Female athletes face lesbian stereotype
Many sports in modern society are based predominantly upon males. Although some sports do mainly have males playing, that does not exclude girls from joining in.
Scott High School sophomore Courtney Goodwin said, "I play many sports, whether it's for a team or just for fun. But if a guy can play a sport, a girl can play it just as well. I don't think that titling a sport as [being for a] male or female is right."
Freshman Carolyn Green agreed. "Sports aren't just for males; females can play, too!"
Many sports are co-ed, or at least have teams for both males and females. That isn't the issue. The issue is the name-calling, the talk. At school, rumors often fly about how this person is gay or that person is a lesbian. Female athletes are especially affected by this. The stereotype is that if a female plays sports, then she is a homosexual.
Goodwin has been a victim of this. Since the ninth grade, she has been called a lesbian just because she plays sports.
This is also the case for Green. "I have been playing basketball my entire life, but ever since I made the basketball team at Scott, rumors have been made that I am a lesbian."
Though it's less common, male athletes can be affected by this, too. Some sports, like cheerleading, are seen by the majority of people as female sports, but that doesn't mean that males can't participate. Male cheerleaders aren't uncommon, especially in college. Some people may think that's odd, but just because it's different from what they normally see doesn't mean it's wrong.
Freshman softball player Samantha Duffey said, "The stereotypes [about female athletes being lesbians] that people portray around schools aren't right. The fact that a male or female can't participate in an athletic activity is senseless."
Being active is a way of staying healthy and fit. For some girls, being active means playing a sport. Why should they be called names for this?
Many girls say that soccer, basketball and softball are the sports where name-calling often happens. Freshman Alyssa Smith, a former soccer player, said, "I think that since boys play these sports also, then the fact that a girl would play it makes it wrong and gay."
She added that girls shouldn't dwell on being called names because if they love a sport, then they shouldn't let others ruin it for them.