OPINION: Spirit Girl Programs Should be Changed

OPINION: Spirit Girl Programs Should be Changed

Westwood Spirit groups are organizations that require girls to bake goods for their counterparts on the boys’ sports team and show up at games with nauseating enthusiasm. The girls are told to expect nothing in return. So what can the girls get out of it?

As far as I can tell, it’s a feeble attempt to foster a relationship between the guys and girls of any sport. If players want to boost overall morale by having those strong ties with the other gender’s team, they should ask their captains to organize sport-wide bonding opportunities. Instead, they have formed these extremely sexist programs. For the naysayers who claim these programs aren’t an issue, allow me to explain why they are.

First of all, these girls are expected to provide sweets and baked goods to a single male player for the entirety of the year and it’s strongly suggested that these goods be homemade and fresh. It is unreasonable to believe that girls who have homework and the demanding needs of their own sport (practice, games, team-bonding events, etc.) have the time to bake sweets they aren’t even going to eat. Additionally, girls aren’t just gifted with the ability to produce a perfectly puffed pastry and half of us don’t know the difference between using a whisk and a spoon (I have been informed there is a difference, I’m still not quite sure what it is). In some of these programs, the girls receive a single flower at the end of the year as a thanks for all the hard work and support they’ve given the boys’ team throughout the year.

Secondly, girls are supposed to attend every game. That. Is. Ridiculous. Who has time to go to two, hour-and-a-half-long, games a week in varying locations all over Austin? If you do, I commend you. Those are just the shorter sports; most vary between and hour and a half and three hours.

Lastly, the names. It objectifies the girls involved and weirdly ties them with the guys’ team as their inferiors. Whether it’s Baller Babes, Stick Chicks, or Diamond Dolls, these names over-sexualize the teenage girls whom the names describe.

The organizations seem to forget that girls are athletes, too. They work and train just as much as the guys do. Overall, these traditions seem like a throwback to the 1950s, when guys played sports and did ‘manly’ things while girls stayed home and made dinner. In the past 60 years, a lot has changed. Guys aren’t the sole breadwinner of the house anymore and girls aren’t required to stay in the kitchen all day. Shouldn’t that be reflected in our school sports?