Brittney Griner challenges gender stereotypes

BY LORI RAUDIO

With March Madness in full swing, it is an exciting time in sports. Many people, however, forget there is a women’s tournament happening as well. With hours of coverage devoted to the men’s games, it’s easy to overlook the women. If ESPN or other media outlets even mention the women’s bracket, it’s most likely related to Baylor star Brittney Griner.

An ESPN article titled “What Brittney Griner Says About Us” by Kate Fagan did a great job illustrating the problem facing women’s sports. Fagan mentions because Griner is so good, people accuse her of being male. This occurs with many talented female athletes. Griner creates a problem for people who argue women’s games aren’t exciting or competitive. Because she actually makes the game exciting, she must be a male.

Females athletes are becoming tougher and more competitive. This contradicts the gender stereotype that women should be feminine and not overly muscular. Fagan writes, “Women’s basketball is maligned for not being as athletic as the men’s game, but as women become more athletic, these players are often labeled unfeminine, and therefore unwatchable.” I feel this perfectly sums up the problem facing women in sport.

Griner has changed the game of women’s basketball, but there is still work to be done. She will soon join the WNBA, which is even less popular than college basketball. Griner has handled all the scrutiny well, and maybe she can be the one to increase the popularity of the WNBA. To fix the problems facing women in sport, more people like Griner need challenge the conventional stereotype of female athletes.

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