Lacrosse and Sexism

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Lacrosse has been around since the 1800’s during the times when American Indians were still alive. The origins of this sport derive from the inventions and practices of these American Indians who were entertained with the action of passing a ball with a “stick” back and forth to each other. This form of entertainment later became known as the sport: Lacrosse.

The sport, although not popular, is known and acknowledged here at our own campus of CSUMB. It is not an actual team sport on campus but fortunately there is a Lacrosse Club that practices it as a sport.

On the evening of February 25, 2016, I got to spend time with the ladies of CSUMB Women’s Lacrosse Team.

The ladies hold Lacrosse practices three times a week for about two hours each day. On this particular Thursday I joined the Lacrosse Club at their practice and simply observed a typical evening of young women practicing for their sport.

They immediately showed to have a great bond with each other. Most of the girls giggled as they teased each other while putting in the hard work that it takes to play well. They were very expressive and helpful towards each other while at the same time showing aggressive dedication to the sport.

Although not all girls were at practice that evening, out of the eight that did show up only one appeared to be non-white. Eventually I would learn that she was the only Latina in the entire team. I got the opportunity to speak to this young lady who opened up a lot about her feelings toward the sport.

I approached this young lady, and introduced myself before she did the same. Raquel Dominguez is a fourth year student at CSUMB and has been involved with Lacrosse for two years. I asked her simple questions about the sport and the team members. Dominquez expressed gratitude toward the sport during the time I spoke to her, but it wasn’t until the end of our interview where she spoke about her strong disagreement toward their dress code.

“One thing I don’t like is the fact that we have to wear skirts during games. No one here like to wear skirts,” said Dominquez.

The members wore shorts to practice which hadn’t allowed me to see that their dress code was an issue for many. After speaking with Dominquez I learned that the ladies were obligated to wear skirts during games as a policy requirement.

“I find it very sexist,” said Dominquez in a distressed manner.

The stereotypical issue caught my attention so I directly asked another team member about the issues.

I approached a very friendly young lady by the name of Lindsay. I directly asked her about her thoughts on their dress code requirement.

“I don’t understand why we are allowed to wear shorts during practice but not during our games,” said Lindsay. “What difference does it make?”

So what difference does it actually make? Reality is that wearing skirts versus a more comfortable set of attire such as shorts does not serve a true purpose for those involved with the sport. The idea of women wearing skirts during their Lacrosse games derives from the traditional use of kilts for men. But the truth of the matter is that we are in a further, more modern era where these stereotypical gender assignments should no longer be applied.

“It’s just not fair,” said Lindsay, “we should be able to wear what we feel most comfortable with.”

This has been an issue that the team has faced since they started. However, when I asked them what has been done in order to stop this issue from occurring, the ladies stated that unfortunately for now, nothing can be done.

“We as a team have not done anything about this because to begin with it should not be happening. If we were to fight this issue, it would distract us from our purpose,” said Dominguez.

The ladies of CSUMB Lacrosse Club Team have decided to remain neutral about the issue, at least for now. Because it can create distractions, the ladies decided that they will bring up the issue to their coach when the time is right.

Overall, interviewing the ladies of CSUMB’s Lacrosse team opened up a new perspective about an issue that is not popularly known on our school campus. The ladies’ decision regarding the sexism they are facing is respectable. I look forward to speaking with the ladies in the future for an update on the issue.

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