Equality for Women A Critique of Why Sports is a Drag





There are many women in today’s society that fight for equality in just about everything. They want the same job opportunities, the ability to be given a good deal on a car, and the right to choose to stay home . Another area that women have recently begun fighting for equality in, is the sporting world. From professional sports teams such as the Women’s National Basketball Association down through college, high school, and even elementary age teams, women are fighting for equality in a variety of sports activities.
In his essay, “Why Sports is a Drag,” Dave Barry discusses the differences between men and women in relations to sports. Barry poses the idea that since the beginning of time, “Mankind” has had an obsession with sports (267). With the few exceptions that make the rule, women are not accepted as equal participants in the activity of sports, or in sharing sports knowledge.
Women should have the right to participate in any sports activity they choose. However, that right should not interfere with the less athletically challenged members of the male gender. As the male species attempts to continue following that inner voice that is so bluntly saying men are the more athletic gender; nobody can dispute that point.
Later in his essay, Barry discusses the differences between men and women on a racquetball court. Women gather in random number and actually try to play between gab sessions. They are in awe when someone actually hits the ball at a time other than the serve (268). On the other hand, they will wear any amount of braces and other sports apparel they deem necessary to participate to their full potential. According to Barry, men proceed to “[hurl] themselves into the walls like musk oxen on Dexedrine”(268). To men, sports are so significant that they feel extremely justified to yell obscenities after every point.
Barry implies that the importance men place on sports is also the reason that coed teams are not a good idea (268). The example that follows tells how even though the second basewoman on a coed softball team, is better than some of the other male team members, she is still not trusted. Barry cites the source of this mistrust as having risen from the belief “that if she had to choose between catching a fly ball and saving an infant’s life, ... she would probably elect to save the infant’s life, without even considering whether there were men on base”(268).
Men take their attitude about sports even into conversations about sports. According to Barry, the 1960 World Series is a good example of this fact. While women realize that this doesn’t matter, a man finds it easier to remember the events of the 1960 World Series than “which of his children has diabetes”(268). Barry proceeds to purposefully make an error in calling Bill Mazeroski a shortstop so that he can point out another example of the extremes that men go to concerning sports (269). Mazeroski was a second baseman, and according to Barry men have a lot of memory committed to such pointless sports information. Barry states that men have no excuse except that “[w]e have no perspective”(269).
Yet another example of the things men will do when it comes to sports shows that a highlight of one man’s life was getting an NBA coach to single him out of a crowd because of a foul exclamatory remark. Although otherwise a normal person, that event, along with the recognition of the males around him, is a prominent detail in his life.
At this point in the essay Barry obviously pulls back from his sarcasm to make a serious statement that “this male lack of perspective... can lead to unnecessary tragedy... What is even more tragic is that women are losing perspective, too” (269). Barry goes on to suggest that before the reader is finished, women would be writing letters telling how upset they are about the lack of importance hinted at concerning women and racquetball.
Barry’s essay is a good example of using sarcastic humor to get a point across. The overall sarcasm was brought to a point when Barry mentions “soccer-riot deaths” which has in recent years became something of