Tag Archives: Sport

H

At school they have recently just started cricket as a sporting option for the girls, and having joined the team, in the 8 weeks of the summer term every single one us (the team) including myself have experienced countless displays of sexism. Firstly, the boys 1st XI at school- I will start by saying this doesn’t apply to every member of the boys 1st team (and a handful of them have been extremely supportive, encouraging and helpful, giving tips and advice aswell as running some drills for us in training. Which I know all of us really appreciate) but as my friends and I have counted 3/4 them (and this is only the boys 1st team not including some of the other boys, and even teachers) have made many, *MANY* digs, comments about the idea of having ‘GIRLS plays CRICKET?!’ “You do realise the ball is actually hard” “Why don’t you stick to rounders” “the idea of the girls cricket team is an embarrassment to both the school and the sport” “they only did it to get the kit”. Besides all the comments, there are also the glares, the sniggers, the laughs, when they walk past us training aswell as every time the sport cricket, or girls sports options come up in lessons, where not just the boys first team, but many boys (and even the odd girl) dropping their sexist comments. I do realise we arnt yet amazing, or ready to step into lords cricket ground for a game any time soon. But for everyone of us this of us this is the first time we have ever played the sport, we are still learning the rules, and techniques, it goes without saying we arnt amazing, not because we are ‘girls’ but because we have only just started. Who says some of the boys who play in the first team, or any team for that matter were the next Fred Trueman upon there first ever attempt at bowling? BUT, we all LOVE the sport so far, and not a single person on the team isn’t super enthusiastic or excited for next training session and anything cricket (despite the constant sexism we seem to be facing) but it’s now lead to some of the team feeling embarrassed and nervous to play, some are now afraid they will drop the ball and people will see and judge them, that they are happy to be put as one of the last to bat as they don’t want people to laugh if they miss. The other day our ball bag went missing and 2 of the team were asked to go to the next pitch to ask the head cricket coach (who was coaching many of sexist 1st XI) for some of their balls. The 2 girls were too worried the boys were going to make digs, and after being told they were silly for thinking this from the girls coach, the entire team said they would feel the same had they been asked to fetch the balls. After they did go to get the balls they had received 3 comments from the boys aswell as many laughs and sniggers. I personally think this is so outrageous, and unacceptable, not just that one incident, (and it was one of many, I won’t list them all) but the whole all of it, Is it REALLY that big of a deal? Girls playing cricket? Girls playing sport? NO! And I must say we appreciate that the head of sport has now had some stern words with some of them (however the boys havnt taken much notice) and the head of cricket is just as genuinely enthusiastic and excited about the girls cricket team as we are. Also, my own uncle said to me “why are you playing cricket, it’s bit of a manly sport for a girl like you” when he saw me wearing my kit after training. This filled me with anger. Also, when playing in a cricket match and I was off, sitting and watching a grandad spectator I was talking to said when I was called on to play ” watch you don’t chip a nail” before slapping my bum. (?!?!?!?!?!?!?) It honestly makes me sick in this day and age such sexism is still going on! I do realise people are victims of far worse sexist offences, but just simply girls playing some cricket has sparked THIS much? It also really highlights it’s just as big of an issue amongst the young as the old, and isn’t just an ‘generation difference’ as those my age and younger are part of the problem so blaming the old guy that slapped my bum aswell as my uncle, the ‘generation difference’ is NOT an excuse as it’s clearly having a MASSIVE impact on the younger/my generation. I won’t name the other and main sport I participate in. But it’s a sport society labels a ‘girls’ sport, but if I found out if they were making a boys team I would be so happy and excited that more people are participating in it, and not once would it cross my mind that ‘BOYS are doing a GIRLS sport?!?’, as I really HATE accosiating or labelling genders with sports. Even if someone, regardless of their sex wasn’t very good the sport I do, seeing their passion and enthusiasm would make me equally excited and enthusiastic and I would be eager to help if they ever wanted it. Why is it any different with GIRLS doing ‘BOYS sports’ it’s not fair. I do appologise for the long story, but sport is somthing that should NOT have any gender boundaries, and something that can bring so much happiness and joy to everyone who wishes to take part. So if a girl is playing football, or a boy playing netball, please courage them, and say good on them as its no different to boys playing football or girls playing netball.

Emma

Sport is apparently still in the dark ages. I tweet one thing about football fans invading the pitch at the national stadium and I’m greeted by several men responding or quoting the tweet as “Your GF’s back on Twitter” and “Thanks for that, Emma” along with taking several screenshots of when I either block them or delete the tweet to joke about, to then find out a twitter account had been retweeting all posts from “women/football journos/easily offended” despite there being hundreds of male fans criticising the incident. If you’re a female football fan with an opinion, you’re not only a football fan but you’re ridiculed for your opinion as you’re a women. No, I am a football fan first and foremost, I have the same knowledge as a male football fan.

