After reading many of my peer’s blog posts, I’ve found that there are many normative narratives highlighted in each post. I made connections to the posts that highlighted the normative narratives of gender and sexism. Growing up as a girl in a male dominate house hold has lead me to believe that a lot of my insights have stemmed from a biased male perspective about women being the weaker sex. I connected to Natasha’s blog post when she explains that at recess she would have much rather played “hockey, basketball, and slow pitch.” She later refers to herself as a tomboy. Google defines a tomboy as, “girl who exhibits characteristics or behaviours of a boy.” Natasha is labelled as a tomboy because she played ‘boy’ sports and games. It is now clear to me that playing ‘boy’ games is a normative narrative. Before this class, I found it very natural to comply with sexist labels and I never truly realized how sexist the label ‘tomboy’ is. We learn at a young age that playing these sports as girls is considered to be counter to the norm and that excepting sexist labels are implanted into us to seem normal. It is easy to comply with the terms of ‘playing a boy sport.’ But, it is empowering to overcome the ideology of a ‘girl’.
Stated in many of my female classmate posts, it is clear that we have all faced some kind of discrimination when it comes to playing sports. Elara expresses in her blog that her Dad suggests that she should ‘stick to ballet’. I resonate with this because there have been numerous times where I have been told to stick to dance or that I should play on a lower, less intense team. Thinking back to my blog, my coach told me I should be placed on a lower level team. It’s evident that the reasoning behind his decision wasn’t because I wasn’t skilled enough; it was because my gender is female. It was evident that I was placed on the lower level team because my gender is female. I can recall many situations when I was discouraged about being a girl when playing with or against boys. I connected to when Alex said, “In the back of my head, the comments made by those boys… has made me refrain and hold back in those sports, reinforcing the stereotypes, discrimination and prejudice that come along with being a gendered female.” I can relate to this greatly, although I still continue to play the sports I love and rebel against the ‘normal’ stereotypes and ideologies, the damaging comments that I have experienced remain at the back of my mind. It is interesting to read that in this Gender Discrimination Article that, “40 percent of women experience gender discrimination in the sports industry,” which clearly illustrates the outcome of normative narrative oppression of females in the sporting world. It is comforting to know that so many women have felt this discrimination and that I wasn’t allow. Although, the normative narratives create doubt, they also creates ambition for women to rise above the stereotypes they face. Conclusively, it is hard to stray away from the ‘normal’ ideologies, due to the ideologies that have been ingrained in us by the culture, media, and perspectives of the world.
Kylie’s blog post is disruptive to the normative narratives. She writes, “I am just as capable as a boy is to play any sport I want. I have seen what people think about girls playing ‘boy’ sports and it’s not necessarily always good.” This is counter to the norm, because of the idea that ‘girls can’t play boy sports.’ Her title, “Girls Can Play Football Too” Kylie disrupts the societal norms that girls are too fragile, innocent, and weak to play football. Although, she talks about the struggles playing football, she counteracts it by continuing to play the sport she loves and combat the ideologies of girls. I can relate to this because I understand what it is like being a girl and playing a ‘boy’ sport or against a male sports team. It’s discriminating to feel unwanted on the boys team and it is degrading to feel like the boys are going to ‘take it easy’ when challenging a girl’s team. Kylie chose not silence the gender inequality and the stigma around women’s athleticism, instead she challenged it and disrupted the normative narrative.
In the book Is Everyone Really Equal by Ozlem Sensoy and Robin DiAngelo, they discuss how the “culture reinforces the idea that girls’ sports are not as valuable since girls in sports don’t “go” anywhere in terms of professional leagues.”(108). This reinforces the oppression of male dominance in sports and ultimately emphasizes the normative narratives surrounding the women in sports today. In order to disrupt these social norms, we have to understand them first. Ozlem Sensoy and Robin DiAngelo eloquently describe cultural norms and conformity when they explained a situation when it would not be normal for women to have hairy armpits. They write, “she has the right to not shave under her arms, she also has to deal with the consequences of that choice… she will face looks of disgust, pressure from family and friends, and questions about her sexuality and her hygiene.” Further, they talk about how “she jeopardizes her status a ‘normal’ member of society.”(41). Although, this is only an example, it connects to Kylie’s post when she goes against the social norms. Kylie and many other girls face these negative connotations when resisting against the social norms by; playing a ‘boy’ sport or not dressing in pink and dancing ballet. Despite, what society labels as ‘normal’ it is important to disrupt these normative narratives contend with prejudice, discrimination, and gender inequalities.
Pettyjohn, Natasha. “Gender Inequality On The Playground.” Natasha Pettyjohn’s Blog, WordPress, 23 Oct. 2018.
Trischuk, Elara. “SELF-STORY #3 – YOU PLAY LIKE A GIRL.” Elara The Educator,
WordPress, 23 Oct. 2018.
Buzash, Alex. “WRITING THE SELF #3- GENDERED IN SPORTS.” Alex Buzash’s Blog, WordPress, 22 Oct. 2018.
Escott, Kylie. “Writing the Self 3: Girls Can Play Football Too.” Kylie Escott’s Blog, WordPress, 23 Oct. 2018.
Independent Wed Article:
Sensoy, Ozlem, and Robin J. DiAngelo. Is Everyone Really Equal?: an Introduction to Key Concepts in Social Justice Education. 2nd ed., Teachers College Press, 2017.