Pre-game traditions promote sexism



Maggie Fleming, Opinion Editor

When you picture a 1950s housewife, you often picture a role of subservience. Women would cook, clean, and freshen up their lipstick all before 5:00 p.m. to please their husbands. As a society, we haven’t moved far enough away from women waiting on men.  

If you entered the boys’ football locker room around 4:00 p.m. on the Thursday before a home football game, you would stumble upon the Athenas diligently decorating the space. At North, this is an age-old tradition encouraging the Athenas to honor the players abilities and motivate the team for a big win.

The dance team takes time from their practice to fill the football locker room with various candies, streamers, posters, banners– the list goes on. The posters and banners are typically made by different members of the dance team while the candy and decorating supplies are paid for – out of pocket – by the Athenas. The dance team spends their valuable time and hard earned money to supply the football team with a thoroughly prepared pre-game celebration. Here’s the cherry on top: the Athenas often return to the locker room around 6:00 p.m. to clean up the decorations when the football team has concluded their festivities.

Don’t get me wrong, I applaud the idea of one team supporting another. However, this archaic practice has been poorly executed through sexist behaviors. If the tradition was modified so that on the night prior to a dance competition, the Athenas were greeted by a studio packed with celebratory surprises provided by the football team, then the ritual would be valuable. Such mutualistic support would suggest the kind of equality and respect all athletes deserve. 

So, football team, next time you’re at the store, think about the empty dance room and uncelebrated Athenas, then head down the candy aisle.