Holly

I cycle and cycle quite a lot. To and from work, which is a school, and at weekends. I used to run but I became quickly self conscious. I used to keep tabs on the type of comments men would make, and how often. They are pretty much always directed at my appearance when I am exercising in public. I can’t be bothered any more. I am not thin, and I do not have an athletic body, I am reasonably fit and happy with that. I really enjoy cycling. However, I get shouted at, abused and heckled in the most cowardly way when I exercise in public. Men shout and make comments and then drive off. Some audible and some not. ALL THE TIME. They laugh, and they generally comment on my appearance. These are some of the comments I have had: move your fat arse you fat bitch, show us your thong, show us your bra, give it up, give me your number. They try and get me to stop, they laugh, they try and get my attention, they patronise, call me brave, and check my lights are working (!!), ask me to smile more, ask me why I am not smiling (classic I know), make comments about my legs, about my helmet, about the position I am riding in, they question all aspects of me as a female cyclist who does not look like an athletic person riding a bike. But I won’t stop cycling. I won’t stop.

Holly

I cycle and cycle quite a lot. To and from work, which is a school, and at weekends. I used to run but I became quickly self conscious. I used to keep tabs on the type of comments men would make, and how often. They are pretty much always directed at my appearance when I am exercising in public. I can’t be bothered any more. I am not thin, and I do not have an athletic body, I am reasonably fit and happy with that. I really enjoy cycling. However, I get shouted at, abused and heckled in the most cowardly way when I exercise in public. Men shout and make comments and then drive off. Some audible and some not. ALL THE TIME. They laugh, and they generally comment on my appearance. These are some of the comments I have had: move your fat arse you fat bitch, show us your thong, show us your bra, give it up, give me your number. They try and get me to stop, they laugh, they try and get my attention, they patronise, call me brave, and check my lights are working (!!), ask me to smile more, ask me why I am not smiling (classic I know), make comments about my legs, about my helmet, about the position I am riding in, they question all aspects of me as a female cyclist who does not look like an athletic person riding a bike. But I won’t stop cycling. I won’t stop.

emma

I’ve been skating in indoor skate parks for a couple of years now. Everyone has been great – lots of people tend to keep to themselves, & that’s fine, but some will chat & have been friendly. But I had a weird incident recently. Usually, everyone takes turns on the ramps. Sometimes, folk ride quite close, but your trajectory is respected. But for this session, I had this young lad constantly crashing my line. No matter which part of the park, I’d set off, he’d overtake so he could hit the end ramp 1st, then he’d turn into my line. When I moved across the park, he’d follow me, & do it again. There was some shouting too, to his mates, not directed at me, but I couldn’t make out what. I’ve never had this before, & I’ve never seen this happen to anyone else. It was clearly a territorial display. After doing this on & off for about 20 minutes, he finally quit. The parks are all ages. He was about 13/14 I’d guess. I’m 47.

C

A few years ago I asked some of the boys if I could play soccer on their team, they all just laughed at me and told me I couldn’t play because I was a girl and ‘girls aren’t as good as boys at soccer ‘. I felt really offended because I do rep soccer so I stole the ball they were playing with because it technically mine… Serves them right Although the did push me over and try to punch me So I kicked them I know it’s not right to hurt people but I didn’t want to seem weak and I didn’t want them to get away with it.

Jeannie

I play rugby at my local club and I love it. I love the club, too. I’m the team captain and a trustee, one of six people responsible for the long term sustainability of community rugby in my local area. Last Saturday I was watching out men’s first team play at home along with about 300 other spectators. Our men’s second team didn’t have a game so the were having a few beers and supporting, but not in a positive way – lots of goading and chanting aimed at the opposition and the opposition fans. Eventually I approached them and asked them to be positive and respect all the players; they simply laughed in my face. Every single one. It’s been on my mind ever since because it made me feel like a fool and made me question whether I had over reacted, which I hadn’t. It reminded me that respect is sometimes still dictated by gender, by age, by position (none of those men knew I’m a trustee), and that pack mentality is an unpleasant thing. It really got under my skin.

Kali

A guy in my sporting group only ever asks me about my private life or work. I told him I don’t want to talk about those things when I’m working out. He responded by snipping ‘Geez, you’re hard work to have a conversation with. You never talk about anything. You choose the topic, then!’ I let my actions do the talking, turned on my heel and walked away.

T_K

One of my earliest memories is going to football camp with my brother. I was five, he was seven. The camp was for five-eight year olds, and about fifty kids went. I was the only girl. Nobody – except my brother – would pass the ball to me, and most days I was the goalkeeper, because nobody wanted to be it. I was always picked last, and none of my brother’s friends would speak to his ‘kid sister’. I was actually one of the better goalkeepers there – says a lot – but, after I let a goal in – a boy on my team shoved me over. I landed on my face, got a nosebleed and he called me a ‘crybaby’. I left camp early, and haven’t dared to touch a football since.