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Legal theory is often best understood through its application to particular issues or problems in law and society. Choose ONE area of contemporary societal concern and outline possible approaches and solutions to the issue through the application of legal theoretical standpoints taught during the module.

Legal theory is often best understood through its application to particular issues or problems in law and society. Choose ONE area of contemporary societal concern and outline possible approaches and solutions to the issue through the application of legal theoretical standpoints taught during the module.

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An essay for the 2011 Undergraduate Awards (Ireland) Competition by Oisin Friel. Originally submitted for 072585085 at Queen University Belfast, with lecturer Sara Ramshaw in the category of Law
An essay for the 2011 Undergraduate Awards (Ireland) Competition by Oisin Friel. Originally submitted for 072585085 at Queen University Belfast, with lecturer Sara Ramshaw in the category of Law

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Published by: Undergraduate Awards on Aug 31, 2012
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10/27/2013

 
 Anonymous Code:23180
Legal theory is often best understood through its application to particular issues or  problems in law and society. Choose ONE area of contemporary societal concern andoutline possible approaches and solutions to the issue through the application of legaltheoretical standpoints taught during the module.“Men have historically monopolised sports participation in all capacities. In recentyears the involvement of women has increased despite many forms of resistance.”
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A prominent societal concern is that of gender inequality, sexism is a ubiquitous problem which takes many different forms. In this essay I intend to tackle the issue of gender inequality in sport from a feminist perspective, whilst also examining theapproach to sport from queer legal theorists. Sport has often been at the forefront indebates and commentaries surrounding gender inequality and I feel the contribution of queer legal theorists will provide a different prospective on how homosexuality istargeted in the sporting world. The inequalities that will be discussed include thedifference in money earned by sportsmen and sportswomen, unjust stereotyping of female athletes, the role of the media and it’s portrayal of females in sport. The worldof sport has always been a male dominated amphitheatre, where discrimination of women has been prevalent from its beginning, de Coubertin the founder of themodern Olympics stated: “No matter how toughened a sportswoman may be, her organism is not cut out to sustain certain shocks.”
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The issue of homosexuality insport is more of a contemporary issue as opposed to that of gender. Homosexuality insport has long been considered a taboo topic that was whispered but not written about,it has only been more recently that homosexuality has been discussed publicly.
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Finally I aim to identify possible solutions to the problems that occur in sport withgender inequality and consider the benefits that will arise for females, lesbians and thesport itself, as a result of overcoming these inequalities.
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Simon Gardiner, Sports Law, (2006), p.12
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History of Women in Sports Timeline,-1899: www.northnet.org/stlawrenceaauw/timeline.htm
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James Riordan, Arnd Kruger “International Politics of Sport in the Twentieth Century”,(1999), p.192
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 Anonymous Code:23180
I will firstly look at gender inequality in sport, the most apparent form of gender discrimination in sport occurs in the prize money earned by sportsmen asopposed to sportswomen. Sports such as tennis have made good progress ineradicating this problem, in 2007 Wimbledon agreed to offer the equal prize money to both genders, the last of the four Grand Slam events to do so.
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However, although theFrench Open offers identical prize money to the winners of the male and femalecompetitions, it fails to offer the rest of the female participants, equal prize money tothat of their male counterparts.
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This form of prejudice has occurred in all forms of employment for women, and sport provides a prime example. Whilst there have beenstrong signs of improvement in this area, there still remains some way to go beforemale and female athletes are paid equally in all sports, the French Open is a goodexample that improvement is still required. The issue of equal prize money in sports isquite contentious, with feminist arguing sport is a profession and the accepted rule of equal pay in the workplace should be applied, Article 141 of the EC Treaty and theUK’s Equal Pay Act 1970 provides for the right of equal pay for work of equal value.
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They contend that not only do sports organisers look down on women’s sport; theylook down on women on also.
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 The issue of equal pay requires that a female must provide a male comparator, however as sport is separated into men’s competitions andwomen’s competitions then the law of equal pay cannot be relied upon.
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Socialfeminists highlights the different roles played by men and women in facilitating menand children’s sport. Women are most often associated with providing transports tosporting events, offering refreshments, as well as washing the sports clothes.
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Social
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Note 1, p.576
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Note 1 p.576
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Shiela Scraton, Anne Flintoff “Gender and Sport: a Reader”, (2002), p.36
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 Anonymous Code:23180
feminists such as Hall have argued against the differences in how male and femalesathletes are provided for: “[women] are routinely given the least convenient practicetimes, the worst facilities and equipment, the least experienced teachers, trainers, andcoaches, and less funding and sponsorship, and in some sports they receive no mediaattention at all.”
 Feminists such as English argue for equality in sport and prize money basedon self-respect; she argues that if men and women do not receive equal prize money,it results in both men and women viewing the female sex as inferior.
English makessome good arguments surrounding the notion of self-respect; however I feel the viewthat inequality in prize money leads to women being seen as inferior is excessive.Belliotti, also criticises English for her statement on prize money being linked to self respect; “There simply is no necessary connection between a person’s athleticattainments and that person’s degree of self respect.”
I feel that a balance betweenthese views needs to be found, although women will not be seen as inferior due tolower prize money, it is likely that women in sport will be impacted somewhatnegatively. They will feel that they should be entitled to equal rewards to that of amale counterpart for becoming world champion of their respective sport for example.Contrary to sexist comments such as: “Men [receive] more prize money than women.Bobby Riggs pronounced that it was because ‘[men] play a better game…’”
, prizemoney in sport is based on a number of extrinsic factors. These include sponsorship, popularity, through attendance at the event and watching it on television or listeningon the radio. The wealth of the sporting regulatory body such as; FédérationInternationale de Football Association
 
(FIFA) or the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA)
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Ann Hall, Trevor Slack, and Gary Smith “Sport in Canadian Society” (1991)
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Jane English “Sex Equality in Sports”, Philosophy in Public Affairs, Vol.7, No.3, (1978)
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Raymond A. Belliotti, “Women, Sex, and Sports” Journal of Philosophy of Sport, (1979), p.67-72
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Robert J. Condon “Great Women Athletes of the 20th Century”, (1999)
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