From birth, gender is one important thing that identifies who you are, Or at least that’s what we were taught from a young age. Gender is one simple thing that can be not thoroughly understood. A topic that has given us so many normative narratives to discuss, especially throughout this class. However, I have to admit this class is the most informational way I have received information about gender. In this activity, the one thing that had been brought to my attention was that women are meant to be in the house; cleaning, cooking and doing laundry. Not out playing professional sports like many males do. I have found that Dylans Blog and Brayden’s Blog have connections to my blog as we are both discussing gender in sports and physical activity.
Dylan’s story ” Gender” represents the idea that girls can play a male’s sport too, but get judged harshly from the other team because of her gender. He talks about how “She was the best guard on our team, I had always admired her play style.” To me, that statement means that a girl is totally capable of being able to play a high-level sport with male athletes and be able to keep up with them even if she is a different gender. In our readings, we had to read about ” Discourses of Sexism in Advertising” (DiAngelo & Sensoy, 2012 pg. 108) Sports was hugely emphasized in this chapter. The quote ” Girls and women in sports are not taken seriously in the mainstream culture.” (DiAngelo & Sensoy, 2012 pg. 108) Relates to Dylan’s story as the boys felt they couldn’t play as hard against her because she was a girl, they looked at her gender and judged her. They did not look at the talented young athletic female she was. Dylan continues to describe the settings and then goes to say the other team complains and uses the excuse ” they felt they weren’t allowed to play as hard.” I can relate this to my story as the boys were judging me based on my gender saying I wasn’t capable to do something athletic because I was a girl. Which had made me angry and wanting to prove them wrong, but for some girls, it would’ve had strongly discouraged them into quitting. Brayden’s story ” Gender” explains how his gym class was also split up by gender but his teacher had given him an explanation “Some felt that it would be fairer and some people would feel more comfortable if we split up the two genders.” I think his teacher had given a reasonable answer as in My story my teacher had not given us an explanation as to why the gym classes had to be separated by gender.
The normative narrative present in the two stories that had all related to mine was girls weren’t taken seriously when it came to sports and being physically active. As girls, we had gotten based on our gender, not our talent. It is clear in Dylan’s Story and My Story that the normative narrative had been girls weren’t taken seriously when it came to sports. As a young girl, I can remember being heavily involved in many organized sports throughout my community and had enjoyed it. It had created lifelong memories with friends and I learned many life skills I use today. As a young girl growing up girls were based in the category of being smart and boys were dumb, girls weren’t athletic and boys were. Our society and created gender norms for us to believe in that affected us in a negative way.
The book ” Is Everyone really equal ? ” has connected the idea of ” Girls and women in sports are not taken seriously in the mainstream culture.” (DiAngelo & Sensoy, 2012 pg. 108) That idea is represented in all three stories. Although Dylan Story talks more about girls being judged based on their gender and Brayden Story talks about how gender is split up because of comfort and privacy reasons they both have connections to My Story as I talk about both.
I think that Dylan’s Story tries to disrupt the normative narrative of girls being able to play a high-level sport and keep up with the males. Not having to judge everything off gender. In the book, it talks about Hayley Wickenheiser playing hockey and it not being a very feminine sport. I compared the book to Dylan’s Story as they were similar because of two females playing a “mans sport”. The girl in Dylan’s Story is playing football and in the book, Hayley is playing hockey. ” However, the stereotype of women hockey players not being feminine follows Wickenheiser as it does all female players.”(DiAngelo & Sensoy, 2012 pg. 108) Two girls playing not so feminine sports would often have been called “TomBoy” because they had been involved with a “males” sport. A common issue with having gender-based sports.
To be a girl has been defined into many stereotypical words including… pretty, smart, kind, and shows emotions to be a boy has been defined as… rough, dumb, athletic and not to show emotions. Our book has given the statement ” We are socialized to perceive and values these categories differently”(DiAngelo & Sensoy, 2012 pg.51) In My Story I talk about how the boys degraded my ability to do something athletic and the statement in the book proves that when given these categories we all perceive them in a different way. Some may use it as a challenge to prove them wrong or some may take it negatively. In Dylans Story, the girl who played football may have taken the other team saying “” they felt they weren’t allowed to play as hard.” very harshly and have felt like she let her team down because of her gender. I can now understand why girls wanted to be in a separate gym class, I had looked at my story differently. With the help of reading Brayden’s Story as well. Being born a female has led to many challenges but after doing this assignment I have realized that gender should not stop you from doing what you love or are passionate for.
Sensoy, O., & DiAngelo, R. (2012). Is Everyone Really Equal?: An Introduction to Key Concepts in Social Justice Education. New York, United States of America: Teachers College Press.