Women in tennis unfairly punished due to misogynistic regulations

Bianca Navas

Serena Williams in action against the Czech Republic’s Karolina Pliskova in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open at the the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York on Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018. Williams advanced, 6-4, 6-3. (Louis Lanzano/Sipa USA/TNS)

Cases in the media are unveiling the strange rules that official female sports players must follow.

The most recent incident was at the US Open involving tennis player Alizé Cornet, who decided to leave the court to change her shirt during a 10 minute cool down in the middle of her match against Johanna Larsson. After realizing she had put it on backwards, she went to the back of the court to quickly adjust her shirt, resulting in umpire Christian Rask to give  her a penalty for code violation.

The rules made by the Women’s Tennis Association state that players may only remove their shirts while off the court. Yet no rules such as this apply for men. These double standards are something women face constantly, and the fact that they happen in the supposedly fair environment of women’s sports is completely unfair and  repulsive.

Cornet was surprised by this violation, not expecting to be punished for such a mundane action. The environment in which these female players are being judged by a  male perspective is a chilling reflection of the horrible treatment and opinions of women’s actions, clothing, and attitude.

This is not the first misstep by tennis associations when it comes to their female players. Serena Williams also became a topic of controversy after her black compression suit, which is used to prevent blood clots and promote blood circulation, was banned by French Open director Bernard Giudicelli because it was considered to tight and revealing.

The fact that Guidicelli and the other members of the French Open directory board are ignoring Williams legitimate health concerns is unjust and vile. This shows how not just men, but society in general, hold women at face value rather than trying to understand their concerns.

Many players are expressing their own opinions about how stifling these rules are, including Williams, who made a statement against her suits ban during a match on Aug. 27, showing up in a black tutu and bedazzled sneakers.

After the embarrassing reveal of these unnecessary codes, many people have expressed their repulsion online, revealing how society is beginning to hold others responsible for disrespectful actions towards women. The fact that others are being held accountable for their discriminatory views is amazing, but misogynists won’t change their minds when they are constantly being told they are wrong.

Peoples opinions won’t be changed through shouting matches. True equality won’t come until people in society hold an understanding for one another. These changes can start anywhere from a highschool classroom to the next women’s tennis open, and many hope they will.

One hope we have as a society are that young tennis players, both men and women, begin to change the sexisim found in the professional tennis world. Women one day won’t have to be afraid to censor themselves if future generations step up, like many already are, for permanent change for the better.