes in the U. S. have more supporters because that is the way it has always been.
The people of the U. S. have stereotyped masculine women as being lesbians. I know for a fact that not all strong, aggressive female athletes are lesbians. Lesbians are being held liable for destroying the image of women's sports. Promoters for women's athletic teams are really trying to discourage women from taking the role as a lesbian.
Image is a huge issue in women's team sports, especially compared to men's. Men can do anything, even make disgusting gestures on national television and no one ever gossips about them like people gossip about women. It is unfair to these talented women who wan to have a career of playing on a sports team. The sports promoters for women are trying to change the image for women athletes. The women playing sports have gone from short hair, when playing and winning was their priority, to trying to be beautiful for the game. Today, women athletes are very conscientious about their appearance.
I believe more attention needs to be put into the game rather than on their appearance. Men have never been huge supporters for women's team sports. Everyone has their own opinions of why men support women in provocative uniforms. Rounds brings up the idea of men supporting women playing beach volleyball, which the women play wearing bikinis, but men do not even acknowledge women playing traditional volleyball. I agree with Kate Rounds; most men support women sport teams in provocative uniforms. Rounds includes in her essay that more people support women in mud-wrestling and watch women take on other women on, a popular television spectacle, American Gladiators more frequently than women's traditional team sports.
The attraction obviously has something to do with the uniforms (Rounds, 43). Rounds believes the uniforms that the women wear play a very important role in gaining team support. I understand what Rounds is trying to point out about uniforms being a big influence on trying to gain more support for women's teams, especially more support from males. Rounds thinks that the lack of male competition outside the United States could partly be responsible for the success of women's professional sports teams in other countries. Rounds realizes that overseas women's sports are not viewed as a weak version of men's sports. I believe that if the United States would appreciate less powerful sport teams (women's teams) and not take them for granted women would have a better chance at pursuing careers in professional sports.
Rounds quotes, in her essay, the opinions from promoters of women's team sports about businesswomen in the U. S. not supporting the women's teams. Bruce Levy, a promoter for women's basketball teams, believes European teams that are run by women who own their own business are the most publicized and supported. Businesswomen in the U.
S. are being labeled as "too conservative," and they will not even try to promote women's team sports. In my opinion, this issue seems to be hurting women's team sports severely. If U. S.
businesswomen would try to promote the support and publicity for these athletic women, women team sports would be looked at in a new perspective in the United States. Rounds brings up the point that the lack of financial support goes far beyond economics. Sexual bias and homophobia cause the lack of financial support. The physiological advantage of sports gives men power, which they are afraid to lose to women.
Rounds says that most men fear physically strong women, and due to their intimidation men often down grade masculine women. My perspective is that men believe women are inferior to them when it comes to the subject of sports. Men need to realize that it is possible that an athletic woman has a chance at defeating him at his own game. I believe women's professional sport teams have a chance at becoming as popular as the men's pro-teams. For women to succeed, it is going to take time, money, and the right sponsors to pour fuel to the fire. In the future, if athletic women fight the battle hard and long enough they will gain the publicity and support they have always wanted and very well deserve.
39 a Rounds, Kate. "Why Men Fear Women's Teams." Ms Jan. /Feb. 1991: 43-45.