When it comes to any sport, the women seem to get the short end of the stick. Women’s sports are overlooked, over sexualized, and generally forgotten about. They aren’t taken as seriously, and men often claim they aren’t “real sports.” This is especially true for female MMA fighters.
Female Athletes are Sexualized
Though females in the MMA do the same things as the men, they are immediately dismissed by the majority of the sport’s fans. Not only that, but they are fetishised. They are no longer seen as fighters, but as objects for men to watch. Not only is this extremely unfair to the women in the sport, it is a gross, overlooked trend in the world today.
Women are Taken Less Seriously
If you look at most women’s sports, their teams are less popular and they are generally not seen in the same light as male athletes. Men seem to be stuck on the idea of femininity, so only sports like tennis, which is deemed somewhat feminine, is taken seriously. Serena Williams is a household name, but she didn’t get there without a fight. She had to go through countless trials and listen to people talk less of her due to her gender, though she is one of the top athletes of our time.
Unfair Media Coverage
There are countless TV stations, apps, and social media platforms dedicated to men’s sports. When football is in season, it is almost impossible to miss. The media builds these men up as elite and unbreakable, but where is that same energy for women? Not only do women’s sports get less coverage, but they are not talked about in the same manner. The fighters are categorized based on their looks instead of their abilities. Some fighters like Karen Lingle Kovach have complained that, “My first match was against another girl that looked very masculine. Eventually I will go against a beauty and automatically people will pick their favorite fighter based on appearance.” Instead of being ranked on her abilities, Kovach knows that she is being judged unfairly.
In the end
A woman shouldn’t have to work harder to prove herself in her sport simply because of her gender. A sport shouldn’t be seen as anything less than because of the gender of its participants. These fighters deserve to be seen in the same light as any other. The women of the MMA are true fighters in every sense of the word.