It’s important to acknowledge independent women, especially in today’s society. Nowadays, women seem to stand their ground. However, it wasn’t always like it is now. Years ago, you could say it was “normal” if women didn’t step their foot forward and stand their ground.
We should strive to be women that are not afraid to fight and stand out for what is right. We all have different idols, we shall take them as an example and try to follow in their shoes. Idols don’t always have to be someone famous or well-known. For example, my idol is my mom. I look up to my mom because she’s the strongest and most independent person I know. My mom became a single mother when I was two years old. She provided many things for me, and still does. She never let me see her break down and cry, she never once complained. That’s why I enrolled in St. Mary’s Academy, my mom trusts that SMA will continue to help her build a young, hard working and independent lady.
My mom taught me that if I put my mind to something, I will always achieve it. Since I’m an athlete, she warned me that in the sports industry it’s harder for women to become successful. It saddens me that just because I’m a female it’s harder for me to be acknowledged and supported.
In the sports industry, women are paid between “15% to 100%” less than men, depending on the sport played.
|Basketball (NBA & WNBA)||$8,321,937||$75,181|
|Golf (PGA & LPGA)||$1,235,495||$48,993|
|Soccer (MLS & NWSL)||$410,730||$35,000|
|Softball/Baseball (MLB & NPF)||$4,031,549||$6,000|
|Tennis (ATP & WTA)||$335,946||$283,635|
Table from Adelphi University
Looking at the difference in these numbers upsets me, and I know a lot of women agree with me. These hardworking women have to push themselves twice as hard to prove themselves to society. Men are glorified for breathing the air while playing the sport they love, but women are looked down on and their sports are less popular. Little girls look up to these female athletes and dream to become them, but little do they know that it took their idols a while to have those smiles on their faces.
These men and women play the same sport, but why is there such a difference in the numbers? I can’t help but wonder if it’s because of the difference in the genders. To put it into perspective here’s an example to think about: The highest paid player in the WNBA, DeWanna Bonner, makes $127,500 while the lowest paid player in the NBA, Luguentz Dort, gets paid $155,600.
Some young ladies want to be professional athletes, to do what they love, but question the pay. People will try to pressure them by saying, “Maybe think about becoming a doctor” or “You’ll change your mind.” They may even laugh at their dreams. We can do it all. If I could, I’d tell all the young female athletes who are discouraged by low pay to make a difference. I’d tell them to not be afraid to stand out and speak on what women nowadays are tired of. We must have equal pay. Lastly I’d remind them that we all support one another, we are united.
We, as women of this generation, should stand up for one another and support each other, no matter the skin tone, race, or different beliefs we may have. We shall not let those things divide us! Remember what Madeleine Albright once said, “It took me quite a long time to develop a voice, and now that I have it, I am not going to be silent.”
Chart from “The Gender Pay Gap in Sports.” Male vs. Female Professional Sports SAlary Comparison, Adelphi University, https://online.adelphi.edu/articles/male-female-sports-salary/.
Madeleine Albright quote from “60 Empowering Feminist Quotes from Inspiring Women.” Harpers Bazaar, 20 Feb 2020, https://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/features/a4056/empowering-female-quotes/.
“Highest paid players in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) in the United States in 2019.” Statistics.com, https://www.statista.com/statistics/1098893/wnba-highest-earners/#:~:text=The%20highest%20earner%20in%20the,her%20performances%20for%20Phoenix%20Mercury.