Sports are neither manly nor feminine October 6, 2010 — by Aanchal Mohan and Megan Benzing When the starting kicker of the Romeo High School Bulldogs in Dakota, Mich., could not attend a football game on Sept. 10, the team had to call for reinforcements. Their temporary kicker rose to the occasion, successfully making a field goal and two extra points. For most football teams, this situation would be no big deal, except that this was not a normal team and not a normal kicker. Romeo High School's kicker led her team to victory. When the starting kicker of the Romeo High School Bulldogs in Dakota, Mich., could not attend a football game on Sept. 10, the team had to call for reinforcements. Their temporary kicker rose to the occasion, successfully making a field goal and two extra points. For most football teams, this situation would be no big deal, except that this was not a normal team and not a normal kicker. Romeo High School’s kicker led her team to victory. Ashley Flinn had always been a fan of football and jumped at the opportunity to play for her high school team. After the game was over, she told the Detroit Free Press that maybe she wasn’t ready to give up football at all. “I’ve always wanted to actually play, not just kick,” Flinn said. In the past there has been much speculation on whether women should be allowed to participate in sports that have been considered men’s sports, such as football or wrestling. However, women are just as capable as men to take part in these sports and should not be criticized for attempting to do so. Flinn had originally been invited to try out for kicker as a joke, but she took advantage of the opportunity and stunned the coaching staff by out-kicking the opposing male competition, showing that women have the ability to perform at a higher level then they are given credit for. It is true that women do not have the same physical build as that of men, and is understandable to keep teams separated by gender, but even if a female is to play on a men’s sports team, it shouldn’t cause as much hype as it does. The world seems to perceive women as weak and inferior to men when it comes to sports. The rules of baseball were modified to create softball for women because women were not expected to compete at such a high level, and similarly, lacrosse has been altered for men and women. This prejudice does not only apply to women; men are ridiculed for playing sports that are predominately considered women’s sports. How often does one come across a men’s field hockey team? Very rarely. This same condescending opinion holds true for cheer-leading as well. In high school, though there are no rules preventing girls from trying out for boys’ sports, and vice versa, the stereotypes created by students dominate one’s desire to participate in a specific sport. If a girl wants to play football, she is deemed manly. If a boy plays a sport which has been coined as a “woman’s sport,” he is said to be feminine. Yes, it has been scientifically proven that men are in fact physically stronger than women, but what relevance would this difference in strength have if women were to play against themselves? Combining women and men to be on the same team would create unnecessary controversy; instead, a seperate league, such as for football, for women could be created, solving this trite issue of differences in strength and resilience. This entire injustice of sexism in sports leads to unfair perceptions. Different sports should not be termed as either feminine or manly. Appreciation of sports and athletes should be based on players’ skill, and skill alone.