Our society is not blind to gender. From playground stereotypes to unequal pay in the workplace, our views of males and females are different in ways that they ought not be. This is true in the sports and fitness arena as well.
To remind ourselves of how what many perceive to be true often results from irrational cultural norms, here are 5 gender myths:
1. Pink is for Girls
Seems simple, right? Boys wear blue and girls wear pink. That's the way it's always been. Except it hasn't. In fact, pink wasn't considered a "female color" until the 1940s. In 1918, trade publication Earnshaw's Infants' Department said: "The generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl."
2. Cheerleading is Feminine
Presidents Dwight Eisenhower, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Ronald Reagan didn't have all that much in common, but each of them was an active cheerleader in college. Women were largely excluded from the sport of cheerleading until the 1960s, as the activity was considered "too masculine" due to the assumption that female participants would develop “unladylike” voices.
3. Girls Can't Play Ball
Mo'ne Davis not only plays with the boys, she dominates them. She's a Little League Baseball pitcher who threw a no-hitter in the Little League World Series at age 13. Last month, while the Major League Baseball season was in full swing, Mo'ne was "the most talked-about baseball player on earth." < The New York Times> Mo'ne was the first Little Leaguer (of either gender) to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated.
4. Women Are Weaker Than Men
The 1973 tennis match in which women's pro Billy Jean King beat retired men’s pro Bobby Riggs in three sets, dubbed the "Battle of the Sexes,", was not an isolated incident in which a female bested a male at sports. Earlier this year, Anthony Adams, a former defensive tackle for the Chicago Bears, "got a lesson in power from strongwoman Kim Baum," according to Muscle & Fitness, when they worked out together. She "kicked his butt" according to reports of the faceoff.
5. Women Don't Watch Sports
A common assumption is that while most men watch sports, women are disinterested. In the U.S., the National Football League is arguably considered the most manly of sports. However, according to Marie Claire, over 45 percent of NFL fans are female.
We hope that dispelling these gender myths was an eye-opening experience for you. We'd love to hear from you. What are some gender misconceptions that you or women you know have proven wrong? Comment on our Facebook page at facebook.com/flytefitness or tweet us at @flytefitness.
Be Flyte Fit,
Co-Founder & CEO