Student Reporting Labs tackles gender stereotyping in sports


>>Sreenivasan: ON THIS SUPER BOWL SUNDAY, WE’RE TAKING A LOOK AT WHAT YOUTH AROUND THE COUNTRY ARE SAYING ABOUT MISCONCEPTIONS AND STEREOTYPES OF GENDER IN SPORTS. IT’S PART OF THE PBS NEWSHOUR STUDENT REPORTING LAB SERIES “NO LABELS ATTACHED.”>>FOUR, FIVE, SIX, SEVEN…>>THERE’S A STEREOTYPE ABOUT FEMALE ATHLETES BECAUSE WOMEN AND GIRLS ALWAYS GET UNDERESTIMATED.>>MANY PEOPLE THINK THAT IT’S A MAN’S SPORT, BUT I’M SHOWING THEM IT’S NOT.>>I WAS LIKE, OH, SNAP, YOU GET TO HIT PEOPLE. LIKE, I’M ON THE LINE, WE’RE DOING HAND-TO-HAND COMBAT IN THE TRENCHES.>>I THINK PEOPLE HAVE STEREOTYPES FOR FEMALE WRESTLERS THAT THEY JUST WRESTLE FOR ATTENTION, OR THEY’RE NOT FULLY COMMITTED TO THE SPORT.>>SHE’S A WRESTLER. SHE… WE TREAT HER LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE. SHE WRESTLES THE BOYS. THERE’S NO DIFFERENCE.>>SO, I STARTED BOXING WHEN I WAS NINE YEARS OLD. I WAS ONE OF THE FEW GIRLS AT THE GYM, BUT I REALLY DIDN’T FEEL INTIMIDATED. I FELT MORE… I FELT SPECIAL, IN A WAY. STEREOTYPES SOMETIMES CAN BE HELPFUL AS MOTIVATION, TO SHOW THE WORLD WHAT YOU CAN DO AND WHO YOU ARE.>>I FIRST STARTED CHEERLEADING BECAUSE I WANTED TO LEARN HOW TO TUMBLE. AND I CAME TO ONE OF THOSE OPEN PRACTICES AND I JUST FELL IN LOVE WITH IT. ONCE OR TWICE, THEY’D PROBABLY CALL ME GAY OR THEY’D PROBABLY BE LIKE, “OH, HE’S SO FEM BOY.” BUT REALLY THAT’S NOT HOW IT IS ON THE COMPETITION FLOOR. BEING THE ONLY MALE ON THE TEAM, IT DOESN’T MAKE ME INSECURE ABOUT MY SPOT OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT.>>I FEEL LIKE HE’S GOTTEN THE GIRLS, YOU KNOW, EXCITED ABOUT THE SEASON. THE DYNAMIC OF THE TEAM’S DEFINITELY INCREASED, I FEEL LIKE IN A POSITIVE WAY.>>WELL, IT DOESN’T MATTER IF YOUR MALE OR FEMALE, YOU KNOW, IF YOU PUT IN THE WORK, YOU WILL BE SUCCESSFUL. AND WE ALWAYS SAY THAT TO BE THE BEST, YOU GOT WORK HARDER THAN EVERYBODY ELSE.

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