This week’s column is dedicated to the ladies here at LIU Post who are members of the sports teams. They’re beautiful, powerful, and confident, but they have feelings just like everyone else. I was approached by some members of the LIU Post Softball team who asked me if I would write a column about how they have been subject to hate speech on campus, being singled out and called “Dykes” without provocation.
Just because these women play sports doesn’t mean that they are lesbians. Even if some of them happen to be lesbians that is no one’s business and it is definitely no one’s place to make hateful remarks regarding anyone’s supposed sexuality.
I guess what it comes down to is this; sexuality is not a something that is visible. Just because a female plays sports or a male does ballet doesn’t necessarily mean that person is homosexual. There’s no law that says any woman who plays a sport must be homosexual. Yet, people think this to be the truth. They assume that if a girl doesn’t like to wear dresses and make up that she must be a lesbian. They couldn’t be further from the truth. Gender roles are created by society and therefore have no basis in nature.
Knowing some of the girls on the softball team, I can tell you that they are beautiful women and they deserve all the respect in the world. This isn’t an isolated incident unfortunately the women’s basketball, lacrosse, and field hockey teams, to name a few, have also been victims of such hate speech.
The thing that I find interesting is that when the Lingerie Football League came around men weren’t complaining or calling them lesbians or dykes. Was this because the women were scantily clad? I’d almost guarantee that it was. So what that tells me is that women can only participate in sports if they are half naked, otherwise they’re lesbians?
Strong women do not equate to lesbians. Strong women equates to strong women. It makes sense that men would be intimidated by the idea of a powerful woman because society has worked so hard to depict women as fragile and emotional. So they label these powerful women as lesbians as a means of ruffling their feathers, so to speak. It’s chauvinism, simple as that.
Also, the use of the term “dyke” or “lesbian” as an insult doesn’t make sense. It’s like calling someone “white” or telling them that they’re wearing a red shirt. Being homosexual isn’t something shameful therefore being called a homosexual slur, though hurtful, it isn’t something to be insulted by. Someone once called me gay. I agreed then asked him if he had a brother who was cute and less ignorant.
Eleanor Roosevelt has been credited with saying “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” These are words that we should abide by. Words only have power when we give it to them.