Believe it or not, I was once told by a male classmate that I would never be as intelligent as he was because ‘women have smaller brains than men’. How little did he actually know.
I am lucky to have been influenced by so many strong females in my life, that I took his words of discouragement as a challenge to better myself. I am also lucky that experience was an anomaly and I have met so many supportive men. Including my Dad, who would probably rather I didn’t like football so much after funding my season ticket to watch a pretty average NUFC team for ten years (thanks Dad.)
A strong political activist for the feminism movement, Gloria Steinem epitomises my views on how to approach gender equality:
"The first problem for all of us, men and women, is not to learn, but to unlearn."
To me, being female does not mean that I am any different from a man in the opportunities that I should have, or the beliefs that I should hold. Gender has unfortunately been construed in such a negative way. I believe men and women are equally as great. Gender is irrelevant.
2. What is the importance of sport in your life?
Apart from the fact that thoughts of Penrose and Helena’s fitness sessions can help me get through a whole pack of Maryland cookies in the library, (I swear they get smaller and smaller), without feeling too much guilt in my impending deadline stress, sport has really played a huge part of my life (excuse the pun).
I believe that sport offers the perfect opportunity to ‘unlearn’. Being involved in one of the largest mixed sports clubs at York has shown me how unimportant gender is. UYHC is not only a hockey club, but a support network too. Crowds gather from all teams to support matches on the JLD, irrespective of whether it’s the ladies or men playing. Although this may not seem like much, it reflects the support of success for both sexes that underlies the Club’s culture and something that is so empowering for women.
3. What has been your best accomplishment since joining UYHC?
Surviving Christmas Ball and continuing on to Willow despite literally face planting in Revs. My chin will never forgive me and neither will Polly after spending 3 hours in an A&E waiting room with me (sorry again Pols).
Perhaps on par with surviving my first, and hopefully only, abattoir experience when Maddie got very lost on the way to a Yorkshire League match.
4. How has UYHC help shape you and develop you as a person?
Being surrounded and supported by so many strong ladies in UYHC has made more determined to succeed in other aspects of life, not only sport.
"I am lucky to have been influenced by so many strong females in my life."
"The first problem for all of us, men and women, is not to learn, but to unlearn." - Gloria Steinem