By Sakshi Kale

Why has the table tennis area as well as the football field automatically become a place only for boys? Is it because girls don’t take the initiative? Or is it because boys dominate the sports section of the MYP? I stand for complete gender equality because a lot of times people’s feelings are hurt when someone stereotypes them, and I say this with personal experience. But first I want to explain what, “gender equality” actually means. It doesn’t only mean that girls should be given importance, it also means that boys shouldn’t be put down just because girls need to be proven worthy. Girls and boys should be treated the same, in terms of anything- emotions, social life and in physical ways. When men show their emotions, they almost always get labelled “feminine” or “gay”. Why? When girls try to put themselves out there and are bold or brash they are immediately labelled, “manly” or “aggressive”. Why? Is it so hard to imagine that men can have emotions and that women can be strong, bold, and aggressive? Why is it that girls are thought to be weak at sports and physical activities and very emotional? And boys are thought to be strong and emotionless?

Girls and boys should be treated the same, in terms of anything- emotions, social life and in physical ways. When men show their emotions, they almost always get labelled “feminine” or “gay”.

However,  I don’t think it is fair in any way that it is just assumed that girls don’t play in the table tennis area and on the football field. I’m not putting the blame on the boys for not taking the initiative for inviting us to play, but I’m a little heartbroken, that girls tend to sit quietly and not take the initiative against it. Even girls, don’t try and take the first step towards playing sports. It’s all related to our society thinking and their ethics. Even though we try to fight it, it has been inbuilt in us, that girls are not supposed to play. Furthermore, when we say that we shouldn’t follow that… we always end up doing. It’s in our mindset. They just sit on the bleachers and let the boys dominate the sports section of the MYP. I completely get the fact, that some girls do not like sports… yet I’m sure that there are at least a few girls interested in football or basketball? I know so many girls who are great at sports but are just scared that they will be considered weird or different. Recently,  I’ve started seeing a girl who is playing with the boys on the football field. I find it inspiring. I think she is very brave for doing this. She doesn’t care if other girls won’t talk to her, or the fact that the boys might find her playing, a bit odd. I think a lot of girls should learn something from her. They should be more open to mixing with the boys and playing during recess. I feel like, only when these simple gender stereotypes and differences are put to a rest, only then, can we truly, as a community, reach gender equality.

Sakshi Kale is in the 8th grade. One of her prominent hobbies is dancing. She has been dancing her whole life and has been focusing only on Odissi for the past 8 years. She has a great aptitude for music and drama as well. She also enjoys writing essays. She can’t sing but plays the piano beautifully. Along with all of this, she is learning kickboxing. She has fun when everyone is together and united. She is a big feminist and feels strongly for gender equality. She also stands actively for the LGBTQ+ community.

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