Can you see the difference here?

Jesse O. Walls

Many students walking around campus may have seen the basketball schedules placed in various locations, meant for people to gain interest or be informed about upcoming games, but on close inspection one sees a darker side to the athletics department and the ideals they wish to promote.

The men’s schedule shows three male players, all standing proudly in dominant poses. It is a vision of power and glory, meant to inspire. The women’s schedule, however, depicts a less inspiring vision. A female player, standing in a more submissive pose with her hand on her male coaches shoulder, as if he is the important part of this picture. Is he really needed to show power and inspire? Could we not have a similar pose for the women as we do the men?

This brings up a very important question: what is the athletics view of women’s sports? For that matter, what is their view of women as a whole? From these examples, women seem weak and submissive, but in truth, the women go out there and play just as hard as the men do. They give it their all in a spectacular show of power and glory. Yet the athletic department feels they need their coach in their promotional pictures. Where’s the men’s coach? Why isn’t he there holding their hands in the images?

This treatment isn’t really surprising when all one has to do is attend the men’s and women’s games back-to-back to see how differently they are treated. While the announcer calls the shots during the women’s games as if it is some boring, dull event he is being paid to do, his exuberance flairs during the men’s games, escalating as if he were having some postpubescent fantasy.  The delivery is different, and suddenly he seems excited and fired up.

Is this what we as students endorse? Do we feel this is fair treatment and equality for all? Can we stand back and condone this behavior to continue? Something needs to change, and the time for change is now. We can not continue to turn a blind eye to the obvious that is plastered all around the campus and pretend this issue doesn’t exist. It exists, and it will continue until we admit there is a problem.