Howdy folks! I don’t take up a soapbox publicly much (I figured out that causing controversy on Facebook is a great way to lose friends and alienate people), so if I do, you know it matters a lot to me. There is a private school that now refuses to allow a girl to play football (Gasp! A GIRL, playing a BOY’S sport! Say it ain’t so!). They allowed her to play initially, but then changed their minds amid some complaints (apparently, she was kicking way too much wholesale BLEEP). The CEO of the school is now going way back, biblically speaking, to deny her rights.
The CEO is worried that the boys might have impure thoughts. Excuse me? How is a girl covered head-to-toe in football pads, uniform and helmet suddenly so ridiculously alluring, as compared with scantily clad cheerleaders on the sidelines? What about the girls having impure thoughts about the boys in tight pants? His argument is offensive and absurd. If he’s so concerned about their “impure thoughts”, why allow girls in school at all? Teenagers in general have hormones raging and impure thoughts by the second.
He’s worried about the locker room talk being too much for her. Hmm. Is she going to be sharing a locker room with them? Doubtful, so why would that be a problem? Even if she overhears some “talk”, I’m guessing that if her mother was a police officer and her father and uncle were both football players, she knows how to handle herself with aplomb, unlike some school administrators.
He said that “Boys and girls should not compete in any sport”. Wow, blatant sexism rearing its ugly head. Are we in the 21st century? Didn’t Billy Jean King whip Bobby Riggs in tennis back in 1973? Can we stop pretending that women can’t compete successfully with men in nearly any arena now? Or are you just afraid we might beat you?
“There are other sports she can play”. Sure, there are. However, Maddy excels at this sport and she has talent. What harm does it do to anyone to allow her to compete? Do the boys suffer? Ha. Maybe when she tackles them. But do they suffer directly because she is a female playing in a predominantly male sport? No. Perhaps their egos suffer when a girl can hit as hard as they do. Poor babies.
“It’s a private school and we can do whatever we want”. Yep, you can do it. And look tremendously archaic and recalcitrant in the process. I’d be ashamed of my son’s private school if they behaved in this manner. I wouldn’t want him attending a school that teaches him to subjugate women.
And the Bible argument. Wow. People can find passages to justify almost anything. That collection of documents is three thousand years old. I think it’s time to examine what is relevant to our generation, to our time, and quit justifying a denial of rights based on a text that never directly addressed this issue because it didn’t EXIST back then. Give me the specific quote that says “God says girls should never play sports with boys”. Equal but different isn’t going to cut it.
To me, what this boils down to is human rights. Women are still fighting for equal rights. All over the world. Does that strike anyone as scary? In our country, women still don’t receive commensurate pay for equal labor as their male counterparts. In foreign nations, girls are burned with acid or killed for trying to receive an education. Minorities are still fighting for equal rights in our country too. What has dawned on me, an epiphany, is that maintaining equal rights for everyone is a CONSTANT battle. As soon as we think we have established them, forces seek to erode those rights. We must be vigilant and relentless in our pursuit of equal rights, for our daughters, for our sons, for the people we love.
Maddy deserves to play…she’s good enough, she has the desire, she has the physical ability and strength. She has the ability to inspire other girls to dream bigger than the misogynistic, suffocating, discriminatory world we live in. You go girl! Kick butt!