The issues

We asked #respecHERgame Facebook group members the following question:
Has a male disc golfer ever made you feel uncomfortable at a disc golf course and/or on social media?

Pie chart

77% answered yes. This is unacceptable.


Sex·ism

Prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex.

In a male-dominated environment, overt and subtle sexism often goes unnoticed and unchecked. Most disc golfers are welcoming to women,  but may not realize some of the situations and structures that make the environment less welcoming. Some common examples of sexism in disc golf include referring to a weak throw as “Sally” or giving a compliment but ending with “…for a girl.” Additional acts of sexism include: lack of access to bathrooms, not offering the same division options, registration spots or trophies to women as men, and consistently carding women with juniors.

This campaign aims to bring awareness to these situations to create positive change.

Ob·jec·ti·fi·ca·tion

The action of degrading someone to the status of a mere object.

Objectification, usually with sexual undertones, is commonplace for female athletes and serves to undermine their accomplishments and self-esteem. Society’s emphasis on a women’s sex appeal over her accomplishments degrades female athletes and sets a dangerous precedent for future generations of women.  Disc golf is a revolutionary sport and has the opportunity to value women ethically, by focusing promotion on accomplishments and skills, rather than appearance.

This campaign is meant to bring awareness to the objectification and sexualization of female disc golfers, which is not welcome in this community. As a community, we can do better for our female athletes and the future of the women in this sport.

Sex·u·al ha·rass·ment

Behavior characterized by the making of unwelcome and inappropriate sexual remarks or physical advances in a workplace or other professional or social situation.

Disc golfers are a very social community, which is one of the best parts of this sport. However, many women are uncomfortable attending community events when they are constantly being hit on or messaged online by disc golfers looking to score a date or find that elusive disc golfing girlfriend. Women play this sport for many reasons, and it’s important to understand that she is there to golf, first and foremost, not find a partner.  Additionally, many women are uncomfortable playing courses alone or in mixed leagues, because they fear retaliation from unwelcome remarks or advances. Disc golf is not a dating tool.

This campaign aims to bring awareness to the fact that women are on the course to play disc golf, not to fend off potential suitors. There are many examples of sexual harassment that lead to sexual assault and this is not something we want the brave women of disc golf to be subjected to.

Bul·​ly·​ing

The use of force, coercion, or threat, to abuse, aggressively dominate or intimidate.

Bullying in disc golf often happens online,  but can also be an issue on the course. A recent study showed that female athletes are bullied three times more often than men. As online coverage of women has increased in disc golf, the bullying has been rampant. While the pervasive response has been to simply “ignore the trolls,” this does not serve the community at large. Simply ignoring hateful comments sends a message to the community and future players that we accept this negativity and requires the targets of this bullying to constantly block out the hate and not internalize it. Many times, this causes our most beloved players to retreat from social media and stop interacting with fans altogether.  It’s time to stop ignoring it and stand up to the hateful comments, both online and on the course. While this may not stop trolls from trolling, it will send a message to anyone who is a target and anyone reading the comments that this type of behavior is unacceptable and that the community at large supports women or any other target of bullying.

The campaign is meant to empower all players to stand up for targets of bullying and show the world that disc golfers care about one another and will not tolerate hate and negativity.