There has always been prejudice when it comes to gender and sports. It is easy to point this kind of discrimination by identifying the ways in which people especially males will react when you tell them that you are participating in particular sports. In the contemporary world where transgender and homosexuality exists, people have perceptions that if you find a girl or a woman taking part in particular sports such as football and athletics, they are probably homosexual. All these thoughts are attributed by the fact that the modern sports were primarily developed for men by men. The prejudice was high to the level that women could not take part in ancient Olympics (BBC, 2015). As a woman, there are some sports which are hard to take part in because of gender identity connected to them though a current study has shown that women are as capable as men to get involved in any game or activity.
I decided to explore and take part in basketball sports which is more of men’s leisure activity. I have always enjoyed watching people play basketball from far and this time round, I got a chance to take part in this sport as leisure activity. There is a basketball court in my neighborhood and I had some friends visiting my place. Majority of them play basketball in their college and they could not resist the temptation to go have some fun on the basketball court which was not far away from our house. I decided to join them on that Saturday evening and learn some basics. My motivation for joining them was to also to have fun while at the same time get the feeling of playing this sport game which is identified mostly for men.
Basketball is considered more of men’s leisure sport than women’s because of the requirements for the players. Majority of the people who play basketball are tall and majority of men have greater growth spurt making them taller than women (Ross, 2015). The discrepancy in the level of height among the two genders has been a disadvantage to women when it comes to playing basketball as leisure activity. There are also beliefs that individuals who are short will underperform in this kind of sports because they do not have the right height to score the ball. However, my thoughts and feelings regarding basketball based on gender identity is totally different. The reality is that the height of an individual whether male or female is determined by their genes thus this should not be enough reason to prevent a particular gender or person from playing basketball. At the same time, there are those who are naturally skilled and talented to play any kind of sports thus should be given a chance to explore their talent regardless of their gender (BBC, 2015). I feel that gender variance is just an excuse to discriminate on women from playing this kind of sport.
This assignment changed my view regarding gender identity in various ways: it showed me that women have the same potential as men regardless of their genetic makeup. At the same time, I learnt that anyone can get involved in any particular leisure activity whether it is known to be for men or women and end up enjoying it.
Based on the activity, I came to the realization that what a person needs to excel in basketball is talent and intense practice not gender identity. Currently there are several women across the world that are performing well in basketball and competing across the world including in Olympics. This is reason enough to prove that women can take part in any particular activity do it for leisure or as a hobby. After playing with my friends, despite the hardship that I experienced, at least I managed to enjoy myself and that is the overall meaning in everything that we do.
BBC. (2015, July 28). Sport and gender: A history of bad science and ‘biological racism.’