Archive for the ‘Gender Diversity’ Category

Gender Diversity at MKA: Trick or Treat

Saturday, January 26th, 2013

by Alex Stern

I remember Halloween being one of my favorite holidays when I was a kid. I’d dress up in a costume and run from house to house with my friends as we collected candy and other goodies. Then we’d go back to one of our houses and compare our respective hauls.

But once you reach high school, Halloween changes from a fun night filled with trick-or-treating, into a night of parties and mischief. However, one thing that’s stayed the same is that, no matter how old you are, people still like to dress up in costumes. When we were kids, these costumes were often superheroes and princesses.

But once you get older, the costumes get more substantially more inappropriate. Girls now take Halloween as an opportunity to dress as sexually as possible. What was once a witch has now become a “slutty witch.” If girls want guys to stop objectifying them, a good place to start might be dressing more respectably on Halloween. •

Gender Diversity: Sports Reinforce Gender Roles

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

by Kassie Fotiadis

For the first time this past fall season, the MKA Volleyball team faced a gender issue. Before freshman Shelly Tsirulik brought up the issue, no boy had ever expressed interest in being a member. Shelly was not allowed to play, as it is a single-gender team, and he instead served as the manager for the 2012 season. Now, Shelly is trying to create a boys’ Volleyball team, but a lack of interest from MKA boys proves it difficult. Why does volleyball, an Olympic sport, only seem desirable to girls at MKA?

 

A few days ago, one of my friends observed that the MKA Hockey team does not allow girls. This, however, is not true. The Hockey team has a female goalie this year, Alex Reynolds ’15, and the Middle School team has another new female member: Erin Buckley, a 6th grader. Our community automatically assumes that the team excludes girls, perhaps because the sport is often viewed as “roughhousing” and “masculine.”

 

There are few teams at MKA that are co-ed and spark a large interest for both males and females. In fact, only two popular ones exist: the Swim and Track teams, both of which are non-contact sports.

 

A favorite House game among Upper School students is the male Step performance. MKA students – myself included – find boys’ stepping hysterical. What most people don’t know is that the regular Step Team tryouts are open to both boys and girls.

 

It is surprising and sad that in such a supposedly progressive society, there are still gender issues in high school sports. Males and females are not taught in class separately and do not participate in extracurricular activities separately. Yet we are almost always placed on separate sports teams. And though it is true that there are biological differences between boys and girls, as boys are physically stronger (though it kills me to admit it), why are so many sports limited to a specific gender? It seems to me that every boys’ sport should be replicated to include a girls’ team, and vice versa.

 

Perhaps school sports operate in such a gender-specific way because we attempt to emulate the real world. Professional sports contain just as much gender differentiation as that of the lower level. In professional tennis, for instance, men play 3 out of 5 sets, while women play just 2 out of 3. Even if a man can be biologically stronger, it is not proven that he has more stamina than a woman. So why is he believed to be able to play for a longer time?

 

The only way to fix a problem like the gender issues in sports is to change the system. I commend Shelly for attempting to start a boys’ volleyball team, and I wish him success. As this year’s diversity theme is gender issues, I encourage the rest of the MKA community to keep it in mind, even in areas like sports.