Wednesday, August 14, 2013

"It's not sexist to say men are stronger than women."

...Ok so maybe that's a misleading quote from this afternoon's WMST Brown Bag, but nonetheless it struck a chord with me. During today's brown bag on Title IX and women's athletics there was, per usual, great food and conversation. If I'm remembering correctly, the first question during Q&A's was from a young woman who asked if the ultimate goal should be co-ed sports if we're assuming that separate is inherently unequal. The answer was interesting. I think when it comes to equality, every group is looking for a different form of equality. Some groups want everyone to mix it up while others want their own path to succeed. It seemed from the panel, that these women were okay with there being both men's and women's sports. I'm going have to both agree and disagree with that stance.
I DISAGREE because I think that with many sports, the woman's version is the less exciting version of the male sport. I know in women's lacrosse, they are not allowed to play as aggressively and dirty as the men are allowed. Just the existence of "softball" instead of "women's baseball" has inherent sexism both in name and activity. Also, having coached a co-ed baseball team of 3rd and 4th graders over the summer, I can assure you that the girls had NO problems handling a baseball. Having gender segregated sports also allows for gender specific uniform changes that are wholly unnecessary. Women's lacrosse and field hockey require players to wear kilts, while men's lacrosse players wear shorts. Anyone ever wonder why? I do every time I watch a game. I can't think of anything other than the sexualization of our female athletes.

On the other hand, I AGREE because of a comment made from a member of the panel this afternoon. Men's sports do not need to be the benchmark for women's sports and vice versa. Women's sports can exist on entirely different field than men's. As long as they're not competing against each other, who says they need to play by the same rules?

By: Renyelle Jimenez


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