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It's Time to Give Female Olympic Athletes the Respect They Deserve

The Summer 2016 Olympics air tonight and for the first time in history, Team USA will have more female athletes on their team than anyone else in history. But even still, women in the Olympics are not treated equally. A video by ATTN shows that Olympic sportscasters comment on women's appearances twice as often as men. Rather than being judged by their athletic abilities, female athletes are being judged based on their looks—and that is simply not alright.

A clip in the video shows a sportscaster asking professional tennis player, Eugenie Bouchard, to "twirl around" so viewers could see her outfit, rather than discussing her athletic achievement. Another shows a spokesperson asking Serena Williams why she wasn't smiling or laughing after winning a match.

Sexism in sports is no secret, but it's even worse at the Olympics. After winning two gold medals at the 2012 Olympics, at just 14-years-old, Gabby Douglas was criticized for her hair. "Gabby Douglas is cute and all...but that hair....on camera," someone tweeted. According to ATTN, even the former mayor of London judged female Olympian volleyball players by their appearance, describing them as: "semi-naked women....glistening like wet otters." (Seriously, dude?)

Despite the number of male athletes who cry on live television after a major loss or win, the media describes them as strong and powerful, while female athletes are called emotional. Not cool.

So as you watch the Olympics' opening ceremony tonight, keep in mind that all the women in that arena worked just as hard as the guys. No question, comment, tweet, or Facebook post should be able to take away from that. The change starts with you.

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