Girls gone wild Essay

Defensive tackles embrace particular characteristic such as height to weight proportion ratios in addition to the ability to lock in on a targeted player and tackle him, however, one characteristic that is almost never questioned is gender.  Men are the majority share-holders of these common football positions except for one person: Kimberly Sanders. In Belleville Illinois, nicknamed Small Ville for its small town atmosphere, at Althoff Catholic High School is where Kimberly Sanders hold the untouched title of the first and only female high school defensive tackle to have 7 sacks in a single game!  Since the tender age of seven years old, Kimberly, also known as ‘Big Kim’, has redefined the statutes of normal feminine activities.  Barbie dolls were used as make shift road-kill during bike races, playing house with the girls of her 5th grade class during recess was replaced with wrestling with the boys, and she wore baggy grass stained pants and Michael Jordan sneakers caked with mud instead of cute baby doll shoes and lace adorned dresses.

 At the age of 9, she joined the local Kory League Football team, but was not able to play in games because of age and weight restrictions.  Discouraged but not defeated, Kimberly and her brother Louis made football gear form cardboard and various material to suffice for their lack of the proper equipment in hopes of recruiting neighborhood children for their very own football team.  By the age of 15, ‘Big Kim’ had made local history as the first female defensive tackle.  Presently at the age of 21 and with over 30 sacks, ‘Big Kim’ retains her record and persists to delineate what a woman can do.

Like ‘Big Kim’, many women are challenging modern standards and are neglecting the traditional roles that were once only entitled to women.  At the turn of the 21st century, women are not only assuming the roles of men, but they are successfully accomplishing those positions.  For example, in 2007, 42 year old British Military veteran, Moira Cameron,  became the first female Beefeater, breaking over 522 years of tradition (Barr 2007).  Beefeaters are the infamous coveted protectors of the Tower of London in London, England.  Comparable to these women whom ultimately recommenced the unconventional roles as complementary males, a woman named Josey Aimes attempted the same feat and moreover, endured more than just curious inquiry.

 Many women are occupied with unconventional roles, however, they are unable to maintain their identities as women while simultaneously preserving their atypical choices in professions.  Kimberly Sanders often recalls times when she was scrutinized for her actions since she suppressed certain measures that were classified as lady-like.  “My mother eventually let me be who I was inside but it wasn‘t easy.  I have an older sister who was ‘more prissy’ or girly.  She loved makeup and loved to gloat over boys and such but my mind was always in a different place.  I wanted to do what I wanted to do… I always wanted to play football and being strong was a bigger priority than being pretty, so I used that to my advantage.  Instead of playing dress-up, I was more interested in lifting weights so that I could be just as strong on the field.  By the age of 15, I was benching 250 pounds.  I was always lifting weights and practicing with my brother when I wasn’t at school, but I always had someone who teased me for being myself.  Since I had all friends that were guys, some people thought I was gay and that really hurt my feelings.  I don’t have anything bad to say about gay people, but that is not who I was.  I was a normal girl who just wanted to play football.  So to stop the teasing and rumors, I tried to hang with more girls and for a while, I stopped playing football”. Alike Kimberly, Josie Aimes, the star character of the movie North Country, she was also forced to suppress her feminine like qualities at work while attempting to raise a family at home. Josie Aimes, a single mother of two children out of wedlock, leaves her abusive husband and returns to her hometown in attempt to start a new life.  The setting of the movie takes place in the 1970s in which the responsibilities of women were centered around a women‘s work. Before and throughout the 1970s, women were always associated with nurses, housewives, and secretaries.  Women were expected to find a suitable husband upon completion of high school, raise the children, and sustain a suitable home for the family.  Women were expected to provide the necessities surrounded around the theme of the home.  This stereotype was constantly introduced throughout the movie. Josey’s mother only maintained the household in the film, thus attempting to set an example of what women‘s work should consist of.  Since Josey was not able to sustain a lucrative marriage, she attempted to uphold a proper job that seemed suitable for women, which was a cosmetologist at a local salon.  Shortly after meeting a woman named Gloria, Josie soon realizes that in order to sustain a plausible income for her children, she would have to find a better paying job at the mine.  Primarily, Josey accepts the first signs of harassment and badgering, conversely, Josey finds that she is unable to maintain her identity as the hard working mother in sync with raising her children. Josey’s son, Sammy, asks “why can’t you do laundry like a normal mom?” (Caro & Wechsler, 2005).  In addition to ignoring certain motherly duties, Josey also was told to ignore her feminine qualities at work.  After being hassled at work, Josey attempted to speak with her boss regarding employee conduct, and was told to “ take it like a man” (Caro & Welchsler 2007).   Then and now, many people are not aware of the underlying factors of that involve gender under circumstances.  Even though women possess the ability to perform masculine tasks, a definite level of respect and accommodations should immediately emerge while allowing women to be whom they truly are.

