Fight Like a Girl
by Valerie Nesterenko, on Jun 6, 2019 12:42:00 PM
My Ukrainian friend Sophia went into kickboxing at 12 years old and I decided to ask her some questions about it. It wasn’t only for self defense, but also for psychological relief. Sophia tells us about her experience, and also discusses how her parents saw her choice of sport and attitudes to women in sports generally.
The position of women in sports has always been uncertain. It isn't so long ago that women couldn’t even participate in the Olympics. Yes, things have changed since then and now women can compete in almost any type of sports. But if you think that sexism in sport disappeared a long time ago, you’ll be wrong. Girls who go into boxing or kickboxing still hear comments that it’s not something A GIRL should do.
We also talked about Ukraine and a class we used to have at school. It was the only class, where boys and girls were separated. We, the girls, were trained how to help wounded people, while the guys were learning how to use guns in case of war. Inequality of men and women in education still exists. Maybe there is less sexism, but it’s still there. Gender stereotypes won’t go away, if we won’t change the way we raise our kids.
Sophia believes it’s worth trying to change a system and raise children equally. The color blue is not male, pink is not female. Not every girl wants to be fragile and not every boy wants to be tough.
“As Muhammad Ali once said, - ‘Float like a butterfly sting like a bee.’ I think it’s a nice quote to live by for both men and women, which also reflects on fighting as a sport being independent from a gender”