By: Danielle Spitz, Guest Blogger
Today, after my sister got home from field hockey practice, she entered the house in a rather passionate rage. It was really alarming because usually after she returns from practice she is completely worn out and doesn’t say a word. But I had never seen her with so much energy, so I knew something was wrong.
After calming her down, she finally told me about what had set her off. On some days the field hockey team and the football team share the field for practice, and today was one of those days. As my sister and her team were working on a drill, they couldn’t help but overhear the football coach yelling at the players on the football team. Apparently, the coach was getting frustrated with the team and yelled at the team, “You are all tackling like a bunch of field hockey players!”
And to make matters worse, my sister tried talking to some of the players after the incident happened, and not one of them even thought twice about it.
Wow. So I guess sexism really does exist in our everyday lives. I am not saying that the football coach said this to deliberately degrade women or that all of the players on the football team are sexists, because that would be ignorant. But I do believe that women’s sports are looked at as inferior to men’s sports in our society, and that field hockey players are perceived as wimpy and weak in comparison to football players.
I’m sure most of you have seen the Always “#likeagirl” ad online. For those of you who have not, it is a video that basically proves that the saying “like a girl” is thought of as a derogatory term to the general public, but women should be proud to run “like a girl” or throw “like a girl.” This concept directly correlates to what my sister witnessed today because the football coach practically yelled at the players for tackling like a girl.
Field hockey is only one of two sports at our school that is only played by girls, so the mention of the sport by the football coach was definitely not coincidental. But as women, we cannot let this phase us. The ugly truth is, we will have to deal with comments just like this one for our entire lives. But the way we react to them is what makes us strong. Because my sister was so upset by this situation, she is now motivated to play even harder and show how tough field hockey players are. And more importantly, how tough women are.
Again, to reiterate, I do not believe the football coach was trying to make a dig at women when he said what he did. However, I believe that as women of our generation, it is our duty to change the way women are automatically thought of as lesser than men, because as we all know, we are just as amazing.
Have you experienced the kind of negative treatment that Danielle describes because of your gender? What did you do about it? What did you learn or discover? Help us change the conversation and tell us your story here!
Danielle Spitz is a fashion obsessed 14-year-old student. Her hobbies include reading, writing, running track, and of course, shopping!
image via alwayslikeagirl