Saturday, October 09, 2010

"if you let me play" - nike ad

apparently, wonderful things happen when you let girls play sports. lots of organizations and women's groups go on and on about this, and it's true -- playing sports does wonders for self-esteem, leadership and teamwork skills, overall health and issues like obesity and diabetes and osteoporosis and, well, pregnancy. what they don't mention is that girls are less likely to play sports because of that pesky gay factor. they don't want to be perceived of as butch.

let's face it. most people who see a woman playing sports assume that she's a lesbian. especially if it's softball. it's quite the stereotype -- the strong, physically capable woman taking the field and playing with other women who are just as able-bodied as she is -- and like most stereotypes, there's enough of a grain of truth in there to tilt any bent perspective. why they don't assume these things about men who play sports? there's certainly plenty of closeted professional male athletes out there. but for some, being gay isn't necessarily considered masculine. and what's more masculine than a basketball player?
look what they did to elena kagan with that photo of her at bat in the wall street journal. softball=lesbian? really?

it's hard enough to be a high school girl that's waking up to your sexuality in this media-saturated age without having everyone assume that you're into girls just because you can play ball as well as any boy. all anyone needs is the whiff of an assumption and whatever they think is true. and who wants that zipping around the world on facebook? what with all the hell gay/lesbian teens have always caught, it's a wonder girls play sports at all.

so hats off to the girls that do play sports. and yeah. i ran track.

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