Their sporting skills, sadly take a backseat.
Marxist theory equates the man as the bourgeoisie and the wife as the proletariat. He felt that the communist ideology will give space to women by bringing them into the public space. In communism, women can enter into public sphere of production and communalize the realm of private production. This then, becomes the program for emancipation of women.
If we take the example of Cuba, which is a socialist dictatorship, structured along the Eastern European countries. Fidel Castro, after coming to power, brought about major changes in all aspects of Cuban society, including its sports.
The other communist countries held up Cuba’s success in sports as an example as a success of socialist experiment. $80 million is still invested in sport annually, which represents 2% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Cuba. The Cuban government invests a disproportionate amount of its resources in its athletes – educating, feeding, clothing them, paying for equipment, and travel.
Sports in Cuba is deeply integrated with politics and political ideology borrowed from Eastern Europe ideology Sports is an integral part of the political culture, and it is available to all. Castro established a strategy both to unite the population behind common sporting goals and establish a shared national identity through sport.
The liberal feminist theory states that sports increases socialization among women. It develops confidence, decreases the gender imbalance. But a lot of discrimination exists in sports. This includes categorizing sports as feminine and masculine.
Feminine sports being hockey, volleyball, handball, masculine being rugby, cricket, football. Women are also not represented in major sports organizations. They do not hold decision-making positions. In 2002, women held 17 per cent of executive director/general manager positions.
Legal restrictions also reduce the chances of women holding important jobs. The sex discrimination Act, 1975, in UK does not include sports in its agenda. Private sports clubs remain outside the purview of equal opportunities legislation.
Liberal feminism has included these issues on the agenda of sports organizations, clubs. Organizations such as Women Sports Foundation-WSF, Women’s Sports International-WSI, have put pressure on these institutions and have managed to put issues like gender equality and equity becoming part of mainstream sports agenda. The liberal feminist theory says that biological constraints are not responsible for less participation of women in sports Inspite of all this, discrimination continues.
There is another theory – radical feminism, which sees the male as oppressors and the female as suppressed. Unlike the liberal feminism, which only talks about equal opportunities for women, radical feminism mentions that women are encouraged to have an acceptable heterosexual feminity in sports. For example, in international women beach volleyball, bikini bottoms should not be deeper than 6 centimeters. This has less to do with appropriate dress codes and more of objectification of women’s bodies.
Radical feminism has also led to an understanding of