THE HISTORY OF WOMEN'S PARTICIPATION IN SPORTS IS MARKED BY DIVISION AND DISCRIMINATION.
WOMEN WERE OFTEN PERCEIVED AS BEING TOO WEAK FOR SPORT, ESPECIALLY DURING MENSTRUATION WHEN WOMEN WERE "PERIODICALLY WEAKENED"
WOMEN SPENT CENTURIES FIGHTING TO OVERCOME SEXISM AND STEREOTYPES IN THE ATHLETIC WORLD.
Sports for women existed as mere activities that were recreational rather than competitive.
"Sports" for women were informal and without rules
It was a popular belief that each individual possessed a fixed amount of energy. Sports were thought of as detrimental to women's health, especially reproductive health.
Women sought to become more involved in physical activity and began forming informal athletic clubs.
Women were allowed to compete in the Olympics for the first time in 1900.
Women's involvement in the Olympics encouraged women as a whole to be more heavily involved in competitive sports and recreational activities.
Women's History in Sports:THE 1920s
Women were included in the voting population. Women used their new found political involvement to demand more recreational opportunities for children, as well as more equitable treatment as consumers of public recreational services.
American Swimmer, Gertrude Ederle, swam across the English cannel. This is a 21-mile-wide stretch, which Ederle successful swam in just over seven hours. Ederle was able to prove that women are capable of accomplishing more than priorly thought.
The youngest swimmer to attend the 1960s olympics
DONNA DE VARONA
Brought home two gold medals, and broke 18 olympic records
Post-olympic success, De Varona did not receive any swimming scholarships to get her to college.
Became the first woman hired as a sports news broadcaster
1960s FEMALE OLYMPIANS
Won three gold medals and one bronze metal in the track and field event
As a child, she was vulnerable to disease that temporarily crippled her legs
Paved the way for women to pursue their dreams and not let anything or anyone hold them back.
1960s FEMALE OLYPIANS
Women's History in Sports: The 1970s
Prior to the 1970s, the chances of women pursuing a college education or competing at a college competition level were very slim. IN 1972, Congress opened doors for women to gain proportional participation opportunities. Congress passed Title IX of the Education Amendment Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender at educational institutions that are receipts of federal funds. Title IX requires female athletes to receive the same treatment and benefits that male athletes do.
Billie Jean King was a major advocate for women's equality in sports. King was the instrument in making it acceptable for American women to exert themselves in pursuits other than childhood. Billie Jean King went up against male competitor, Bobby Riggs, and won all three sets.
1982 - Woman softball players competed in their first NCAA World Series Championship
1982 - The first NCAA college basketball championship for women
1984 - First woman to dunk during a college basketball game
Women's History in Sports: The 1980s
1984 - US women's softball won the first women's international cup at the Women's Softball World Championship
Women's History in Sports: The 1990s to Present
By the time the 1990s rolled around, women had made great strides toward equality in sports. However, the 1990s also brought a rise in social media which lead to increasing attention to the sex appeal of women athletes. Despite the gains made by successful female athletes in the era, women were forced into two categories: hot or not, no matter how talented the athlete might be. Women athletes were pressured to remain attractive while competing in their sporting events. The 1990s looked like an era to open a door to possibilities for the next generation of female athletes. However, even in 2016, women athletes struggle to be taken seriously. Today's female athletes continue to fight for equality on the field, on the court, or wherever they chose to compete.