More than the muscle

Discussing equal opportunity in women’s sports compared to men


Blake Beaver

Sophomore Trina Franklin shoots a free throw.

Men and women have been compared to each other for years in the workforce, politics and sports. In today’s society, women are perceived as less athletic. When talking about basketball, women are seen as less athletic because of size, weight or the idea that they just can’t run or dunk like men, affecting how people view women’s basketball.

“Men’s basketball is seen [as superior] by more people than women’s because women are inherently less athletic than men, and people take this to mean that women’s sports won’t be as interesting to watch,” junior Hannah Martin said.

Today, men’s basketball acquires a lot of hype, and their women counterparts have been pushing their sport for support around their name as well. Over the past couple of years, women’s sports have gained recognition, but not nearly the same amount as men’s. The small things that make a big difference between the sports range from the payment amount for professionals, the amount of support on all levels and even how they can celebrate on the court.

I think more equal opportunities [are needed].

— Elise Forcher

“I want to push more support and excitement for regular high school basketball, but for professional girls basketball, I think more equal opportunities [are needed],” senior Elise Forcher said.

At Bridgeland home games for men’s basketball, the fans section gets hundreds of fans and supporters. Meanwhile, the women’s team only gets dozens. Over past years, the one thing the Bridgeland women’s basketball team wants is more support at their games. The only games that more people show up for are senior night, middle school night and the teacher appreciation game. Even for those games, like senior night, there are more family members for the players there. For middle school night, Salyards and Smith Middle School basketball players are there, and for teacher appreciation games they have Bridgeland staffers there who don’t usually stay for the whole game. The game between men’s and women’s basketball is not different; it’s the entertainment side of things.

“I think sports are as equal as they can be. Fact of the matter is that men and women are different, and they’re made differently, therefore have different requirements, like how a boy’s ball is bigger than a girl’s ball. Women naturally start at a lower strength level than men, and the ball size reflects that” senior Madeleine Hugele said.

Like Hugele stated, the game is set to be equal, but it’s the athletic side that makes things entertaining for people. Nowadays, the most entertaining game will get people and supporters. The Bridgeland women’s basketball team starts games about a week and a half before the men’s. The home games they play there have no student sections even though there are no other games going on. The main reason they don’t get a student section where students from Bridgeland come and watch is the stigma surrounding girls’ basketball.

“[There is] a stigma around women’s basketball that it isn’t as good as men’s and that it’s boring, or people will say that there’s not as much talent,” junior Xander Osborne said.

The stigma around women’s basketball has been around for a long time, and that needs to change. Title IX turned 50 years old in 2022 and still needs to be pushed so it can stop being overlooked. Changes need to be made and that change starts in our high schools. For me, equal opportunity is not only toward basketball but for every sport and for everything in life. Women have been seen as another option after men and that’s where Title IX is trying to guarantee equality in every activity in every level of schooling. If we can get it in high school, maybe we can expand it to everything women do in life.