The Issues of Women in Sport by Jessica Padgett

Women’s involvement in sport is related to race, gender, history and sexual orientation. Women athletes are affected by heterosexism and are labelled lesbians. Some athletic directors are more likely to hire married women coaches to avoid hiring lesbian coaches. Historically, the “natural order of the universe” consisted of man to work and woman to stay at home. According to Jessica Padgett, “the injection of equality between the two genders challenged the foundation of the social order.” Women’s participation in sports challenged the unequal gender system. Woman is considered as “an imitation of the real thing and are treated as second class citizens.”

Examples of women athletes achievements in history include Babe Didrikson sets the world record in three track and field competitions in 1932 and Gertrude Ederle becomes the first woman to swim the English Channel, breaking the existing record by more than two hours in 1925. Marcenia (Toni) Stone is the first woman to break gender barrier when signed to the Negro American League Team in 1953. In 1960, gender verification testing for women was enforced at international sport competitions.

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