UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | June 18, 2024

Coed sports not helping push for equality

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The nationwide push for gender equality has garnered tremendous success, but still has room for further growth at Dixie State University.

Here at DSU, the push for gender equality hasn’t quite reached every aspect of this campus, specifically coed intramural sports. There needs to be a change because the way they are set up now is not equal.

DSU does a tremendous job of providing both male and female students with opportunities to be involved in intramural sports. From basketball to soccer to flag football, there are a plethora of all-male, all-female and coed sports to participate in. 

Yet, when examining how these coed specific sports are set up, I don’t quite see gender equality. For instance, in flag football, a touchdown by a female is worth nine points while a touchdown by a male is worth six. The ball is forced to go to a female every other play on offense, and on these plays males cannot guard females or even be within the same vicinity. And if a female plays quarterback, males can intercept the ball only on specific plays.

From a male’s perspective, this does not look to me like gender equality. If anything, it feels to me females are given handicaps because they are perceived as weaker and in need of special rules to succeed or even keep up.

While playing in these coed intramural games, I feel I am making a more concerted effort following these gender specific rules and including the females than I am actually playing and competing.

Although the intended purpose behind the gender specific rules may be a noble one, there are female participants of these coed sports that don’t want to spend the game being catered to because they are female.

“It is very frustrating,” said Abby Henderson, a nursing major from West Jordan. “I feel as if I am a relatively athletic girl, and when these handicaps are applied, it makes me feel like people think I’m not capable of competing at a certain level.”

As gender equality continues to reach every corner of society, I hope that it will wash away all of the ways women are still perceived as weaker or in need of extra help. 

The notion that women are inferior is extremely erroneous. As long as we continue to treat women subjacent in any way, the complete implementation of gender equality will never be fully instituted into society.

Rules for males and females should not be separate; they should be equal. Women did not get to where they are today by being OK with being treated differently they did so by working just as hard as men and not backing down when perceived as weaker.

The U.S. has come so far, so let the push for equality continue to sweep every corner of this campus.