Guest Post by Katy Spencer Johnson.
My “Girls shouldn’t play sports. It’s not ladylike. Katy should learn to play the piano.”
My grandmother solidified my construct of femininity, athleticism, and strength in a single phrase. Luckily, I was a precocious and stubborn child who when confronted with the words “can’t” or “shouldn’t”, I sprinted in the direction of facing a challenge head on. Thankfully, my mother, a product of the 1960’s feminist movement did not take the advice of my grandmother, sought to provide a multi-modal learning experience for both her children.
My younger brother and I took part in a diversity of extracurricular activities, the benefit of middle class upbringing. I explored various sports, arts, and music. I learned very quickly that being the shortest in my family would not be beneficial on the basketball court, and music wasn’t exactly my wheelhouse despite some off-key singing in the shower, but I loved art classes.
From a sport perspective, after testing out several sports, it was clear that soccer was perfect outlet for a “young lady.”