If we were to consider the young people of, say, fifty years ago, the statement would be undeniably true in those days, sports was a predominantly a male pursuit. The girls were considered the faker sex and they were more concerned with how they look, thus the preference was for the beautiful clothes.
Nowadays, this statement is no longer true. There are as many games for girls as there are for boys. With the exception of some games like rugby, girls participate in almost all that boys play. In athletics, we see girls performing just as well as the boys, some even better. They jump, run, throw and generally enjoy the sporting events as much as the boys. In fact some girls are aggressive and highly competitive. I have seen girls elbowing one another in a basketball game, uttering unmentionable words when angry and shouting themselves hoarsely cheering or jeering the participants. So much for the myth that girls are weaker and not sports loving. They definitely revel in sport, with some exceptions. Anyway we can say the same for some of the boys too. Not all of them love sports and excel in it.
The female participation in sports has led to some previously unheard-of-phenomena. For example, the female participants in most international sports meets must each undergo a sex test. Imagine, a girl has to prove that she is a girl before she can participate. I suppose the controlling sport bodies have no choice but to conduct such tests. If we look at some of the female athletes of today, especially those from the East European countries, we would sympathies with the sport bodies. Some of these ‘girls’ are built more like men! It reflects on the extremes some countries have gone to just to produce medal-winning athletes. It is a kind of madness.
On the subject of clothes, we find that it is no longer a female domain. Boys love fancy clothes and the latest fashion just as much as girls. Departmental stores have sections devoted specially for the male. We have boys and men who are so label-conscious that they will not touch the ‘inferior1 stuff. They could gladly spend anything for an in-style outfit just to impress the fairer sex. Clothes have means to gauge the status and the acceptability of a person. Faded blue jeans are ‘in’ with certain groups while outrageous ‘new-wave’ fashion has gripped others. In the fifties it was the teddy-boys’ look. Then the hippies took over. After that, the types of clothes and fashion have proliferated beyond imagination. Now it is impossible for an average person to keep up with every bit of development in the fashion world.
If we ask who the people responsible for such preoccupation with clothes are, we can only point our fingers at the fashion designers and trend-setters. And who are these people who can sway the rest of the world? They are predominantly male. Designers, pop singers and other trend-setters are mostly male. It goes to show that our values are undergoing drastic changes.
Apart from this increasing female indulgence in sports and male indulgence in clothes, it can be said that are still some who subscribe to the old belief that boys prefer sports and girls prefer clothes. This belief is slowly being eroded away. The day will come when boys and girls will participate together in all kinds of pursuits without obvious preferences. Unisex saloons, woman soccer, male models walking on ramps are the modern developments—all pointing to the changing values in society.