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Female Hockey Rights


In 2018, the US Women’s Olympic hockey team threatened to sit out the upcoming Olympics if they did not get the same pay rate and benefits as the men. This request was granted. You may be thinking that was the end and it was a happy ending for all. You are wrong. Women in hockey are not treated as equal to men. I believe this inequity should be changed. Many believe that men are better at hockey, more fun to watch, and bring in more money. Yet women do not get enough training opportunities, do not have the same rules as men, and finally, male players get an advantage on and off the ice.

Women do not have enough opportunities to play hockey. It is said that men are better at the sport, but that is untrue. Boys have various opportunities to play hockey in tournaments, summer camps, and games. Girls do not have as many. For example, USA Hockey spends about $3.5 million per year on developing boy’s hockey programs, but it doesn’t spend anywhere near that much on girl’s youth hockey. They have declined to share a specific dollar figure for its spending on girls’ youth hockey. However, USA hockey reports that it is a “world leader” in developing girls in hockey. Clearly, USA Hockey favors boys’ development in hockey more so than girls. Hockey officials should invest more in women’s hockey or women will not get the same advantages in hockey that men already receive.

Many argue that men’s hockey is more fun to watch; they like to see the fighting and the checking. In women’s hockey, the rules are different. Moreover, the chief difference between men’s hockey and women’s hockey is checking.  Checking occurs when a defensive player crashes into the opponent who is handling the puck, leading with the hip or shoulder, and resulting in a violent collision. Also, studies show that men are more impulsive and tend to fight more. Many people believe that these two aspects are the main part of “fun” in most men’s hockey games. This shows that the rules are preventing women from checking, and this is unfair. As such, people judge women instead of the rules. Women’s hockey should be appreciated for what it is, not compared to men’s.

  The most important inequity is that men’s hockey players get unfair advantages – on and off the ice. Women are constantly given the least opportunities in Olympic Hockey. The male Olympic players are the higher priority. For example, men are put up in four or five-star hotels, while women are in four-star hotels. A men’s Olympic hockey player’s medal is required to be 80-100 mm in diameter, weighing 250 grams, and made with 40 pieces but the women’s medal standards are 70 mm in diameter, minimum weight of 190 grams, and made with 35 pieces. Yes, even their gold medal is less gold and technically worth less! In addition, the men’s locker rooms must be a minimum of 120 meters whereas the women’s rooms are 80 square meters. The men’s tournament calls for working conditions for up to 300 accredited journalists; in the women’s tournament, they only need to make room for 100 journalists. “Our whole year has just been facing adversity nonstop,” veteran U.S. defenseman Kacey Bellamy said. “It’s at a point now where nothing fazes us and surprises us, and whatever hand we’re dealt, we have to deal with. And if we complain? Then we get judged, and it’s really sad.” The gender gap already existed in hockey, but unfortunately, the pandemic has widened it even more. “I feel like women’s hockey has taken steps back due to this pandemic, and I don’t know how much we’re going to take these steps forward in the future. Where we were even before the pandemic, we should have been 10 years ago. But right now we’re back where we were 10 years ago.” says Bellamy. “The men have a guest fund and they would have one guest paid for all expenses, hotel, travel, and we recently received that a couple of years ago. That’s because we fought for it. If it wasn’t brought up by us, that wouldn’t be the case today.” Male hockey players get an unfair advantage not just on the rink, but everywhere else.

  In conclusion, women lack opportunities to play hockey and receive training. USA Hockey does not spend enough money developing girls’ hockey, it gives boys and men an unfair advantage. Also, the rules are different in women’s hockey, girls are not allowed to check, but men are authorized to do so. Checking is the central aspect of fun for most people.  It is cruel to judge women for something they are not allowed to do. Finally, the gender gap in hockey is highly unfair, men are given better medals, hotels, and even bigger locker rooms. Women are sadly given worse things than men. I firmly believe that women hockey players should be given the same standing and treated equally well as male hockey players. Gender discrimination is common and it has to stop.  As a female hockey player, I urge you to bring this to others’ attention and go support your local girls’ hockey team.y



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