The National women’s history museum is a museum wi...
National Women History Museum: American Women in the Olympics
The National women’s history museum is a museum with online
exhibitions that talk about women and their stories in various aspects. The
museum takes one through various significant historical events that took place
involving women. Some exhibits talk about extraordinary women who made great
strides in making a woman’s place in the society valued. Women have made
commendable and great acts in the past, however, they have not been
acknowledged even though their efforts have made a remarkable change in the
society. The National Women’s Museum History’s primary purpose is to gather
information about these women and recognize their efforts by telling their stories.
It is through seeing the achievement of these women in the past that can help
women in present to push for their rights. It is also a place to encourage
minority groups in the present to continue fighting for what they believe. This
paper discusses the history of women in Olympics as seen on the exhibit of
women in Olympic. The presentation is significant because it shows the
different strides and struggles women have made and gone through so as to be
included in the Olympic games.
Olympics games since time memorial were a place of men. The
games originated from Olympia a town in the southwest of Greece over 2,700
years ago. The games were held after every four years and were the most
valuable thing in the ancient calendar. Over 50,000 people came from all over
Greece to watch the games. The purpose of the Olympics in those years was to
make a tribute and honor king of the gods Zeus.
Over time the goal of the Olympics has changed and now they are a place to
promote peace and understanding among all nations across the globe. The games
are a place where people discuss various challenges that affect the world and
come up with solutions just like teams participating in the games.
There were no tokens of appreciation offered to the winners like in the modern
Olympics where they are offered gold, silver or bronze. Instead, participants
used to compete for the glory of their cities. Olympics was not a place for
women until around 1900 when the first ever 22 women were officially given the
opportunity to participate in the games. The exhibit narrates women’s
participation in Olympics since their first time which was in 1900 until today
The process of presenting the women in Olympics takes a historical analysis
where we see the first women participate in the game. We also see how they were
treated until today and the changes that have occurred for the Olympics to be
more accommodative to women. Taking the historical perspective and walking
through history as exhibited is helpful in understanding how the Olympics world
has evolved over time. It would not be easy for one to understand the magnitude
of change that has taken place in the inclusion of women if the exhibit just
presented the current situation and a single past event in the Olympics world.
Since the exhibit was about American women in Olympics, it
would have been more appropriate to mention a few other women in history who
participated and not just the few who managed the lead. An example is a golfer
Margaret Abbot who won in the Olympics held in Paris in 1900.
If we were to dig into the history, we would find that she was not the only
woman who participated in the games that year. The other women were excluded.
However, it would have been prudent just to mention them because they are part
of the few who struggled for the inclusion and they are the reason why there
are more American women in the games today than men. Recognizing them would
mean that the museum cares about not only top performers but also all those who
put a little bit more effort in their endeavors.
The exclusion may not entirely be intentional because even
Abbot herself never knew that she had participated in the Olympics. It is later
in history that people recognize her as an Olympics champion. Professor Paula
Welch, a lecturer at the University of Florida, contacted the family of Abbot
to inform them of their mother’s achievements. The professor did this after
digging through history on Olympics. The Olympic games of those years were not
as organized as the modern ones. Therefore, some information may have been lost
in history although not entirely. It was only easy to get information on
Margaret Abbot because she was a top performer in golfing.
The story addresses issues like gender inequities in the
society and the struggles that various people have gone through to eliminate
them. An example of this is a former high school basketballer and a former US
Representative Patsy Mink. Ms. Mink who played just the half-court under the
girls’ rules made the issue of gender discrimination her sole fight of her
entire congressional career. The fight against discrimination was probably
based on her life where she was from a Japanese decent amongst the majority who
were those from European ancestry. Mink, therefore, understood what it meant to
be in the minority group. The greatest accomplishment in her legislative role
was that she was a principal author of the Act known as the Equal Opportunity
in Education Act. The Act prohibited discrimination based on gender in all
institutions funded by the government. An imperative consequence of passing
this act was that there was a considerable growth of programs in American
schools and colleges that involved women in athletics.
Women over the centuries have struggled to establish their
place in the society. They have always struggled not just to be seen for their
domestic purpose but also in outside activities like careers. The museum does
not challenge the popular opinion but supports it by providing real evidence on
the struggles of the woman in the society. The exhibit on women in the Olympics
is just one of the many presented by the National Women’s History Museum
showing the struggles.