DePaul Game Photo Essay Captures Gender Inequality

Lily Campbell and Jack Tempone   In any cliché teen movie, there is always a shot of the high school’s “Friday Night Lights” football game. As a small, private school, we don’t have the opportunity to attend these idolized football games; instead, we have our annual Latin vs. Parker homecoming basketball game. Parents, faculty, students, and even alumni come out to support the Romans, donning as much orange and blue as they can possibly find. No matter the number of fans or the outcome of the game, the spirit never stops rolling in. Traditionally, both the boys’ and girls’ teams have a game, but the girls no longer play Parker. Whether it be the lack of the Latin-Parker rivalry or, more likely, gender discrimination, in the past, the girls’ team has had significantly fewer fans. Their fans consisted of parents, as well as supportive teachers and a few close friends. Most students roll in around 7:00 p.m., right as the girls’ game ends, only to score some desirable seats to watch the so-called “more important” boys’ game. Henry Markarian ‘19, who attended both games this year, offered some insight on why more people came to the boys’ game. “[The boys’ game] had two main advantages over the girls’ game. First, it was at a better time in the night for most people, allowing them to go to sports, clubs, or gatherings before they went to the game. It was also a rivalry game, unlike the girls’ game. Most Latin kids have never heard of Hope [the girls’ opponent], but everyone knew about the yearly Latin-Parker game,” Henry said.  

Beginning of the Girl’s Game

Disappointed with last year’s turnout, LAW and many other members of the Latin community, including the girls’ team itself, sought to change the stigma behind this annual phenomenon. The publicity for the girls’ team was clearly elevated this year— faculty and students alike advertised the game at gathering and LAW got its entire club to come at 6:00 p.m. to support their fellow sisters. “We had Caitlin Fisher Skype into LAW earlier this year to talk about women in sports and the push for equality, specifically in Brazil,” club head Layla Passman ‘17 explained. “Caitlyn inspired LAW to actually do something about the sports stigma at Latin, so we all pledged to go to the girls DePaul game. A lot of our members came and cheered for the girls with signs and everything, and I definitely saw a difference in crowd size from years before. We hope this LAW initiative continues!” Between the community effort and surge of publicity, the girls’ team racked up more fans than in recent years, a well-earned accomplishment. Alden Sulger ‘17 even left before the boys’ game. “This year, there was an unfortunately small amount of seniors playing in the boys’ game. Unable to root my friends on as result, I chose to go to the girl’s game instead because of the friends I had on the team. While I am excited the boys won in dramatic fashion, it would’ve been more exciting seeing my friends out on the court winning,” Alden explained. To Alden’s point, unknown to most, the girls’ team has been doing phenomenally well this year. Captains Kathryn Stender ‘17 and Sophie Norris 17’ have led the team to victory on various occasions, with a 6-0 league record and 10-7 non-league record. Their lack of fans is not a reflection of the team’s performance, but a reflection of where we have failed their team as a community.  

Half Time of Girl’s Game

Even with the extra publicity, the fan count for the boys’ game was far higher than that of the girls’ game. On the banner advertising the big game, the girls’ team was written in smaller lettering in the top corner, as if they didn’t deserve as much recognition as the boys’ team.

Beginning of the Boy’s Game

Lily Weaver ‘20, a shooting guard on the girls’ team, commented on the stigma of girls’ basketball. She explained, “[Girls’] basketball isn’t always given the attention it deserves.” The girls’ teams have been filled with talented players over the years. This year, Jade Edwards scored a career-high of 36 points, scoring her 1,000th career point in the process, a record that has only happened a handful of times at Latin. Needless to say, this team loves playing basketball. Starter Maggie Marrinson ‘18 said, “I’d just say that apart from being a fun energetic team that loves being on the court with each other, we have a lot of skill.” The girls’ team is not only a powerhouse in the game, but they also have a genuine love for basketball and for playing with each other. Although the boys’ varsity basketball team attracts significantly more supporters, I asked myself “why?”. Considering that the girls’ team is 16-7, the boys’ team, while skilled, cannot compare their statistics (barely pulling a .500 record at 9-8). The girl’s team scores approximately 61.4 points/game, while the boys manage 55.4 points/game. “I think if people came to watch our games, they would be really surprised and the whole aspect of the games would be so different,” shooting guard Keely Lovette ‘20 said. If your excuse for skipping the girls’ games is because they aren’t interesting or because they aren’t fast paced, then I would recommend you come down to the field gym. Girls’ basketball is filled with as much action as boys’ basketball. Whether someone down low gets a rebound and makes a full court outlet pass or one of the five freshmen on the roster are in the game tearing it up, the girls’ team is evidently fun to watch, and we as a community owe them our support.]]>