This paper looks in to women participation in sports such as marathon, track, and field sports. There have been debates in relation to women and sports in relation to sexism due to various provisions. Initially women were not supposed to participate in field, track, and marathon. This is attributed to various ethical, moral, health, and legal considerations. The objective of the writer is to evaluate specific areas of concern which made people to discriminate women from participating in various sports due to their sexism (Woolum Janet.58). Despite various attributes which have no considerable valid basements, women have the right to participate in any kind of sports. It is important to note that due to changes in legal systems and ethical considerations, it has become of essence for women to participate in sports meant for men.
Initially sports like athletics, field tracks were meant for men but due to issues of equality it has turned to be a battle field between the two sexes. Equality is a fact that has influenced women to participate in field sports, tracks, and marathon categories of sports which were meant for men (Pfister Gertrud.75). Currently women are actively involved in sports which require a lot of training to past periods. It is a development that aims at promoting gender equality and helping females to recognize their talents a measure towards the prosperity of economy in a given country. By 1970’s it was not possible to see women participate in long distance races.
The longest race for women was 400 meters as women were considered to get exhausted fast. For instance, covering a distance of 800 meters led to a collapse of women due to exhaustion. This made Olympic organizers to consider long distance races as strenuous foe women. It was also suggested that women competition’s to be removed from Olympic Games. Women were thus forbidden from participating in ancient Olympics and the law was that any women caught as a spectator could face execution. Running was not considered as a good sport for women as it was considered to be a strenuous task (Salter David F. 40). Although certain women participated in games they participated unofficially or could face expulsion at the start line. A good example in this case was Nina Kuscsik one of the first women to run in New York marathon who won Boston Marathon in 1972. She was stopped by police while she was training as they believed that the athlete was running away from something.
Various conditions were established to allow women participate in sports. It was required that for women to be included in games, the sport should be widely practiced in not less than 25 countries on two continents (Broer Marion. 17). These conditions made it hard for women to participate in field sports, Marathon and tracks. However, this was overturned in 1981 by international Olympic committee after the sport was accepted to be popular. This was reached after a research was done to establish whether long-distance running had any negative implications on the health of women. Following this development, the first women’s marathon was held in 1984 at Los Angeles Olympics which was won by Joan Benoit of US.
Initially, women were involved in matters of family making it hard to engage in sports and other activities. Perhaps it is one of the most critical ethical matters that made women to be prevented from engaging in the field of sports. Women had the duty of raising children and execution of indoor tasks through out the day. This meant that they could not have time to participate in sports and hence support family (Broer Marion. 24). This denied women from being good sportswomen as they could not have the capacity to engage in outdoor activities. Engaging in indoor activities such as cooking, cleaning, washing, and taking care of children is thus an attributable factor which led to denial of women from participating in field sports, marathon, and tracks due to their sexism.
Participating in marathon requires the participant to engage in a lot of exercise. This calls for allocation of time to sports activities which in many cases women cannot afford time as her schedule are tied to indoor activities (Broer Marion. 16). This being the case it becomes hard for women due to their sexism to engage in field sports or marathon. In another context, married women find it hard to participate in field sports or marathon as they are denied such a chance by their spouses. It is one of the currently debated issues whereby husbands are very harsh on their spouses to an extent that they cannot allow them to concentrate with other issues other than domestic chores. Finding not time for sports by women due to their sexism thus means that it is impossible to engage in sports hence the reason that makes few women to participate in field sports.
Considering the fact of demands that should be met by an athlete such as dress code it becomes significant for women to have minimal chances in field sports, Marathon, and tracks. Sports like marathon require that the participants to wear light clothes so as to be in a position t perform well. The body of women due to their sexism should not be exposed in public. Due to requirements of the sports it becomes necessary for women to wear clothes that expose certain parts of the body. Morally this is not an appropriate measure and perhaps it is an outstanding reason which makes women to be prevented from participating in field sports, marathon and tracks (Salter David F. 39). The fact of dress code also discouraged women from participating in long distance running, field sports, and tacks as they feared the large crowds of spectators. The only daring women could participate in the Olympics after overturning of certain specifications as were required by officials organizing Olympics games.
As early as the 20th century American women began to participate in field sports after they were denied to actively involve themselves in marathon and field tracks. Before the lifting of certain specification in relation to meeting of demands by women in order to participate in marathon women were kept away from participating in sports or physical activities. This was for the reason that such activities were strenuous and people believed that participation in athletic completion made women to behave like men. The cultural values thus are major considerations that led to keeping away of women at bay from engaging in field sports and marathon.
At the era of cultural beliefs no woman was allowed to participate in strenuous physical activities such as marathon. They were considered to be weak hence not being in a position to participate in activities which made them to get exhausted (Salter David F. 36). It was a strict regulation to a level that even in institutions f higher running female students were not allowed to participate in field sports, track, or marathon due to their sexism. He reason behind banning of inter-institutions athletic competitions was to help women from the evils of men’s athletics. Women or female students who had interest to participate in athletics had minimal opportunities hence could not exploit their talents. Cultural values thus played a key role in prevention of women from participating in field sports, track, and marathon.
