This I Believe

Rachel - Oak Park, California
Entered on October 26, 2006

Playing as a Girl

I am a struggling freshman in high school and has just turned fourteen. I suppose one of the most important aspects about me is that I’m a girl. But the thing is, I’m a tom girl, meaning that in my free time, instead of shopping, or worrying about make-up, I play sports and work out. I soon as I enter a mixed sport, it is immediate that since I am a girl, I can’t play, and therefore, I never get to contribute to the game. I believe in not being prejudged for who I am.

Every year, it’s always the same. Physical Education starts out with a sport, and I never get passed the ball. It’s always the boys who always get them. And constantly, every year, I have to work hard to make a name for myself. I always feel like as if I’m waving around a sign every minute that said, “Hey! Over here! I can throw the ball! There are more than two players on your team!” It’s always the same, and I get tired of it. It’s not uncommon for me to storm to the next period, raving and spitting at a poor passerby about violent ways to get payback.

It hasn’t even been more than two months, and there already have been several examples of prejudice. During volleyball, our team captain decided that he could play the role of six people by himself, and began flying all around the court once the ball was in play, tossing all rules and regulations aside. Football was no better. The team leader was firm in his belief that only himself and two other players were enough for the game. I would be standing completely open, waving my hands frantically, and yet the ball would still fly towards a guarded teammate. Even when we were losing horribly, he still persisted in his ‘strategy.’ I suppose what makes me so bitter, is that even though I personally went up to these team captains and told them clearly what my problem was with the whole setup of the team participation, they ignored me and continued with their play.

I often wonder what would have happened if I were a boy. I would be thought of as a good player, or if not, even being considered the worst player on the team would be fine with me, because at the rate I am at right now, I’m not even considered a team member.

I hope that one day, I’ll be able to go to P.E. and be immediately passed the ball. I hope that one day, I’ll be able to go to P.E., and not have to work my butt off just to participate in the activity. I hope that one day, everyone would be considered equal, and that things such as racism and especially sexism will not exist. This I believe.