Girls play sports, too

Last week the adorable GoldieBlox video made everyone smile and pointed out the idiocy of how toys are marketed to girls. If you haven’t yet watched the video, it’s worth a peek:

This week, everyone seems to be annoyed with GoldieBlox because the Beastie Boys are mad that their song was parodied in the video. This blog post is not about that, but if you need to know more, check out this good breakdown – GoldieBlox and the Three MCs.

This blog post is about the emotions that were brought up with everyone’s first reaction to the GoldieBlox video: girls are more than just frilly and pink.

My niece is 13 and is awesome at volleyball, basketball, and softball. It’s kind of a no brainer that cool gifts for her would include some sports-related items like t-shirts and posters. She already has some great t-shirts that say things like: “You wish you threw like a girl.”

But finding those great items is not as easy as I thought it would be. Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised because if you look in the toy aisles at any department store it’s clear that the sports stuff is no where near the pink aisle, but searching online I thought I’d find better stuff.

On the first page of Google search results for “sports gifts girls” are some idiotic things:

  • Pottery Barn Teen Gifts for Girls Sports Decor page is full of sports posters…of men. Okay, there are a couple of women, but why is the basketball poster men? Last I remember, we even had a professional women’s basketball league in this country, and you can bet my niece knows some players.
  • Gifts.com All-Star Athlete Gifts for Teen Girls has things like a frame for cheerleaders, a frame for your football player boyfriend, ping pong sets, and a ton of t-shirts for male professional sports teams. Although, if you look at the All-Star Athlete Gifts for Teen Boys it’s really not much better, but it’s all very male-centric, so they at least have someone who looks like them on the crappy gifts.
  • Sporty Chick: Sports Gifts for Athletic Friends is Seventeen Magazine’s suggestions for gifts you’d get sporty friends, because apparently sporty friends wouldn’t be caught dead reading Seventeen. Either you’re girly and read Seventeen or you’re sporty and don’t, of course. Some gems in the Seventeen suggestions: gluing paste because “Just because she’s sweating on the field, doesn’t mean she could care less about her hair!” (their grammar mistake, not mine); and the Unruly Hair Beware Set because “It comes with all sorts of hair ties, headbands, and clips so she can look cute, even when she’s working up a sweat!”

This is just depressing, because doing the same search for boys yields way better results. But girls play sports, too.

No, really, they do. Lean in, male-centric world, because you need to hear this.

Girls play softball, which is pretty similar to your baseball. The ball is a bit bigger, and the bases aren’t as far away, but it’s pretty much the same. Did I blow your mind?

Well how about this: they also play basketball. I know! It’s crazy, but it’s true.

And don’t even get me started about swimming, golf, car racing, volleyball, football, cheerleading, lacrosse, tennis, etc. If you look real close, you’ll see women playing all of these things. You may have to remove your rose-colored-sports-equals-men glasses first, but don’t be alarmed with what you see. It’s not a threat to you, it’s just women playing sports.

And since women are playing sports, you know what? They’d also like to buy t-shirts and posters showing them playing these sports. I know that may seem like an odd concept, because we should be looking up to the real sports figures, the men, but every now and then it’d be cool to see a women on a poster. Maybe young, impressionable girls seeing themselves on a sports poster, besides cheering for a man, would be a good thing. Just a thought.

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