“Tackling” Gender Roles

Special Edition Football Feature

Jaelyn Fudge, Staff Writer/Editor

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Ever heard the saying “…she can’t because she’s a girl” or the more common phrase “…girls can’t do that.”? Well this is for  everyone out there who believes different, and that girls can do anything boys can do. The real question is “Who says girls can’t?” As gender roles are continuously changing, society is becoming more accepting to the idea of women participating more in once male dominated fields. Who says girls can’t be doctors, scientists, engineers, or football players?? Don’t worry, you read it right; who says girls can’t play football? Although some may argue or disagree with the notion of girls playing football, those people probably haven’t met this year’s kicker for JV football. Meet Kenna Spear: the sophomore kicker for ERHS JV football, that definitely doesn’t “throw like a girl”.

While she’s defeating gender roles, and taking JV football by a storm, Kenna and I had an opportunity to sit and talk about how her experience has been so far on the team. “I really love being on the team. It’s cool, you know, like being different. I was really afraid at first, I was nervous, but once I met the guys and got comfortable, its been really fun.” When asked how well she’s been adjusting , Kenna shares how her transition to the football team , and ultimately a male dominated sport has been so far. “For the most part, my adjustment and transition to the team has been pretty well, and overall, the guys on the team have been supportive and really helping me improve my game, which I really just take in and fuel into my sport.”

As for inspiration, Kenna explains the probably most intriguing question centered around her motives for playing football. “I think the biggest inspiration behind me wanting to play football came from my dad and friends because my dad played football his whole life, so I’ve grown up watching football and hearing his football stories. And as for my friends, I’m close with a lot of linemen on the football team, and we were all at my house messing around playing, and they were joking around like, “Hey you should join the team!” and two weeks later I did!”

Although this might have been an initial shock for the guys to have a girl on the team, Kenna assures that the boys were supportive and encouraging. “The boys play a huge role in it all. They’re really great and have really helped me out a lot, and just encourage me and push me at the same time, which really just makes me better.”

This being the first year in Roosevelt history where ERHS football has had a girl on the team, Kenna definitely breaks the status quo and has hopefully revolutionized the idea of girls participating in once male dominated sports. “I think its really amazing how now things are becoming more coed and girls are being involved in sports they were once told they couldn’t participate in. I think that’s really important because its true that girls can do anything, and being on the team has really showed that.”

Although there are some who may not be as embracing or accepting of the notion of girls playing a sport like football, Kenna is aware of the feedback, but doesn’t let that discourage her from living her dream; and continues to have perseverance and confidence, even when things become difficult. While Kenna talks about her personal inspirations, she herself, isn’t excluded from that as she  serves as an inspiration for girls out there who have been told they can’t do something because of the gender roles society’s placed upon them. Regardless of these gender stereotypes, Kenna exhibits persistence, talent, courage, and fearlessness on and  off the football field, and continues to “tackle” one problem at a time.

Good luck this season, Kenna!

*Google Images*

 

 

 

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“Tackling” Gender Roles