In case you missed it, there are some people out there proving that chauvinism is alive well in the 21st century. Russian tennis chief Shamil Tarpishchev seemed to have lost control of his good sense when he called Venus and Serena Williams the "Williams brothers" on a Russian talk show. He has since apologized for his comments, in which he also said the game's most iconic figures were "scary to look at." Tarpischev was fined $25,000 and suspended for a year despite his assertion that he had no malicious intentions.
Just a note, any time you compare women to men, especially in sports, it's bound to be offensive. So this is a list—not just of women who do it just as well (or better) than men—but of women who are just downright badass. And it’s one thing to just be a badass, but these women absolutely dominate in their respective fields. Here's our little ode to girl power. Because there’s nothing more we love than a woman who can kick ass.
This woman is the definition of kick-ass. She is an American mixed martial artist, UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion, and the last Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Champion. Rousey became the first American woman to earn her Olympic medal in Judo at the Summer Olympics in Beijing in 2008. She is undefeated, and won eight of her ten fights by armbar.
You’re looking at the most successful woman in the history of American open-wheel racing. She won in the 2008 Indy Japan 300 and is the only women’s victory in the IndyCar series. In 2013 she became the first female NASCAR driver to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole, turning in the fastest qualifying lap since 1990 in qualifying for the Daytona 500.
As of October 6, 2014 this Russian tennis superstar is ranked world No. 2 by the Women’s Tennis Association, and her popularity has landed her commercial deals with Nike and Tiffany & Co., making her a savvy business woman as well as an incredible athlete.
Watch out for this woman on the slopes. Vonn is an American World Cup alpine ski racer on the United States Ski Team. Her accomplishments include four World Cup championships– which means she is only one of two female skiers to do so, ever.
One of the fiercest women’s basketball players, Parker plays for the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks and UMMC Ekaterinburg of Russia. She is best known for being the first woman to dunk in an NCAA tournament game, the first woman to dunk twice in a college game, and only the second player to dunk in a WNBA game in 2008.
The only female to win the Crossfit Games twice in 2011 and 2012, she is also the co-owner of a gym in Iceland, where she coaches. Thorisdottir is a star Crossfit athlete, an experienced gymnast of eight years, a ballet dancer of two years, and she hopes to go to medical school. Oh, yeah, and she can probably kick your ass.
Meet one of the newest dominators of women's basketball. Diggins was drafted third overall by the Tulsa Shock in the 2013 WNBA draft and was a McDonald’s All-American coming out of high school, where she then went on to play point guard for Notre Dame and is their all-time leading scorer with 2,357 points.
If Reebok declares her the “Fittest Woman on Earth,” we’re pretty sure we believe them. The college student-turned-Crossfit star from Richelieu, Quebec, has made a huge splash in the Reebok Crossfit Games by taking home the 2014 title, which she in order to win had to complete a 1,000-meter swim, overhead squats, rope climbs, and other compound movements faster than all of the other competitors.
An American track and field sprint athlete who is an international competitor for the United States, this outstanding female athlete has brought home two Olympic silver medals and three world championship gold medals.
Talk about a woman with a career. This Serbian professional tennis player has career earnings just under $12 million, is ranked no. 7 by the Women’s Tennis Association, and has qualified for the annual WTA Tour Championships three times. She won the year-end WTA Tournament of Champions in 2010 and 2011, 15 WTA Tour singles titles, including one Grand Slam singles title, and was named one of the “30 Legends of Women’s Tennis: Past, Present and Future" by Time. As if all that doesn’t blow your mind, she was also included in the list of Top 100 Greatest Players Ever (which included both males and females).