According to author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, “single stories” are perceptions we form about society and its individuals.“Adichie recounts her experiences as the subject of the ‘single stories’ others have created about groups to which she belongs, as well as times when she herself has created single stories about others” (facinghistory.org), which means single stories can go both ways.
Examples of single stories and how they affect our society today are found in the article, “Gender Bias in American Sports: Lack of Opportunity, Lack of Administrative Positions, and Lack of Coverage in Women’s Sports.” The article written by Erik F. Person goes into depth on the prejudice that women still face today – more deeply the prejudice that women experience in the sports industry. The article allows for one to be open to the neglect that is going on in the sports industry and be empathetic to the situation.
Although women have had monumental progress like the right to vote and work, gender bias still exists. Bias is unreasoned judgment, and gender bias shows favor towards one of the sexes. Women continue to be discriminated against, and the article shows numerous ways that the sports industry has given injustice to the female race.
Title IX is an amendment presented in 1972 that prohibits sex discrimination in any educational program or activity receiving financial assistance. The purpose of this federal law is to reduce the feeling of exclusiveness in any education program based on their sex. But it still does not give equality all the way, “Traditional wisdom, that girls are only suited for activities which emulate the aesthetic side of sports such as gymnastics, ice skating, cheerleading, etc., persists, along with the notion that females should not engage in high physical contact activities such as wrestling, football or rugby” (Person).
TitleIX does not mandate equal opportunity in specific sports, therefore leading to options that do not always mean equal opportunities. TitleIX and the sports industry are just a small negative impact on women in today’s society. Several of these instances can spark empathy in those who listen and become aware of what is going on. Many people do not think this is fair, especially women.
Many women become outraged at the fact that we receive no equal opportunities, “The argument that, “if girls had the ability to become astronauts we would see more of them”, is self-defeating when we have not given them the opportunity to do so in the first place” (Person). Women become to feel neglected and this can start a chain of empathy based on how they feel and who they think they are – their identity.
Empathy and identity can be linked together because for one to be empathic, they need to know who they are and what they are standing for. If one is empathic to the injustice going on in the sports industry, they must know the neglect going on or have heard about it. This isn’t something new and has been around forever, so more people become aware of the situation.
Empathy is being able to put yourself in someone’s shoes, and for women, it is almost too easy to relate to other women’s defeats and struggles to be in today’s society. Men might not be aware of or be able to connect with what is going on, but their empathy can connect to the identity of those being treated unfairly. A single story can affect one’s empathy when you are able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes.