Gender Inequality at Peace?

WPU Students sitting outside of Main Building

By Sarah Osborne

A few weeks ago, The William Peace University Office of Engagement published photos of this year’s basketball teams.

The photo spread shows two main photos, both featured on the WPU website. Crystal Alston, ‘14 and Rachel Lyons, ‘13, are seen sitting in the rocking chairs on the porch of Main, looking feminine and delicate. In the next photo, taken on the basketball court inside of Hermann Athletic Center, Nathan Strother, ‘16, is defending the ball against the opposing team. The juxtaposition of these two photos has lead to a bit of controversy around campus.

Dr. Meginnis-Payne, of the psychology and women’s studies departments, sent an email out to her Introduction to Women’s Studies students to see if they could spot the inequality.

One response from a WPU student stated,“The ladies are seated, looking all pretty as if that’s how they won the game. The guys are portrayed in this picture as hard workers putting all the work and action into winning. All I see here is that the guys’ victory is somehow glorified and portrayed as more valuable and more deserving than the women’s.”

When asked how she felt about the photo taken of her that is currently being used to represent the women’s basketball team, Alston said, “It’s frustrating that we’ve been a part of Peace College for a while now and the guys just came in and they are already getting much more attention. They could have easily gotten an action shot of us.”

These two photos have gathered a great deal of attention, but not the kind of attention that WPU should be happy to have.
Many students, like Alston, feel that this is just another way that Peace is moving farther away from the beloved values and closer towards a school that so often falls into a rut of inequity.

It seems that for female students, it will be even more difficult to obtain social, academic, and athletic parity with men in the future.

Alston’s words ask a pressing question in her final comment: “Are we not good enough anymore?”

Leave a comment