The big difference in how the community supports and prioritizes girls’ and boys’ sports teams make girls feel disrespected
I was in assembly, and someone went up to announce the girl’s game,” senior Idalia Kaplan, a player on the Varsity Girls Basketball team said. “They said that it was at 4:30, and that people should come support. A guy behind me said, ‘come at six, because that’s when the real game is’.”
While both the girls’ and boys’ varsity teams are ranked second in their leagues, the girls’ basketball team seems to receive far less attention. While it is there is more support for the male basketball team, there appears to be no special reason why Girls Varsity Basketball receives so much less support than the boys team.
Kaplan said, “Around Middle School I started being treated differently. I am just as competitive as the guys, but because I am a girl there was an ingrained sexism that left me excluded.”
Sadly, a large portion of the small cluster of fans at the girls’ basketball home games are parents of players and people who are only there so they can watch the boys’ game that comes after the girls.
“I’m just so tired of seeing people come in the last five minutes of our game for the next game,” sophomore Melissa Funes said. According to Funes, people often come to watch the third or fourth quarter of the girls game, but only because they are planning to watch the boys’ game afterwards.
“At this point we’ve all learned that it’s just something you have to accept because we haven’t been able to find a way to change it at all. We had a lot of new people on our team this year. I think they were kind of surprised that a lot of people only showed up for the boys’ game,” Funes said.
On the other hand, some people believe that there are other reasons such as location and general low school spirit that contribute to the girls’ games being less attended.
“I think a lot of it depends on when the games are being played,” Athletic Director Rebecca Moe said. Moe personally believes that gender is not the main factor in determining which games get support and which do not.
“It’s definitely more student body than it is the administration. Mrs. Moe does a fantastic job. She played college sports and she probably understands sexism in sports first hand,” said senior Story Bernstein.
“Part of the problem is that our spirit is already pretty low,” Bernstein said.
“There is a difference. There is definitely less [support] for the girls’ games, especially during the larger games” senior Thomas Butler said. Butler is on the boys’ basketball team. According to Butler, when there is a girls’ game and then a boys’ game, the boys’ team often stays and supports the girls’ game until they have to go warm up for their own game.
One part of the problem is that the community seems to have a general lack of respect for the girls’ teams.
“We have so many talented athletes on the team, for example Melissa, who averages 20 points a game, and it’s disrespectful that people discredit her, just because she is female. I feel really disrespected when teachers come into the gym at the end of our game and their reason for not attending the girls’ game is that they had to correct papers. They never use the boys’ game as the time to do their work,” Kaplan said.
By Shawn Owens