Girls deserve equal access to rodeo events

By: Mattie Starbeck

Dear Editor,

I am from Mr. Winkel’s 5th hour American Literature 1940s to Today, and we have just read “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” by Martin Luther King, Jr. This has inspired me to take action on the Iowa High School Rodeo Association rules for being a girl and not being able to ride in rough stock events.

Rough stock has been around for a long time now. There are many cowboys that have been riding with the same guys since they were in diapers. Rough stock is a man’s sports some will say, but I have to say its also a female sport. Many people have begun to believe that girls shouldn’t be able to ride bulls because they are so called “girls”. In the Iowa High School Rodeo, girls are not able to take part in any male sports. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with.” I think it’s time that we start and make a change for the girls.

I have been riding for about four to five years now, and I have gone to many rodeos. I have met so many new people and have become family with them. I have always ridden with guys, but when my dad had asked about the high school rodeo team, they said girls are not allowed to participate in guys events.

I believe that girls can ride just as well as any guy can. In the junior high rodeo association, girls are able to ride rough stock if they do not participate in any girl events. I have heard many people say that girls shouldn’t be able to ride at all, and they should just stick to girl events. King’s Letter addresses this confusion: “Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.” They need to understand that just because we are girls doesn’t mean we can’t get the job done. We are not weak; we are just like all of the other guys.

I think that this needs to be changed. I don’t think that it’s fair to not let girls ride in the boys’ events and the boys in the girls. I think this will affect others in a positive way. It shows that women are strong and won’t back down. They say that everyone should be equal, so treat us equal and let us girls ride with the boys.

I think that now is the time to take action upon this problem because if we don’t, then we will never take action. Since the summer rodeo season is coming to an end, I think that this would be the perfect time because then we could get the rule changed.

I believe that if we take a stand now, then we are going to make a positive difference for other girls that want to ride in the rough stock.


Mattie Starbeck

CFHS junior

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