You Play Like A Girl tells the story of the first women in sports who, in order to achieve greatness in their respective fields, had to overcome chauvinism, sexism, racism, and age discrimination in the United States.
What does it mean to play like a girl? That boys who play like girls don’t know how to play sports at all? Or that girls don’t know how to play sports at all? Both statements are condescending. It’s easy for boys to play sports, because parents push them into it. Girls face challenges first from their parents, who never see them as athletes. They also face challenges from the many people who want to define their sexuality (usually incorrectly). And girls face challenges from the moment they step onto a field of play. They are mocked because they are female, and if they are girls of color, the bullying doesn’t stop. Some male critics have written that athletics is “dangerous to feminine nature.”