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Filed under Opinions

It’s ok to “throw like a girl”

Girls should be considered equal in sports.

Many+girls+feel+like+they+aren%27t+seen+as+good+players+because+of+their+gender+and+that+needs+to+change.+Girls+can+play+sports+just+like+men+can.
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It’s ok to “throw like a girl”

Many girls feel like they aren't seen as good players because of their gender and that needs to change. Girls can play sports just like men can.

Many girls feel like they aren't seen as good players because of their gender and that needs to change. Girls can play sports just like men can.

Photo Credit: Kelly Branco

Many girls feel like they aren't seen as good players because of their gender and that needs to change. Girls can play sports just like men can.

Photo Credit: Kelly Branco

Photo Credit: Kelly Branco

Many girls feel like they aren't seen as good players because of their gender and that needs to change. Girls can play sports just like men can.

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High school sports separate kids by gender when it comes to teams. There is “Girls Soccer” and “Boys Soccer” and “Girls Track” and “Boys Track.” Why separate athletes by genders? What makes the girls so different from the boys? Girls aren’t considered equal in sports and we should change that. More Co-ed sports should also start to become enforced in high schools.

“You throw like a girl” and Female Athletes in the Media

This phrase is one that most people have heard before, and it doesn’t have a positive connotation to it. Most people when saying that “you throw like a girl” it means that you throw weakly or do something really fussy. Why should doing things “like a girl” be considered a bad thing? What does this say about girls ability to play sports and how people view their ability to play sports? Girls can do anything that boys can do, if not more.

The media and high school sports focus on male figures and male sports teams. Have you ever heard of multiple girls playing on a football team? Or know that there is a Major League for Women’s Soccer and Major League for Women’s Basketball? Probably not. But you probably do know that we have a Major League for Men’s Baseball and Men’s Soccer. Why is this? What does this show to young girls and high school students who want to play sports? That girl’s sports isn’t as important?

The media puts female athletes under a bigger microscope than men. Serena Williams just voiced an ad for Nike that shows how women can defy the “norms” for sports. In this ad, Williams brings up the point that if a woman gets angry or freaks out the media calls them “hormonal” and “crazy,” but if a man does the same it is considered okay.

But really, it’s not okay. I think that we should encourage young female athletes and say that they should be strong instead of pushing them onto this “frail image”. Who says that girls can’t run fast and get their hands dirty?

Sexualizing female athletes

Photo Credit: Photo via Flickr under Creative Commons License
The women’s “lingerie football league” is called the “League of Legends’.

The media also sexualizes female athletes. One of the biggest culprits is the National Women’s Football League, which is a league for female football players. This is tackle football for women which is great because these girls don’t have to just play flag football. They can play the contact sport just like men but, the outfits they have to wear are very provocative. These women play football in lingerie and shoulder pads. They have to expose their bodies in order to play, and many men watch these games just to see the girls, not for the sport. What is this saying about how we view women in sports? That’s its all for show? Absolutely not. These women should not have to bear themselves to play a sport if men don’t have to. They can tackle and throw the ball like any other football player and don’t have to wear the bare minimum of an outfit to play.

Girls can do anything boys can do

With gendered sports teams usually, there are different rules for each sport. A big one that comes to mind is lacrosse. The rules for boys and girls lacrosse are so different, it’s like two entirely different sports. The girl’s version of lacrosse is extremely mild compared to the boys.

The amount of contact allowed, the number of players, and the size of the field are big differences in the two sports. Two entirely different sets of rules! The amount of contact that the players can have in each sport is the biggest difference. Why do girls have more monitoring when it comes to contact? An article by The Ithacan has a quote by a women’s lacrosse Coach Karrie Moore about the difference between the contact allowed in both sports: “There’s still a lot of contact; you can’t just outright hit somebody… The contact is more like basketball…”. For boys lacrosse the head coach, Jeff Long said that “hitting and being aggressive is not discouraged but is under watch at all times.” I think that if the boys are allowed to be aggressive, the girls should too. There’s no reason to minimize contact for girls; they can hit hard and be aggressive as well.

Girls can do many things that boys can do, like run fast and kick a ball far, if not even farther. They can even play football. There are not many female football players that are in the NFL. Just a couple months ago the first female skill position player was drafted into the NFL, her name is Toni Harris . She’s paving the way for young girls to tell them that they are strong enough to do what men can do.

Co-ed sports

Going onto co-ed sports in high school, I will say that some sports, if made co-ed would be a bad idea. Boys and girls do have different body structures. But for some sport,s there is no need to have to separate teams.

For example, integrating girls and boys lacrosse would cause lots more injuries because boys are very aggressive and have different physicality. But, the girls should have the same rules at the boys in lacrosse. Girls should be allowed to be as physical as they want. Football is another sport that I will say that females playing it wouldn’t be a bad idea, but at the same time, coaches might have to be mindful. Yes, there are concerns for injuries, but if a girl wants to play on a football team she shouldn’t be rejected. Around the country, coaches have rejected girls from joining football teams.

Most non-contact sports (i.e bowling, track, and tennis) should be co-ed. The only contact sports that I think should be integrated are soccer and ultimate frisbee. These sports aren’t physical so there’s no reason that these girls will get injured if that’s the main concern. Here at Colonia High School, we have a co-ed swimming team and golf team, and I think that that’s a great thing. Girls and boys can compete together and have fun without separation.

Benefits of co-ed sports teams

The biggest thing that comes to mind is the alienation between boys and girls once they start to reach high school and even in high school. This starts in middle school and goes into high school. I think that if we integrate these sports this awkwardness that both genders have around each other wouldn’t be as frequent. Also, this would eliminate any stereotypes that boys have against girls in sports. Hence getting rid of the negative connotation of the phrase: “you throw like a girl”.

Another benefit of co-ed teams is that it also creates a healthy sense of competition. What girl/boy doesn’t want to beat the opposite gender at something? I played on a co-ed soccer team when I was younger and it was so much fun trying to beat the boys at something.

Also, funding these sports teams wouldn’t cost as much money because you would be paying for one sports team instead of two separate ones. Schools, especially public schools worry about the costs for teams. If there is only one team, there will be less costs for things. If everything is paid together, then the school doesn’t have to pay for different uniforms and different equipment.

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About the Contributor
Kelly Branco, Art & Music Editor

Kelly Branco is a senior and this is her first year working on The Declaration. Branco is a fan of theater, she loves to perform and watch Broadway shows...

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