Wednesday, December 20, 2017.
Women from time have always experienced unfairness in many of
their daily doings, this includes sports. Women have continuously been treated
unequally regarding specific activities that males tend to do. Historically
women have usually had a more difficult time in being acknowledged. As time went on the respect towards women has
2000). Equality for women has increased and allowed for
better chances, including similar opportunities as men. Sports has always been
seen as a male interest, it was seen as something masculine. Throughout history
women were not permitted to watch sports, participating in sports would be out
of the question. Women were seen as fragile and playing violent sports was
considered “unladylike.” The actions women brought forward were followed by a
lot of judgement, not only by men but also women (Theberge, 2000). Sports
such as tennis and golf were seen as sports that women can participate in
because they are not violent, unlike hockey. The game went completely against
society’s norms, it was seen as normal for men to be violent in sports but not
for women. Due to the fact of women being involved in the sport of hockey, it
was not only seen as “unladylike” but it took away from the manliness of the
sport and caused a lot of disruption. Society in the past has always demanded
gender order (Theberge,
2000). When society’s norms are not being “followed” it is
likely that individuals are judged for it. Women in today’s generation are no
longer watching from the sidelines but are changing the obstacles that
male-dominated sports bring.
The women’s hockey game and the way
society looks at it has changed during time. Many individuals did not think
women should be playing such violent sports, like hockey. Between the years of 1922 and
1940, Ladies Ontario Hockey Association (LOHA) had a significant role in woman’s
hockey (Wilson, 2017). Although some men were supportive of women’s hockey,
some men were not, for example W.A Fry, the president of the Canadian Amateur
Hockey Association (CAHA). In 1923 LOHA was rejected official recognition by
CAHA (Wilson, 2017). No matter how much women
wanted to play hockey it was just seen as “inappropriate” for them to continue.
In 1972, The Report of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women allowed
women to have a fighting chance in sports, this included the sport of hockey
(Wilson, 2017). Women’s hockey still struggles to receive public recognition,
the main turn of events was because of Manon Rheaume. She was the first women
in North America to join a professionals men’s team (Theberge, 1995). Rheaume is seen as a role model to many
women athletes and has made an impact in women’s sport overall. The struggle
that Rheaume had to go through to get the public attention she did, allowed for
women’s hockey to also get the recognition it needed.
Women caused a lot of social change,
values and society’s beliefs were dramatically changed throughout history. Women
were not always seen as equal and even today still have difficulty, but they
managed to have a positive impact on improving that (Theberge, 2000). Women’s need to be included in male sports
at times was acknowledged to be harmless and innocent, it was a concern that
was essential to society. The struggle
that women had to go through in order to be recognized in the sport of hockey
was not only for sport involvement but for the bigger picture of gender
equality (Theberge, 2000). Compared
to the experiences women have had in the past, they are now establishing a spot
in the sports community as more equal.
(1995). Playing with the boys: Manon Rheaume, women’s hockey and the struggle for legitimacy. Canadian Woman
Studies, 15(4), 37.
Higher Goals: Women’s Ice Hockey and the Politics of Gender. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2000.
Wilson, J. (2017) The women’s game webpage.
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