It’s tournament day, and junior Delaney Villarreal is up against a regular opponent. She has been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for four years, but the sexism she experiences is something she never stops fighting.
“My opponents will often take the competition casually. I get so irritated… I have also had a particularly annoying competitor that claimed the win [at my first tournament] was given rather than earned, therefore implying that he would never lose to a girl, much less a 13-year-old,” Villarreal said.
The gender discrimination Villarreal experiences is nothing new. Girls face opposition when they play male-dominated sports simply for being female.
“A coach will tell their male athlete, ‘You just got beat by a girl,’ to try to motivate them,” senior Katie Petersen said. “Why should that matter?” Petersen, a national-award-winning trapshooter, said she is sometimes the only female at a tournament. Nonetheless, she tries to see the other competitors at trapshooting tournaments equally, regardless of gender.
Femininity could be a roadblock on the path to success in sports that are seen as “boys’ activities,” but these girls don’t see it that way. Sophomore Megan Doehner, a Marian trapshooter for the last two years, loves being in a mostly male sport. “Walking up to the line to shoot and being the only girl gives me an extreme sense of pride.”
Despite being underestimated, these young women always keep their heads up and aren’t afraid to excel in what they love, even if it means taking their male opponents by surprise. Doehner said something that many women may agree with: “Women should never limit themselves… Just because a sport has been male-dominated in the past doesn’t limit its future. We are the future!”
Women have competed in athletic activities for years now, and they have been breaking records and making history. Unfortunately, many people still discriminate against them simply because of their gender. Women and girls are told that they shouldn’t be playing “men’s sports,” and that girls can’t be strong or athletic. It’s a sad and upsetting notion, but the Marian girls on this page don’t let themselves be held back by anything. Sexism doesn’t stop these Marian girls from doing what they love.
Zoe Zier ’19: Kickboxing
“My family loves that I’m doing kickboxing, my dad especially. He finds comfort in knowing that I can defend myself. My sisters do it with me and we all love it.”
Cayden Crosby-Wilson ’19: Basketball
“I think that girls are able to do anything a guy can. We may not have as much body strength or lift weights but we have rights to play, and if we care about the sport like the guys do, then we should get every chance like they do.”
Megan Doehner ’18: Trapshooting
“Honestly, I love being in a male-dominated sport. Walking up to the line to shoot and being the only girl gives me an extreme sense of pride.”
Katie Peterson ’16: Trapshooting
“Sometimes a coach will tell their male athlete, ‘You just got beat by a girl,’ to try and motivate them. Why should that matter?”