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Although many women are triumphant in their efforts to perform the duties of their male counterparts, the scrutiny which they undergo in their progression towards their goals causes distractions professionally and personally.  As a part of human nature, we rely on those closest to us for moral support.  When people attempt something courageous, the support of those who matter the most means more than usual. Josey Aimes was deemed as shamed by her father for working at the mine.  Kimberly also says that participating in things out of character also angered many people in her family.  “It took many days for my entire family to support what I was trying to do.  My sister was a cheerleader, but my mother also wanted me to be a cheerleader like my sister.  Even though my mother went to many games, I was not able to win her over right away.  She would always make smart remarks like ‘when are you going to start carrying a purse, or why can’t you put on a dress sometimes?’  She would always encourage me to be like my sister or do something more like a lady” (K.T. Sanders, personal communication, October 17, 2007). K.T. Sanders also contests that “even the coach of my high school football team did not encourage me to play until he saw me lifting weights.  He would always tell me that ‘girls aren’t made for football,’ so I was discouraged… I also wasn’t an eye catcher with the guys either.  Most guys were scared of me or only thought of me as a friend, therefore, it wasn’t easy for me to get a date.  I did not date until I was quite older and away from the typical high school scene that is ran by rumors and cliques” (personal communication, October 17, 2007).

While K.T. Sanders corroborates Josey’s lack of support from family, at the turn of the century, more people are very accommodating to the desires of women in their pursuit of rations.  Women are no longer only promoted to center their lives and careers around things at home.  Women are encouraged to further their education in various areas such as neuroscience, military, and professional sports.  Even though housewives are a thing of the past, they are not totally discouraged, nonetheless, women are encouraged to have a family and a career, but never one before the other.

In conclusion, the movie North Country is centered around a single mother who aims to make enough money to put food on the table and a roof over her family’s head.  Whilst attempting to work at a mine bounded by unruly men,  Josey confronts rumors, family issues, and sexual harassment which consequentially ends in a landmark sexual harassment lawsuit in her favor. Nonetheless, the film consists of a prominent underlying theme: feminism.  Feminism contains a classic theme which is often stereotyped as sugar, spice, and everything nice.  While the familiar vision of the female has always been something dainty and delicate, the new era of the female has evolved into a stronger image of determination and vigor.  Currently, feminism is observed as a great attribute while concurrently manufacturing friction between women and their choice of professions and activities.  Josie Aimes displayed a classic case of scrutiny while attempting to cope with personal and professional disruptions.  However, it has thus been proven successful with time and perseverance.  Kimberly Sanders, Moira Cameron, and many other women continue to maintain the femininity while attempting to strive for their dreams.

Barr, R. (2007, September 4).  First female Beefeater in 500 years takes post in London. Oakland Tribune , pp. 114-115. Retrieved on October 18,2007

            fromhttp://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4176/is_20070904/ai_n194991

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Caro,N.  (Producer) Wechsler, N. (Producer). (2005). North Country

             [Motion Picture]. United States: Warner Brothers Entertainment Inc.

CNN  (2007, September 3).  CNN Live [Television Broadcast]. New York and

            Washington, DC: Public Broadcasting Service.

K.T. Sanders ( 2007, October 17) Personal Communication.

 

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