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The Lion's Tale

The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

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Opinion: Women in sports must wear white shorts to lessen gender gap

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Aliza Bellas
A statistic revealing how female features widen the gender gap in sports.

Around the world, female athletes have stopped wearing white shorts because of “period anxiety.” The idea is to raise awareness for the cause on an international scale; however, there are much more effective ways to do this without hindering the perception of women in sports.

Period anxiety is the idea that women will get nervous that people will be able to see that they are on their period. This is heightened by light clothing as it is both see through and noticeable when dirty.

This phenomenon began to gain attention at Wimbledon in 2023 but was more prominent during the recent 2023 Women’s World Cup, in which over ten teams chose not to wear white shorts to promote awareness for period anxiety. As a female athlete with experience in a wide range of sports, I think it is important to recognize that eliminating white shorts in uniforms only creates a greater stigma around a woman’s period. 

 There is good reason as to why white shorts have been a part of my uniform since I started playing sports in kindergarten. The first and most basic reason is for heat reflection purposes. White shorts reflect a lot more sunlight during hot summer games and while this may seem insignificant, it can definitely be felt on the field.

On a hot day, wearing dark uniforms can be a large disadvantage for an athlete. It makes them hotter and therefore more tired when playing a game. White jerseys reflect more light which helps manage heat on a very sunny day.

Additionally, all white uniforms have been a long standing tradition in sports such as tennis for over a century. It is not necessary to change tradition for a problem that is so easily avoidable.

While white shorts have the potential to be sheer, women have been combatting their period issues for years by simply wearing spandex or under shorts. This is something that has become extremely normalized in both women’s and men’s sports for many reasons, but specifically comfort. Wearing undershorts makes loose fitting or baggy shorts more comfortable and also prevents period problems.

Although each of these factors are important, the most significant reason women should continue to wear white is to diminish the gender gap in sports. There are plenty of reasons that men and women’s sports have been compared and contrasted over the years and there is no reason to give people another reason to do so when there are plenty of acceptable alternatives.

If women stop wearing white shorts and men continue to do so, it will continue to create a rift between men and women’s sports. If men and women are visibly different when playing sports, it will give the impression that they are, in fact, very different. This will further marginalize female athletes in a time when they have been working so hard to bridge the gap between men and women in sports.

While period anxiety is an important issue, there are many ways to raise awareness for it outside of sports. Unless men start to join the trend of wearing non-white shorts, female athletes will differentiate themselves in an unnecessary way. This trend needs to stop in order to promote equality in sports in more meaningful ways.

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About the Contributors
Gigi Gordon
Gigi Gordon, In-Depth Editor
Gigi is excited to continue her time on The Lion’s Tale as In-Depth Editor. She is committed to sharing new and exciting articles and information with the community. Outside of Lion’s Tale, Gigi is the president of Green Team, a three-varsity sports athlete, founder of the NCJW club, and editor-in-chief of the Bohr Franklin Science Journal. She cannot wait for another great year on staff and to see everything the paper will achieve.
Aliza Bellas
Aliza Bellas, Managing Editor, Copy
Aliza is ecstatic to continue her work on The Lion’s Tale as Managing Editor, Copy in the upcoming year. In her past year as Opinion Editor, Aliza found passion in writing timely articles, editing interesting stories, and designing spreads. Outside of the Pub Hub, Aliza dedicates her time to her role as Junior Class President, the Regional Vice President of Membership in BBYO’s D.C. Council, and her role as Editor-in-Chief of The Melting Pot. Aliza is eager to get started on developing the paper’s writing and ensuring that every web and print article is as polished as can be.  

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