As if being female in the male-dominated world of sports wasn't hard enough. The story of a rare female matador has me thinking that being a woman in sports means even triumph is tinged with sadness.
Lupita Lopez has dreamed of being a professional matador since she was 11 years old. This month, at 32, she finally got the gig. She's only the fourth "matadora" in the world. Huzzah! But even as she celebrates, being female is working against her in the ring. Lopez told NPR she figures she has only "three or four years left in her career." Any guesses why, oh wise women? Hint: it's not because of the job -- one British matador made news last year for coming back out of retirement at 67 ... but he'd only retired at 62 to begin with.
Nope, Lopez wants to have kids with her husband one day. And after being gored in the groin three times already during her amateur career, it's a pretty safe bet that pregnancy and bullfighting don't mix. And at 32, she's fighting the biological clock. Add three years, and she hits that "magical age" when your OB/GYN starts telling you it's time to get your procreating on or risk never being a mom.
Her comments are honest but sad. There are plenty of jobs that don't mix well with pregnancy, and as women we make do. But usually we don't have to fight tooth and nail to get into them. That's what being a woman in sports, however, is all about.
Fighting. Having to prove yourself twice as many times. The average age for matadors in Spain is 25 to 30. Which means most of them are YOUNGER. In fact, the minimum age requirement is 16. Lopez is literally double that age. And despite working toward this for more than half of her life, she hasn't been afforded the same chances as the guys.
That in and of itself is unfair, but what's even more unfair is that now that Lopez has beaten the odds, she's still getting screwed by her gender. Wanting to be a mom means she needs to give up something she loves and something she's worked for for more than two decades, just because the powers that be held off so long at letting her into their little man club?
Will women in sports ever have it as good as the guys?
Image via YouTube