Where are the ‘Male Eagles’?

Brooklyn Jimeno, Staff Reporter

While going to Cleveland, I have met plenty of strong, independent and hardworking young women who have proven themselves to be capable of running the world. Yet Cleveland refers to all its female athletes as the “Lady Eagles,” which in my book, sets us back and puts us below our male counterparts. Our women’s softball, basketball, soccer, frisbee and swim teams have had mounds of success in the past couple of years, and yet it feels as if they play second to the male teams. There is simply no reason to add a little four-letter word like ‘lady’ in front of ‘Eagles’ if we don’t put ‘male’ when addressing the boys’ teams.
Cleveland is great at providing an environment where students feel safe to be themselves and live outside of the norms of society, but that doesn’t mean inequality doesn’t exist between men and women in our hallways.
Sophomore Humanities teacher and assistant coach of the softball team Rebecca Williams Leach agrees that “Lady Eagles” is rooted in thinking that women aren’t equal to men.
“I think fundamentally when society does that, like identifies something specifically female, it centers maleness. Male is normal and standard, and female then is an aberration of that,” said Williams Leach.
This is quite interesting because why should we center our male athletes if statistically they haven’t shown to do much better than our female athletes? For example, last year, our men’s basketball team finished their regular season with an astounding 11-5 record – the same record held by the girls basketball team.
While the boys didn’t take home any titles, the girls team won Metro League Championship. Or let’s look at our baseball and softball teams. The baseball team won one out of 14 games while softball finished with a 10-10 record. These are just a few examples of how our women athletes have risen above the standard that our male sports teams lay down.
I’m not here to bash on our male athletes, but it’s clear that the women at our school have proven themselves to be equal or better than their male counterparts. Cleveland has wonderful groups of young women who have proven they are good at what they do.
Let this article be a message that none of our women athletes have shown anything less than greatness. Therefore, we are not just Lady Eagles. We are the Eagles.