Comp Lit 203
17 February, 2017
Throughout history, women have been undermined socially. Many jobs are considered to be a “man’s job” and sports are included in this. The rational for this is that women don’t have the physical capabilities to perform the tasks that men do. Sarah Thomas, the pioneer woman NFL referee, is currently breaking stereotypical gender boundaries. She’s doing this not only for herself, but for future generations as well. This is most evident in Thomas’s proclamation that, “[She] refuses to accept that being an NFL official is a man’s job and wants to show her daughter that she can be anything she wants to be”. The Keywords essay “Gender”, relates a similar perspective to Thomas’s. In class we discussed that an important aspect of gender is performativity. We are all born with a sex of either male or female defined solely by genitalia, but gender is all based on performance. Unfortunately, gender roles have been classified as either black or white when in reality they are neither black or white, but rather many shades of gray. In this class, we have referred to gender as intersecting with other categories of identity such as age and dress. American Girl books that we have read in class further our idea of the stereotypical American Girl. In Meet Kirsten, the main character, Kirsten, is given a dress and dolls to play with as soon as she moves to America. As a young girl, she is already told how to act in order to be viewed as a girl when in reality a girl can act, dress and play with whatever she desires. Relating back to Sarah Thomas, the focus of this post, we can see that she wants her daughter to have the opportunities that Kirsten did not. She wants her daughter to have the freedom to be her own person without the constraints of being our society’s stereotypical “American Girl”. Dresses and frills don’t define girls, but rather individuality and potential.