It's Time for Girls and Boys to Plays Sports Together
On the athletic field, in the gym, or on the ice, there have always been standards for the athletes to follow. These standards range from what type of athletic equipment is not only necessary but appropriate, to who can play when, where, and how. This last standard is the one that is being challenged the most; can men play not only on women’s teams, but can they also participate in female dominated sports without being taunted? The same goes for women, can females, without fear, really participate in traditionally male dominated sports? Although the social costs to the individual participating in the non-traditional sport are many, the benefits, if played well and correctly, can be and are quite plentiful as well.
For men, this desire to participate in traditionally female dominated sports is not quite as great as it is for females. This is because, honestly, men have a wealth of opportunities for athletics, whether it be professional or not, for every one chance women have. But, in the case that a male does want to participate in a female dominated sport, he will have a hard time being accepted, not necessarily by his female teammates, but by the society watching the sport. Traditionally, male athletes are supposed to be in rough and tumble sports. They are supposed to be hard bodied, passionate about the game, and willing to play no matter what the circumstances. Most female sports, even the female counterpart of a male sport, is less rough and tumble and less aggressive than male sports. For a man to participate in one of these sports he is likely to get laughed off the field, taunted with jeers of “homo” and suggestions that he is “not man enough” to play with the “real men” in traditionally male dominated sports. This can not only be damaging to the male playing, but it can also be damaging to the women playing. The jeers could become aimed at the women on the field or the ice and they could hint that women are not only incapable to play, but that since they need a man to join their team to help them, they obviously do not belong anywhere but on the sidelines.
This previous example is probably a little extreme, but the ideas behind it are quite real. Imagine a man walking onto the deck of a swimming pool, ready to compete in synchronized swimming. The expected first impression would be, “what the…?” because men are not supposed to be synchronized swimmers. There may not be jeers taunted at him, and he may not get made fun of, but he is not looked upon favorably by those watching the event. If, however, he is looked upon favorably, in whatever female dominated sport he is participating, the benefits could be plenty. Imagine the publicity the team would get, not to mention the only man on the team! The endorsements for athletic equipment, shoes, and many other things could support him for the rest of his life after just one year of playing. Being the only man on a professional or...