Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Being the only girl in a male dominated sports team!

My son plays basketball in a well organized league with about 15 teams. His coach is female. She's the only one.

He's also on an indoor soccer team made up of 14 players (two teams). There is only one female on the team. Again, she's the only one.

Now, I'm sure there are female teams for this one girl to join, but I appreciate that this child (and her parents) chose to have her play with all boys. Is it this type of girl that grows up to be the only coach in a male dominated league? And why is there even still such rampant gender division in sports?

I don't know the answer, but I do know that as I consider identifying an extracurricular sport for my five-year old daughter, everyone in our circle has suggested ballet. Yes, everyone has made the same recommendation and it couldn't be a more feminine choice. There she will not be the only girl, but one of many. 

This is all driven by society's still prevalent gender divide. For now, all I can do is encourage my daughter to be different and not live up to male versus female stereotypes. I do the same with my sons and together we live in a home that is relentless about making sure colors (pink or blue) or sports (soccer or ballet) don't define us. After all it is this reinforcement that will make all the difference when my daughter has to fight for equal wages and opportunity in a still gender-imbalanced career world. 

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