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Girls & Women

Yes, It's 2016 and Yes, the Olympics Are Still Sexist


The Rio Olympic Games are well underway now, and there is no shortage of heartwarming, triumphant moments to capture the world’s attention. 

There’s Michael Phelps’ masterful return to the pool, Simone Biles’ stunning performance in gymnastics, and of course, the valiant efforts by the Refugee Olympic Team.

Some of the most memorable moments, however, are also cringe-worthy: there have been countless examples of flagrant sexism in this year’s Games.

Yes, even though women have been participating in the Games since 1900, sexism is still alive and well 116 years later.

While some cases of sexism are more obvious (like the tendency for sportscasters to refer to women as “girls,” while neglecting to call male athletes “boys"), others are more nuanced.

Compiling a complete list of every example would be basically impossible, here are some of the more egregious examples of sexism at the 2016 Olympics.

Phelps' Silver > Ladecky's Gold

Katie Ladecky Is 'the Female Michael Phelps'

There's not a lot to explain here. The best part of this was the reaction to Phelps' win the following night, when he was described as the "male Katie Ladecky." As he should be.

Women Watch Olympics Because They Like 'Reality TV'

NBC Olympics’ chief marketing officer John Miller upset plenty of people with this comment, made in explaining the tape delay of the Opening Ceremony.

Bronze Medalist Corey Cordell-Unrein Is a NFL Player’s ‘Wife’

Many people were upset after the Chicago Tribune and other sports outlets story about trap shooter Corey Cordell-Unrein referred to her as the wife of Bears lineman Mitch Unrein.

Women Gymnasts ‘Might as Well Be at the Mall’

While showing a shot of the US women’s gymnastics team huddling, an NBC commentator said they “might as well be standing in the middle of a mall.”

Refinery29 sums it up pretty nicely in this video: