A Stereotype That I Just Can't Seem to Shake

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So we're all aware of the stereotypical softball player right?

 

When I think of the sterotypical softball player, I think of adjectives such as athletic, hard-working, agile, and intelligent.

But I also realize that when most of you think of a softball player, you think GAY. Why? Why is it that I work so hard to play a sport that I love, when that often is wasted on a sterotype that really doesn't even have any support? It's extremely frustrating when someone asks me what sport I play and when I say softball, I get that look. It's that look where if they don't question my own sexuality, they look at me as if they are so sorry that I have to deal with so many lesbians. Personally, I feel like that is a horrible generalization of my sport.

I will be the first one to admit that I am not the most liberal person out there in the world, but this conversation has nothing to do with being liberal or conservative. It has to do with the reputation of softball and why girls' talent is overlooked because some people are more concerned with a stereotype than with taking us seriously.

It shouldn't matter whether a person is straight or gay. Can they play the game? Can they play the game well? Those are the attributes that should be paid attention. If a softball has talent, then that is what matters.

Graham Hays of ESPN wrote a great article about Lauren Lappin, a true softball star who just happens to be gay. It was about her ability to play the game at a high level and how her sexual orientation has nothing to do with that. I may not personally agree with her lifestyle choice, but that doesn't mean that I can't praise her for her incredible talent. Nothing should take that away from any athlete.

 

7 Comments

Honestly, I hadn't given the gay labeling of female althetes much thought. But I can see why it happens so often. Athletes need to be strong, and it is ingrained in our culture to associate strength with masculinity. I admire women who posses the physicality necessary to play sports. I think of all the training that must go along with it and know it's not something I could do. Stereotypes stink,but they aren't likely to go away. So, keep you're head up, keep doing what you love, and, maybe, wear more skirts ( couldn't hurt, right?).

I agree with April, I myself have never heard or seen this stereotype against female softball players. I completely understanding how this stereotype would get anyone upset. I can tell you now that everyone has a stereotype upon them. It is jus up to that individual to have the strength to ignore it and to not feed into what everyone "claims" to think of them. Keep your head up & never let dumb stereotypes like this frustrate you :)

Really? I can't imagine how difficult it must be for you softball players to be so venomously labeled and discriminated agaisnt in such a way. I mean the labels and stereotypes you all face day in and day out must be crippling let alone having to deal with the other injustices facing you such as not being allowed to marry, not being allowed to serve in the military. I mean when I discovered that softball players could actually be fired from their jobs just for being softball players I was shocked. Not being able to adopt children and start a family must be awful. I can't believe that softball players can actually be barred from visiting their spouse while they die in the hospital just because you guys play softball. While I'll admit I don't agree with your lifestyle choice I feel your pain. Stay strong, some day you will overcome....some day.

I agree that the point of the blog was to say that the stereotype actually has nothing to do with what's important, which is how one plays the sport. Notice this quote: "It shouldn't matter whether a person is straight or gay. Can they play the game? Can they play the game well? Those are the attributes that should be paid attention. If a softball has talent, then that is what matters."
I agree, Jered, that homosexuals are discriminated against, and many things that happen to them are unfair. I can sympathize with your indignation. However, attacking a blog for no reason does not further your cause, and in fact serves only to isolate you.

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This page contains a single entry by BethAnneSwartzwelder published on October 13, 2010 7:20 PM.

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