The sexism that exists in the world of sports

Sitting on the Dorion/Rigaud commuter train Friday morning, I found myself becoming increasingly annoyed with one of the male passengers sitting two seats down from me. He was having a conversation with a female companion who either was or was pretending to be clueless in the area of female versus male sports. The male passenger told his friend how good he was at sports and how tough he was to endure such violent sports as rugby. Now if that wasn’t irritating enough, he then informed the woman that female sports are nowhere near as violent as male sports.

Sorry, what?!? Je ne comprends pas. Is this guy seriously trying to inform this innocent bystander that a female tackle isn’t as violent as a male tackle? Can someone explain this to me? I have been an athlete my whole life and for people who know me I am one of the most aggressive competitors on the playing field, and some may argue off the field as well.

So I started to think, why is it that this man has this perception of female sports? I had a teacher once, who got her trachea broken during a rugby game where she almost died because she was kicked in the throat. Now if that isn’t violent, I don’t know what is. I know that women’s hockey has different body contact rules, not allowing them to hit as much as the men can. Which in my opinion is quite ridiculous considering it is a female hitting another female, so they are on “equal” anatomical turf. However, the less body contact does make for a more technically skilled game. But even with the rules, I know some Concordia Stingers women’s hockey team members with a “wild” streak in them to put in lightly.

Another thing that interested me was a Montreal Gazette article about twin Winnipeg girls winning the case they brought before the Manitoba Human Rights Commission, to play on their high-school’s boys’ team. Under the Manitoba High Schools Athletic Association rules, the girls can only play on the boys’ team if there is no all-female team available to them. Unfortunately for the sisters, they were cut from the squad, but their case brings up many questions.

For example, should girls be able to play on boys’ teams and vice versa. I played hockey with guys from the age of five until I was 15, when I finally switched to girls hockey. I am five foot one, and there is no way I was going to be able to knock my six foot two, hormone raging, male opponent on his ass. However, there may be some girls who can.

It also raises the question of whether or not boys should be allowed to play on girls’ teams. I don’t even feel comfortable tackling that question. I believe that if you have the ability to play at a certain level, then that is the level you should play at. Whether it be a 16-year-old girl capable of competing physically with males of the same age or vice versa, I don’t think you should ever be allowed to take a step down, so that you end up being the best player on the team. If you are the best player on the team and there is no higher level for you than you are in the right place.

Both of these topics are highly debatable and please feel free to contact me with your opinion at [email protected].


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