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What's Wrong With Women's Sport?
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What\'s Wrong With Women\'s Sport?

What's wrong with women's sport? Why is it that it doesn't attract the same media attention or the dollars that men's does?

In Australia the Australian Open is to begin shortly and the newspapers are filled with articles about the players, both male and female. They are also filled with cricket (which I admittedly do not like). Front page news has been how Australia throttled India in the second test. The last time an Australian female sports person was on the front page of the news was when Sam Stosur won the American Open in 2011. Before that it was Cathy Freeman when she won in the Sydney Olympics. But recently there has not been an Australian female athelete that has captured our attention to that degree.

But the most part newspapers and the media in general it is the male dominated sports which are splashed across our papers, TV, internet etc. Why? Well I asked a few people that question and they all said the same thing, because it is boring.

So I went and watched a few sports where females play sport and I can honestly say I was not spoiled for choice. I can also say that out of all the sports that I watched, honestly the American Women's Basketball was the only one which I enjoyed watching. It had the pace, the intensity, the drama and the athleticism which I enjoy watching and I realised that it was for that very reason that men's sport dominates.

If you look back in time, men have always played "sport". From the charriot races in ancient Rome, to the dueling games of old England, we have loved to watch strong men "battle" with each other and see the stronger or even the underdog win. We have loved the intensity that it brings. The drama. We love it. But we don't love it when it comes to women. Women are not supposed to display those types of traits are they.

With the Australian Open about to commence, I will go and watch, the men. I won't watch the women play and the only time that I will be interested in the tennis is when it gets to the semi-finals and the final if someone of interest plays. I cannot stand the grunting that women bring to the sport. They may think that it helps them, but it leaves spectators very, very cold and is extremely off-putting.

The women tennis players complain about the financial aspect of the game and how different it is for them compared to the men. But the basic fact is that women play 3 sets while the men 5. Huge difference. But do we want to see women play 5 sets? I don't think so. Why, because they don't play with the same intensity as a man does and the matches themselves are very lack lustre.

But it wasn't always so. I mean going back to the heyday of Australian tennis with Evonne Goolagong, or internationally Seffi Graf, Martina Navratilova, Monica Seles. It was great to watch them play. They played with a fierceness that we loved to watch. It's not there anymore.

Oh sure there were the Williams sisters, but they dominated in a sport where there was really no-one else. Sure there were other players, but as a whole they never really caputred our interest they way Steffi, Martina, Monica, Evonne, Billy Jean King and others did. And I think that this is where the problem lies in women's tennis. We want to see the battles of old from the likes of tennis players that fired our interests and sparked our need to watch them. Not today. The intensity of old has gone, the drama gone and we are left to watch athleticism of some sorts and grunting.

But what about other sports? Well no matter what female sports people say and no matter how much they flay their arms in the air or stomp and rave about the lack of sports coverage for them, they will never get the same exposure as mens sports. Pure and simple. The reason is that it is just not as interesting as mens sports and unfortunately it never will be.

Sure there will be the odd female who captures our interest when their acheivements surpass expectations, but that will not be the norm. The only time that female sports captivates us is during the Olympic Games. But that is not because we are really interested in the sport itself but because of national pride. We want to see all our fellow countrymen succeed for our country's sake. For the glory of our country.

When Australia had a chance to go further into the Soccer World Cup, how many of us stayed up all night to watch? But how many of us stayed up to watch the women play? When Australia beats any other country in Netball (other than the Olympics) how many of us watched the match? We are just not interested in women's sports.

And that is the basic premise, we are not interested. History has shown us that it the men that participate in sports that gets us cheering. It is the battle that is done on the field by men, that fills the stadiums, makes TV ratings soar and fill the front page of our newspapers.

Being a female myself and one who as a child was a big tomboy, I was miffed that I wasn't allowed to be part of the boys sports. I didn't want to play netball or softball. I wanted to play AFL, soccer with the boys, not a team with girls. But I realised that sports is and always will be a male dominated arena. No matter what women say or want, it will never be any other way.

Women have a lot to offer in sports, but they must think like a man. It is sad, but true. They must play like a man does. They must have the intensity that a man has in their sport. But we are not built like that, men are far more competitive than females. It is in their genetics, it is not in ours and when a female does display those traits, we applaud them, but they are rare.

Women will never have the same exposure as men do in sports, that is the truth. We can contribute by writing about it, talking about it, but we will never be on a level par with men in sport. But that won't stop this female from loving it, from going to matches and cheering as loudly as a man. It won't stop me from arguing with a man about the sport as I may not be able to play it. But I watch it, I follow it and I love it, so my opinion is just as valid as any man's even though I may not have been on the "battlefield" I am there in my love and passion for the sport, which without, there would be no supporters, male or female.


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