The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

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COLUMN: Female athletes are just as capable as male

Chloe+Proffitt
Sia DeyKoontz
Chloe Proffitt

My whole life I have done sports. 

Sports have the power to inspire and change, especially when it comes to women.

There are so many women in sports, whether it’s in the media or on the field, court or track. However, it hasn’t always been this way. 

Women still face discrimination. So many claim women don’t know what they’re talking about or that women’s sports just aren’t that interesting, but that is so far from the truth. 

I do cross country and track at Eastern, but along with that, I work here at The News as a sports reporter. Despite being an athlete myself, my knowledge and skill are still doubted.

We have been conditioned as women to not voice our opinions and stay quiet, especially in sports.

Because sports is a man’s thing, right? That’s so far from the truth.

Women deserve a voice, and we can enjoy sports just as much as any man. 

When it comes to running, I am a Division I athlete. When people find out, almost without fail the next words out of their mouth are, “I bet I could beat you in a race.”

A joking comment, yes, but one that never fails to get annoying.

Sadly, I so often hear that women’s running is not as interesting as men, which in my opinion is far from the truth. Sure, the men may be faster but the women work just as hard and face additional obstacles on top of that.

Women are not genetically close to being the same as a male, and we often get the short end of the stick.

Being a female is hard enough as it is, and the performances women can whip out and demonstrate are gutsy and inspiring.

There is so much adversity women in sports face. On top of the everyday struggle of our sport, many women deal with their bodies torturing them for a week once a month.

Now add in body image and the disgusting comments we receive, like, “You will get slow once you get hips.”

Our bodies are so often picked apart as if we are objects for others to judge, but what about our performances? The performances we still put out despite our builds or what others think?

I often hear that women aren’t built like runners or are not feminine enough.

Why not, “Wow, she looks so strong,” or, “Her body is capable of so much.”

The truth is it takes a lot to be an athlete: time spent in the weight room, a healthy diet, you name it.

Women can rarely fit into those unachievable standards, and to be quite frank, we shouldn’t have to.

Strong is beautiful. It feels good to be fit.

It’s one of my favorite feelings, and it can happen at any size. 

There is a sense of pride about being a female athlete.

We are doing something not even some of our grandparents were capable of doing.

As a runner, someone who sticks out to me is Kathrine Switzer, who made history in 1967 by becoming the first woman to run the Boston Marathon with an official race number.

She did so despite the efforts of the race director to remove her from the course after finding out she was a woman. To think that was only 57 years ago is crazy to me.

Women deserve a space in sports just as much as men.

We are capable and strong.

There is still so much improvement to be made for women in sports, as it’s still a constant battle.

To see so many strong and deserving women constantly pushing the boundaries inspires me and helps light the flame in me to keep going.

Women are far from weak or fragile. If anything we are courageous, confident, strong and just as capable as any man.

 

Chloe Proffitt can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Chloe Proffitt, Sports Reporter
Chloe Proffitt is a freshman nutrition and dietetics major and can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].

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