Gender Double Standards in Sports Journalism

Following the final round of the Masters, The Bergen Record sports columnist Tara Sullivan was barred from going into the male locker room (and thus getting the best quotes, quickest). Though Masters officials apologized and claimed that it was a security mistake, Sullivan was none too happy and tweeted the following:

While I, as a fellow female journalist, understand the frustrations, after reading the Huffington Post article, I started thinking about double standards and journalism. I almost tweeted that it’s all well and good to let female journalists into male locker rooms, but would everyone be so comfortable with letting male journalists in female locker rooms? Though I’m positive that our culture is more comfortable with male genitalia than lady parts, I decided not to tweet because something as complicated as sports journalism and double standards.

Female sports reporters often have a hard time covering breaking news because of locker room rules. (For an interesting list of some, visit ABC.com, where I obtained this image, via Getty.)

It’s true that men wouldn’t be allowed in female locker rooms, but it’s also true that most sports journalists–male and female–are covering male sports. If readers were equally interested in the WMBA then there wouldn’t be a problem: journos would all have to be barred from their non-gender locker rooms OR everyone would have an equal chance (for example: sports covered in the Olympics are pretty evenly split between male and female).

But since the biggest stories are about male sports and male athletes, female journalists have to be let in the locker rooms if they’re to get a fighting chance at being successful sports journalists. It might be an unfair double standard to let female journalists into locker rooms of another gender but not allow males in female locker rooms (to be fair, I’m just guessing that this is the case. If anyone has any evidence to the contrary, feel free to comment), but it’s a double standard that’s correcting an inherent inequality in sports itself.

While I hate double standards, I do benefit from them all the time. I also don’t particularly subscribe to the liberal feminist notion that men and women must be equal. Men and women aren’t physically and mentally the same.

But back to the point: Getting quotes after a game is a big part of sports journalism. The best place to build relationships with athletes is also the locker room. If this keeps happening, editors won’t allow women to cover sports events.Men shouldn’t be allowed the one-up on female journalists because they just happen to have a penis.

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11 thoughts on “Gender Double Standards in Sports Journalism

  1. I agree, especially about the point that men and women aren’t physically or mentally the same. If I take on a guy, I know I’m getting my ass kicked.

  2. To believe that female reporters should be allowed in a male locker room is the epitome of feminist hypocrisy.

    The Feminist Movement is ultimately about gaining power and control over men. And the fact that females are now allowed into a male locker room when the men are naked or semi-naked reveals just how successful that agenda has become. It is successful to the point that any male athlete that dares speak out against this blantant invasion of his basic human rights to privacy, respect, and dignity is immediately slapped down by intimidation and threats of the loss of his job and income by feminists, feminist organizations, and those who have been brainwashed into believing it is clothed female reporters that experience sexual harrassment in a male locker room rather than the athlete.

    I addressed this issue in detail in a 4-part article posted on The Cypress Times and picked up by Jonathan Hood at http://www.jonathanhoodshow.com/?p=4863. It explains why the arguments feminists use to rob male athletes of their basic human rights are flawed and hypocritical.

    If feminists and female reporters were truly interested in equal rights they would insist that the sports organizations forbide all reporters – male and female – not be allowed in the locker room. Rather, a room would be specifically set aside for the purpose of interviewing the athletes after they are dressed. But they don’t. They insist on bullying their way into the locker room in the name of equality.

    It seems the idea of equality for feminists is the subjugation of men.

  3. Anna, you have no right to achieve “equality” at the cost of degrading your male co-workers, one locker-room at a time. Human rights trump professional rights. The dignity and right to gender privacy while naked for dozens of players far outweighs the right for professional advancement of a handful of women who’d like to enter a gender private place like a locker room. If you were made to be so exposed naked while working with men we all know you’d cry foul.

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