With 2016 more than halfway over, you would hope that sexism and double standards in sports have been reduced to a minimum. Well, that’s just not the case.
Multiple times, male commentators have made comments about female athletes that have discredited the fact that they have achieved greatness so far in the Olympic games.
Take Katinka Hosszu for example. She wins a gold medal and the cameras pan to her husband as a commentator says that he is the one responsible for her winning the medal. Now don’t get me wrong, I know that her husband is her coach and he certainly played a role here. But to say that he is “responsible” is to completely dismiss the fact that she is the one who trained hard, made it to the Olympics, swam the race, and won the medal. Not her husband. But of course if a woman wins a gold medal then a man must be responsible for it right? Certainly, she couldn’t have done it on her own. I mean, without him would she even know how to swim?
What about Corey Cogdell-Unrein? The Chicago Tribune posted and article featuring her and didn’t even use her name. Nope. They simply referred to her as “Wife of a Bears’ lineman” instead. Because that’s really all she is, just the wife of a professional football player. It’s not like she’s already a 3-time Olympian or anything awesome like that. She’s just somebody’s wife.
And let’s not forget that most people attribute the success of Serena Williams to the fact that she is “built like a man” because if she were built like a woman (despite the fact that she just so happens to be a woman) then she wouldn’t be so amazing at what she does. It’s even been said that Katie Ladecky is successful because she “swims like a man”
Perhaps commentators should take a crash crash course in sexism so that they can start to understand the fact that women are not defined by their husbands or relationships to men in general. More importantly that they deserve credit for their own accomplishments.