“You kick like a girl.” Have you heard this statement before? As an MMA enthusiast, I have heard it a million times.
Most people, specifically guys, would directly associate such a statement as an offense to their not so “athletic” teammate that hasn’t really been displaying quite a powerful performance. You see, gender roles, and until this very day, have had a major impact on a girl’s true passion towards a specific sport labeled or deemed as “too masculine”. That being said, you see lots of girls, ever since they’re young, being directed towards practicing sports such as ballet, gymnastics, and cheerleading. That doesn’t always mean all of them are actually into such sports, but the reason behind going after them is ignited by peer pressure to “fit in”, or simply by parents with the traditional and stereotypical mindsets that divide sports into two types: feminine and masculine.
It is too absurd and unfortunate that despite all of the achievements women have accomplished in several fields, people still restrict some sports as “too tough” for girls to handle. The most irritating part about it is when girls do actually take action into joining or practicing sports such as soccer, or even martial arts (i.e. kickboxing, karate…), the first thing they are called is a “ tomboy” – a girl who lacks or has absolutely no femininity and is often deemed as “macho.” Imagine having to deal with such prejudice and misogynist accusations and judgements just because you simply went after a passion of yours. Crazy right?
Well here’s the thing, passion differs from one individual to another. It is the fuel that our instincts, choices, and behaviors feed on which in turn encourages uniqueness between human beings and gives them a sense of identity. It’s what gets them through the day. So, for those who underestimate women being a part of the so called “masculine sports,” try competing with one that is insanely passionate, and I guarantee it wouldn’t be an easy competition, but rather one that’s full of surprises. Yes, just as you can find these typical women who are passionate cooks and housewives, there are those who are capable of kicking your stereotypes straight to the bin in any given sports activity. You name it.
It’s about time we overcome and demolish such restrictive gender norms, let alone realize how trivial they are and that we do not have to act upon them. Who says being tough and aggressive is not very much “ladylike”? No one has the right in standing in the way of what makes you “you”!
If you’re still doubtful about taking such a step or possibly scared of being judged, keep this quote – my personal favorite – in mind: “Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.”
- Zeina Atwi
Communication and Social Media Student