It’s time to play fair: Why can’t female athletes be just as competitive as men?
Do you remember your childhood when your parents signed you up for pretty much everything, whether you wanted to or not?
Growing up, I tried all sorts of different things, from Tee-ball and swimming to gymnastics and golf.
Let’s just say I couldn’t hit that baseball off the tee to save my life, and I cried until my mom pulled me out of the pool. With gymnastics, I would run and jump off the springboard into the pile of sponged-boxes, hiding until the instructor found me.
And those golf lessons didn’t last much longer after my mom noticed I was focusing more on the boys in polos rather than concentrating on my swing.
Luckily, I either hated those sports or wasn’t good at them, and thankfully, I grew to be 6’1” by the seventh grade.
So naturally, I gravitated toward those sports made for the tall kids like basketball and volleyball, and I also somehow got thrown in goal as a soccer goalie.
Throughout those years, I was one of those girls who threw it down in foursquare with the boys during recess. The jump skirt didn’t stop me then and it still doesn’t.
My competitive edge has gotten me to where I am today: a four-year starting middle blocker for the Seton Hall women’s volleyball team.
Each player on the team, whether she starts or will never set foot on the court, has that same aggressive spirit. That determined drive has become the norm, expected every game, even every practice.
It wasn’t until this past weekend when I realized the different expectations of male and female athletes.
A Seton Hall alum who attended our match at Marquette anonymously posted on a volleyball blog, expressing the embarrassment of her alma mater from our tenacious style of play. The post ended up extending to five, maybe even six pages, loaded with comments, both good and bad.
Yes, we’re feminine, but we’re also athletes. I don’t want to be treated differently than male athletes just because I’m a girl. Female athletes shouldn’t be held to higher standards.
If guys can scream when excited or yell at refs when frustrated, why can’t we?
What’s the difference if we slap each other’s butts, slide on our knees and let a curse word slip out? It shouldn’t be considered any worse than when a guy does the same.
If anything, it should be expected more from female athletes, since women are typically more emotional than men.
Just like men’s teams, we have a passion for our sport, which is expressed whether winning or losing. Any female athlete shouldn’t be ridiculed or reprimanded for her competitiveness and love of the game…just because of being a girl.