Personal view on gender in sports: fighting the norms

Nayeli Esquilin

Nowadays, children always want to be in the sport they admire and try to be the best like their favorite athletes, but what happens if they want to join a team whose norm is for the opposite sex? For example, a young man joining a cheer team or a young lady wanting to join a football team.

Can young people these days join a team and not be judged for their gender?  Can we learn to accept others because they’re boy or a girl?

Women were finally allowed to join the Olympics only 104 years ago, so young people joining specific sports may not be accepted in today’s society. But we can’t just sit back and let old traditions keep happening just because that is the way it has always been. Things need to change. People need to speak up and break barriers. As Martin Luther King Jr. once said,“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

At least one young lady at Dobie is already breaking barriers. Traeh Haynes is a member of the Football A-team. She isn’t the first girl to play football, but sadly, it is still very rare. Haynes is an inspiration for young girls who want to join football, but who are afraid they may be judged by others. “I started playing (football) with my cousin when I was only 9 years old  and my coach helped me through. I was part of the Jaguar’s team, a boys & girls club,  said Haynes. “I was proud that I was the only girl on the team so far & I was treated just like one of the guys, once they saw how good I was.”

When asked if she had any words or encouragement for girls who may want to boys sports, she responded, “Girls are stronger than boys and don’t let them judge you because you’re a girl.“    

When asked if gender really matters, students’ answers were similar. “I don’t think it still matters, people should be able to do want they want, not meaning break the rules, but with themselves. Equal rights you know?“  Kayla Reisner said. “ Equal rights for women, rights for men, we all have rights but right now, it seems that we don’t which is really messed up! “

“ To me? Not anymore,” says  Leondra Ovalle, 8th grader, “It really shouldn’t matter. I think  we all should be on each other’s team and be together in every decision we make.”

When Antonio Ovalle, 7th grader,  was asked this question, he thought about it for a minute or two and replied, “ I don’t think it matters , because you are who you are and you don’t need to pretend you’re something you’re not.” He paused for another moment, then said: “Do what you want anyways and don’t let other people’s words affect you.”