Mavericks Break Gender Stereotypes

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Image by Photo By: Kim Phillips

Senior Lauren Schultz is the only girl on drumline.

In this day and age, there has been a lot of progress towards equality and tolerance, especially when it comes to breaking gender stereotypes. It was once a rarity to see a female lawyer or a male teacher, now no one even thinks twice about it.We have abandoned our traditional ideas that boys must work towards a respectable profession that is considered “masculine,” and girls will only select one of the few low-paying jobs that are “appropriate” for girls until they can find a husband.

As a society, we have become much more open-minded and accepting of people following their dreams and not so concerned about what others will think. This idea of doing the things you love regardless of public opinion starts at a young age, and students are embracing their individuality and exploring the things they are interested in every day.

In the STEM and IBE classes, there are quite a few female students learning about careers in business and engineering, professions that are known to be predominantly male.
Likewise, the Professional Studies Academy has plenty of male students taking classes such as Principles of Education and Child Guidance, and excelling at advanced fine arts classes such as theater, art, dance and choir. These students are trailblazers in their fields and are role models for others who want to pursue similar interests.

This year, color guard has welcomed two boys to the group. This is a huge transition in gender equality at McNeil because only two other boys have been on the team since the school was founded. Although it is a big transition, everyone seems to be adjusting well.

“Being a guy in guard is actually really fun,” Justin Stamps said. “It’s like having 30 sisters who will help whenever they can. I love being in guard because I enjoy dancing and learning choreography and I always thought they looked so cool during marching season and I wanted to be a part of that.”

The difficulties he has faced have been few.

“Warm ups are interesting because I’m not as flexible as (the girls),” Stamps said. “I feel welcome and there has not been any discrimination towards me.”
Things are not always so easy, however, when it comes to girls trying to fit into all-boy groups, according to senior drumline member Lauren Schultz .

“Being the only girl on drumline can be tough sometimes” Schultz said. “I’m one of the few girls in our percussion section, so I’m used to being surrounded by guys. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it takes some getting used to.”

The problems she has encountered are similar.

“I do get treated a little differently but it’s to be expected,” Schultz said. “I think for a lot of guys, my being a girl isn’t a problem. With a few of them, though, it has been. They had this idea that just because I was a girl I wasn’t as good as they were. But I worked just as hard if not harder.”