I will admit to being one of the girliest girls on the planet. My favorite colors are pink and purple, I have a pink and sparkly phone case, I like wearing skirts and dresses, I focus a little bit too much of my time on boys, I am obsessed with LUSH, and I have recently gotten pretty into make-up. In fact, I may have ended up spending half of my last paycheck at Sephora. I also want to go into teaching, something that is seen as a traditionally female field. I completely identify as a heterosexual female. However, there is one part of my personality that does not completely fit the stereotype of a woman: I love sports. I love the competition. I love the athleticism.
I went to the NHL Draft yesterday. It was an amazing and fun experience to have the opportunity to see boys about my age start their professional career in the sport I love most, hockey. While we were walking in, a newscaster stopped my step-dad and asked him questions about trades that our favorite NHL team, the Chicago Blackhawks, had made that morning. I was standing there with my stepdad's cousin, having opinions but not being given the opportunity to voice them. We watch just as many games and follow the news just as closely; why weren't we being asked questions? Could it be because we were women?
I am not trying to bash men here. This radio broadcaster may have just seen my stepdad first, and there are many men in the world who would love to have a conversation with a woman about sports or other "masculine" topics. However, I want to remind everyone that it is okay to violate traditional gender stereotypes and roles, whether you are cisgender or transgender, heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, asexual, or any other gender identity or sexual orientation. Girls can like sports or cars. Boys can like dolls or princesses. This is something I even remind my preschoolers about on a pretty consistent basis. If a child makes a comment about something being a "boy" game or a "girl" toy, I remind them that anyone can play whatever they would like to. Be who you want to be, identify with whatever gender identity and sexual orientation you feel represents you, and never apologize.