English GT 1A
Silly Princess, Baseball's For Boys
My name Brittany and I'm an athletic, fifteen year old student from a high school in Dundalk, Maryland. I believe strongly that sports should not be gendered due to the fact that it causes students to miss out on opportunities in the athletic department. Gendering sports makes the male gender seem superior to the female gender due to the female sports' lack of high contact sports.
Since a young child, I've always shown an interest in athletics. I've been a dedicated watcher of the NFL, NBA, and MLB for as long as I can remember. I remember bonding over football teams and baseball teams with many of my school friends, and wanting to play in the MLB, so I did my research on how I could get signed. I later discovered that the MLB never had a female player because females are not seen equal to men when it comes to sports. Not only that but I found that a lot of people in the MLB played baseball in high school and to my dismay, upon entering elementary school, I soon discovered that there wasn't a girls baseball team and they only offered it to boys.
However in Baltimore "Ninety six percent of recreational centers offer coed sports in baseball, football, and soccer." According to mdsportsauthority.org. This being said, I joined a coed baseball team from age five to age eight until girls were unable to continue with baseball any more, and we had to switch to softball. At this point in time, my friends and I were confused as to why we couldn't be "one of the guys" and play baseball like them. I recall joining softball because it was seen as a sport that was the female equivalent to baseball. I really enjoyed the sport however, I didn't enjoy most of its rules that were made in order to make softball 'safer' than baseball. I remember feeling as if girls were being doubted of their abilities due to the fact that sports officials believed that we needed extra care and we needed a totally different way to play the same game because girls are generally seen as ‘weaker’ than boys. After many years of softball, I decided that I was going to join the boy’s baseball team in high school seeing as Title IX "allows girls and boys to have an equal opportunity in sports."
Freshman year came and I saw how hard and dedicated the boys were in playing the sport they wanted and I felt as if I would be judged if I joined their team so, out of fear and embarrassment, I decided to join softball instead. This caused me to miss an opportunity in life because of gendered sports. Although this is just my story, many other females and males feel the same way. According to Feminist.org "Eighty seven percent of students opt out of joining a sport deemed for the opposite gender in fear that they could not compare to the opposite gender."
Transgender students also miss out on opportunities regarding sports. According to lgbtsportsassociation.org "Seventy five percent of transgender students never join a sport in high school due to the fear of being placed in a sport that referenced their born gender." The way we can solve this? Remove the gender labels from the sports! Instead of it being known as 'Boys Football' make it 'Football'. Instead of it being known as 'Girls Field Hockey' make it 'Field Hockey'. One could argue that boys and girls have a completely different physique so it wouldn’t be fair for a girl to play on a boys sports team like football because, seeing as they’d be tackling and would be being tackled by boys much bigger and stronger than them, it would put them in danger.
Sports were created in order to connect others together but how can we be connected, when we're divided due to a simple label known as gender? Marylandsportsassociation.org proves that "Ninety one percent of students in coed sports are more outgoing and happier than those in gender assigned sports." At the end of the day, it's not that hard. Just remove the labels from sports. So, what's your move future President? Will you allow students to feel insecure and unincluded? Their future is in your hands. Good luck.