A high school in Kentucky will no longer have "Stallions" as its mascot thanks to a new petition drive. Frederick Douglass High School, set to open in Fall 2017, was originally going to be the home of the Stallions, in honor of the area's history with thoroughbred racing and nearby Keeneland Racecourse.
In a healthy society, nobody would have any issue with this. "Stallions" is a fairly common mascot name, and given that it's neither a human nor ethnic group, I'm willing to bet that the school district thought they had chosen a relatively inoffensive choice. Not so, according to Diane Cahill of Lexington, who started a petition saying that the mascot was inappropriate because a stallion is a male horse that is used for breeding.
According to Cahill, this does not represent the women of the school and does not make them feel included.
Here's the text of the petition, which is essentially the definition of Poe's Law:
This is inappropriate and sexist when you consider the definition from "YourDictionary" ..."The definition of a stallion is a male horse that has not been castrated, used for breeding or is slang for a powerful and virile man who has a lot of lovers" and from Wikipedia..."because of their instincts as herd animals, they may be prone to aggressive behavior, particularly toward other stallions, and thus require careful management by knowledgeable handlers. However, with proper training and management, stallions are effective equine athletes at the highest levels of many disciplines."
What message does this send to our daughters and granddaughters? Our sons and grandsons?
We demand that the name be changed to something more gender neutral and more indicative of Douglass' brilliant mind, successful career and vision for equality and to send a message to all students that they are respected and valued.
After just over 200 people signed the petition, Fayette County school officials announced that the name will be changed. Students will be permitted to vote for their own mascot in the fall. (Here's hoping they vote for "Stallions.")
Give me a break. I went to two schools with rather unorthodox mascots--the Red Storm and the Friars. "Friars" are by definition all male (hey! like a stallion!) and a Red Storm is, well, to be honest I'm still not entirely sure storms are gendered (but they do cause destruction and death). Another person raised the concern that calling female sports teams the "Lady Stallions" doesn't make sense, to which I have an obvious solution: just call them the "Stallions." My college did not refer to its women's teams as the "Lady Friars," and as far as I know every female athlete was proud to wear the Friar logo. "Stallions" is an appropriate choice given the location and context of the school, and this controversy is insane.
I seriously doubt any of Frederick Douglass High School's students would have actually cared about what the mascot is, and this all seems to be a bunch of very overly-concerned adults with far too much time on their hands. It's similarly insane that the school district folded over 200 signatures on an online petition.
"Stallions" is a fine mascot, and it serves to infantalize women by telling us we should be offended by it. Also, it's absurd to think that a mascot should somehow impart respect to the student body. One would think that would be the job of the school administrators, not the thing in a costume at a sporting event.