Another major considerable consideration in relation to prevention of women from participating in long distance running, track, and field sports was the issue of health. It was believed that once women participated in sports their health was at risk considering the fact that their body is usually delicate (Salter David F. 30). Running is and was considered to be strenuous activity that required the use of a lot of energy. On the other hand, the body of women is delicate due to their sexism and this fact made it impossible for females to engage in sports. Running was believed to make women exhausted and many of them collapsed on the way before finishing the race. It is a fact that denied women from exploring their talents at young age.
Parents could not allow their girls to participate in sports that could risk the health of their daughters. It latter emerged that participating in long distance running or marathon has not health implications to women (Neupauer Nicholas C. 26). This is the reason which has led to increased competition among female athletes in long distance tracks in the current world. It was a belief which had no scientific support in relation to its effect on the health of women athletes. It is an activity that involves employment of tactics and a lot of practice making it easy for women to engage in long distance running. In the current world women are featured in every category of sports whether Olympics, marathon or any other kind of competition which involves distance running. There is no health cases which have been raised which results when women participate in long distance running.
In another context, the reason that led to prevention of women from participating in field sports, tracks, and marathon was the fact of laziness. Women are considered to be lazy than men in various activities such as running (Neupauer Nicholas C. 28). Allowing women thus to participate in sports meant for men was not an appropriate consideration. The requirements established by athletics governing bodies about the number of women to be allowed to participate in sports by women meant that women could not participate in distance running.
It was also a borrowing sport to watch considering that many spectators wanted to watch entertaining sports. The competition by women was not stiff compared to that of men and this made officials to avoid involving women sports from competitive games. However, there has been an improvement in relation to position of various individuals concerning this belief (Neupauer Nicholas C. 25). Women are now actively involved in sports meant for men and this has made competition to be very enjoyable. In many instances the case of Olympics and marathon a lot of spectators usually enjoy to support their favorite women athletes compete. It is a development which has led to involvement of every individual irrespective of se or gender.
The development I relation to involvement of women athletes in Olympic Games, or marathon in both developed and developing countries is the media. It is worth noting to establish that the media has played a very critical role in support of women to participate in field sports, track, and marathon. The media through reporting the demands and expectations of women in respect to sportsmanship is a factor. Women use the media especially newspapers, television, internet, and radio as a tool for enlightening others about the effectiveness of participating in sports. Through education programs, readers are enlightened about various specifications which made it hard for women to participate in sports such as marathon, field sports, and tracks.
The cultural beliefs have been dealt away through the medial as women come to establish that they are not entitled to engage in indoor activities as was provided in the ancient periods. Through sensitization of other women in respect to matters of sexism and sports women have had the advantage of influencing men and leaders governing athletics bodies (Campbell Amy. 35). One major attributable role associated with media is the fact of educating women and young girls about how to exploit their talents at young age. The media in particular newspapers, internet and magazines are considered to have played an important role in respect to enlightenment of individuals about talent. Nowadays women have become rich due to participation in Olympic Games, marathon, and any other kind of sports competition. This is enhanced by the fact that media provide information to relevant parties that is women.
The fear about certain beliefs relating to participation in sports by women has been dealt away with through the media. It is an important consideration which has led to various benefits such as development of economy, exploitation of talent at young age, and full representation of women in activities initially though to be of men (Broer Marion. 22). The media is a tool that has led to revolution in the manner people think about the position of women in respect to sports. Economies in developing countries is promoted through the capacity of women to participate in marathon, track, and field sports A good example to reflect his is African continent especially Kenya and Ethiopia which are known for production of competitive female athletes
The winners in marathon or Olympic Games are paid a lot of money which is used to support various economic activities in this regard it is relevant to note that the media has played a very important role in sensitization of women to participate in sports. The government through organization of programs helps in development of the economy a measure towards enlightenment of female athletes to engage in sports which were considered to be for men (Campbell Amy. 33). Various articles in newspapers and magazines encourage women to engage in sports which were initially though to be for men. This is an important tool that promotes education to young female students wishing to participate in games a measure towards self growth and development of talent. Women in certain countries are using the knowledge acquired through media to develop their skills in long distance running which has turned out to be the professions.
Women through organized groups are in a position to establish programs about the importance of participating in field sports, track, and marathon various considerations believed to be confusing women in respect to engagement in sports have been specified through the media (Salter David F. 34). Initially it was believed that participating in long distance running and field sports put the health of women at risk. This was just a belief without any professional support. Through the media various confusing sentiments have been cleared allowing women to freely participate in sports. Another considerable role of media in relation to women engagement in sports such as tracks and marathon is the fact of health matters. The media through health programs provide information about the importance of running in respect to health of the athletes sports according to the media is termed as one of the best exercise.
Through adequate exercise female athletes have good health hence they are not subjected to ailments like other individuals who do not engage in running. It is thus important to note that media has helped women in a number of ways especially in gaining interest for field sports, tracks, and marathon (Broer Marion. 19). It has instilled to females the need to gain interest in such an important game which supports health and enhances one to become a millionaire. Without the media it could not have been possible for women to participate in Olympics and marathon. Various conflicting information about women and sport has been cleared making it possible for young female students to nurture their talent at tender age it is an important tool which has led to development of economies in developed and developing states. Also through promotions, the media has made it possible for women to have the interest in sports a measure towards involvement of marginalized group in important national programs.