Posted by: caitlinmcclay | April 3, 2014

I loved the article on women and sports as well as our class discussion.  I think that sports are vitally important for girls because they teach them life skills.  If we stop or hinder girls from fully participating in sports, it can lead to a lack of skills or experiences that will help them in their futures.  Sports teach both boys and girls to be competitive, use teamwork, and have self-confidence.  These skills are vitally important for both men and women in all facets of life.  If we deprive women of this experience, we are limiting them later in life.  In class we have discussed ways we can change how girls are socialized.  I think that sports is a great way to accomplish that socialization.  Sports teach women that it is okay to have power and to use power.  It teaches them the appropriate ways to use power.  Further, it teaches girls and women how to set and reach goals.  These things are all great in developing the young women we want to become future leaders.  As adults, we need to make the constant decision to encourage girls to participate in sports.  We need to teach women to be proud of their talent and skills pertaining to their particular sports.  We need to actively work to stop the negative stereotypes of women playing sports.  We talk all of the time about how women should be able to choose whatever career they want, free from judgement.  The same should be true for women in sports.  We should allow them to play or participate in whatever they want.  Ultimately, it isn’t our place to judge and that sentiment applies to everything.  When we can remove the stigma and negative stereotypes from women and sports, it could be even more widely used as a socialization tool for girls.

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Responses

  1. I, too, really liked the discussion on sports. I played sports all my life and found that they really helped form my leadership abilities. It is important to tell girls that they can be or do whatever they set their minds too, including sports. Girls, at any age, need to feel confident. The stereotypes revolving around girls and sports make achieving confidence difficult. You are right, it is not our place to judge who should play which sport, but rather encourage whatever choice is made.

    Stereotyping in sports needs to stop. If it does, I think we, as a society, will see an improvement in girls confidence levels. This could also lead to confidence in other aspects of life, including the workforce. It has to start somewhere, and I think the sports would is the perfect place.

  2. I am very pro-sports for girls. Sports teach girls how to be strong, competitive, determined, and confident – all of which are necessary to succeed. I think that stereotyping in sports is still an issue, but not nearly as bad as it has been in the past. A prime example of a decrease of stereotyping took place when I was in high school and there was a female on a football team in Virginia Beach. She was the only girl on the team and was their kicker, which is a difficult position especially for a girl. She practiced with the team, worked out with the team, and was not discriminated against just for her gender. She was great at her position and everyone respected her for it, which most people wouldn’t think of! I think that this is the prime example of decreased stereotyping in sports and maybe this will lead to more and more examples of men and female on non-stereotypical sports teams for their genders.

  3. I totally agree with you Caitlin. I started playing sports in 4th grade and if someone had told me I couldn’t because I was a female than it would have pissed me off. I would play football and kickball with my cousin and his friends and even though I was normally the only girl I would make sure I played just as hard as the boys. They all knew I would never back down from them because I love to win and wanted to win. Even in high school I was dominate and competitive. I was told by several of my teammates that I was scary because of how I played. And because of playing sports I did learn a lot about my self and I had my first leadership position while being on a sports team. I think all the negativity associated with female athletes is dumb. Women who are strong, competitive, and powerful should be role models for women, not hated on because of those qualities.

  4. I started playing softball with a rec league back home when I was in the 5th grade. I continued to play until different obstacles kept me from it. I think that girls playing sports would really help their self esteem. I know that it really helped me when I joined a travel team. I suddenly had to play with new girls I never met before and had to make friends. I was a very shy child so I know that playing sports helped me learn to get out of my comfort zone when I’m trying to meet new people. I think it is important for girls to know how much this could help them experience new places later on in life! My friend currently plays for D1 school, the Arizona Wildcats, because of all the hard work she put into softball. She worked past the barrier of coming from a small town and accomplished her dream to play competitively at the college level.

  5. I agree and think it’s important to focus on the benefit sports has on individuals, regardless of gender. Our society creates a resistance against the progression in typically masculine fields, and women must work much harder to achieve a status than a man. Many individuals are blinded by gender and to the progress that women can achieve through sports. Women should be allowed to decide how they present themselves and aspire towards what they want to achieve without having society dictate their own success.


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