Many softball players will wear bows and/or sparkly headbands to add a feminine touch to a traditionally masculine uniform. This concept has evolved in the softball community to signify a player’s sexual orientation. Informally, female softball players will wear a bow with their uniform to show others that they are not homosexual.
The bow/no bow concept in softball and other traditionally masculine sports such as soccer is homophobic. LGBTQ+ allies believe that what you wear shouldn’t determine your sexual preference.
What does it mean when a softball player wears a bow in her hair?
While some female softball players wear a bow to identify as heterosexual, others wear a bow merely to add a feminine touch to their uniform.
Wearing a bow to show others you are not gay is more like a tendency rather than a hard and fast rule. This means that a softball player not wearing a bow is not always gay and a softball player wearing a bow is not always straight.
Doesn’t wearing a bow in softball mean you are a lesbian?
The bow/no bow as a way to show sexual orientation is prevalent in the softball community. But while it is common in high school and college softball, it is not hard and fast.
Because there are exceptions to this rule and not everyone follows it, you can’t assume that a softball player without a bow is a lesbian or vice versa.
Do I have to wear a bow with my softball uniform?
No, you don’t have to wear a bow with your softball uniform, unless it is part of the uniform and matches the other players. While wearing a bow is an informal show that you are straight, this “rule” is becoming outdated with the increase in LGBTQ+ awareness.
People nowadays are coming to realize that sexual orientation is not connected to clothing, hairstyles, etc. That being said, there is still a stigma around female sports such as softball and soccer. Not wearing a bow could result in homophobic taunting, and you may hear negative terms such as “no bow lesbo.”
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The bow/no bow connection with sexual orientation
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While it is common in the softball community to wear a bow to express that you are straight, that does not mean one’s sexual orientation is dependent on clothing or sportswear.
For example, a female softball player forgetting to wear a bow or choosing not to wear a bow is not necessarily gay. Likewise, a female softball player who always wears a bow with her softball uniform is not necessarily straight.
In the end, the only thing that affects whether or not you are homosexual is if you are sexually attracted to the same sex, not what you wear.
Is the bow/no bow concept homophobic?
The bow/no bow concept in softball and other traditionally masculine sports such as soccer can come across as homophobic. LGBTQ+ allies believe that what you wear shouldn’t determine your sexual preference, including a bow with a softball uniform.
The term “no bow lesbo” is a homophobic stereotype of female softball players. It is a relatively new term that is used to tease softball players. Forgetting to wear a bow can result in homophobic taunting from others.
Sports like softball have a stigma around them when it comes to the sexual orientation of the players. Being athletic or enjoying sports should not be seen as a “masculine” concept, and all sports should be treated equally.
What does it mean when a soccer player wears a bow?
The bow in the soccer community is similar to the softball community. It can be a way to add a little femininity to a traditionally male uniform or it could symbolize a person’s sexual orientation.
Again, this is not an absolute concept. Not every player wearing a bow is straight and not every player without a bow is gay.
The softball bow is traditionally worn to add a feminine touch to a traditionally masculine sport. Soccer players also occasionally wear bows. But while this is the traditional reason, the informal reason female athletes wear bows is to show that they are not homosexual.
This “rule” is not absolute. This means that not every softball player who wears a bow is straight and not every player who doesn’t is gay. This bow/no bow concept is homophobic because a person’s sexual orientation should not be dependent on clothing.
The decision to wear a bow with your uniform or not is up to you. This common informal “rule” is becoming outdated, so you can feel free to express yourself however you want. However, some people are still homophobic and may make negative comments about softball players or other athletes who choose not to wear a bow.