Some young women I were working with were asked to tell the story of a time they have experienced gender stereotyping, and how people reacted around them when they started learning skateboarding. One young woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, chose to share this story:
Anonymous Story of Gender Stereotyping
As a kid, gender stereotypes weren’t common to me, but as I grew older the comments grew as well. The first time that I remember was in primary school. I was racing a boy who was older than me, and I was winning, and then he decided to push me to the side into the mud and I had a muddied uniform all day. I was also pushed again into the mud while I was playing football. This time it was down a slope. Nothing really happened for a few years. Then, my father started to call me a ‘defeatist’ because I kept sitting out at football.
So, in high school, the first thing that happened was that an old maths teacher told a boy to ‘man up’. This explains itself. The second thing was that a boy in my year started making comments about my body and he thought he could get away with it.
However, when I started skateboarding nobody said anything. My mother let me do it, like everything else I do at school, and she supported me.