Sexism in Olympics

Sexism in Olympic Games

September 7, 2016


The 2016 Olympic Games we witness great victories and devastating defeats. New world records were broken; we had the opportunity to watch legends and new athletes in breathtaking races. But the excitement wasn’t the only thing that escalated in the 2016 Rio Olympics, accusations of sexism have cropped up repeatedly in this years Olympic games.

Today we wanted to focus on a social problem yet again caused by inequality that has been around since the start of our evolution: sexism. To give a brief definition, sexism is prejudice, stereotyping typically against women, on the basis of sex. Sexism is an act that fosters stereotypes of social roles based on sex. Generally speaking, sexism is discrimination against women in society. Since men and women are built physically, physiologically and emotionally different; the role of women in society has always been diversified to men to benefit from their advantages in the hard life standards.


Sexism in Olympics or Sexism Olympics?

One of the oldest social problems of the human kind, the subject of sexism resurfaced once again ironically in one of the oldest sporting events, the Olympics. The most recent Olympic Games held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil between 5-21 August 2016 brought out to the open that sexism was still a problem. As you may all know, the Olympics has an enormous amount of media coverage, growing with each anniversary of the international event. With this great number of media agencies, it was nearly impossible that a social issue wouldn’t go viral, and yet it did.


Do accomplishments of female athletes rely on the men standing next to them?

With the first events for women starting to be concluded, some major media agencies made equally big mistakes while reporting the winners of concluded races. For example, announcer Dan Hicks gave the credit for Hungarian swimmer Katinka Hosszu's gold medal to her husband and coach, calling him "the guy responsible for the gold medal." 

Another example that went instantly viral was when The Chicago Tribune identified bronze medal winner Corey Cogdell-Unrein in a headline as "wife of a Bears lineman," without mentioning her name or her event, trap-shooting. 

There are many other awkward examples from the 2016 Rio Olympics where female athletes were defined by their relationships to men and were non-stop commented by Olympics announcers on their appearances or stereotypical behaviors. All these disturbing examples have made the 2016 Rio Olympics the center of a heated argument about how female athletes are treated by the media.


What awaits us for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics?

The Olympics are considered to be an event that uniting people, treating all athletes equally without any kind of race or sex discrimination. To witness that the Olympics have started to lose the spirit of international unity and peace is a great disappointment. We can only hope that the 2020 Olympics that will be held in Tokyo will offer the chance to show the whole world that men and women are equal, and should be treated as such.

On a side note, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will present the whole world with a fully robotic Olympics experience with a robotic Olympic village, self-driving cars and instant translation services. We will have to wait 4 years to have the chance to live the automated Olympics experience. We all look forward to the new era in the Olympics and hope that the inglorious subject of sexism will never be a part of the Olympics again.


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