Having a set of boy/girl twins enabled me to avoid having a silly girl who didn’t know how to behave around boys. From the time they were ready for soccer, baseball, mini-mite hockey, swim lessons, etc. Zandra has played with the boys. She has never known a time where she wasn’t on equal footing with her brother and his friends.
I remember getting a call from the vice-principal when she was in fourth grade. Za and her friends were called in to the office for fighting on the playground. Fighting? I knew she could be feisty at times but I’d never seen it with her friends. This called for an on-site visit. So by “fighting” the vp meant “arguing.” After I quickly lectured HER on the proper use of each word and when it’s appropriate to contact me, I turned on Za. What’s up?
Well, it seemed her other friends wanted to play and flirt with one of Za’s fellow hockey team mates. Of course my girl thought that was stupid and wanted no part of it, which I guess caused an argument (but not a fight.) So they got to go to “mediation.” I’m entirely serious, mediation to talk out an argument that my daughter didn’t want to flirt as a fourth grader with some dude who she’s skated with already for three years. He wasn’t interesting, he was just a left wing. The entire thing was one of the most inane situations I’d ever seen and I told the principal not to encourage this stupidity with my children. Fact.
When she was in 9th grade, having her fill of chick drama in the High School locker room (she’d been the goalie already for two years) and having one year of eligibility left of USA Hockey, Za decided to go back to Bantams and play with the boys. Even on the ‘B’ squad, she knew the faster, more aggressive game would help her hone her goaltending skills that would be useful down the road. She had one of the best coaches of her youth sports career and was very happy with her crew. I did receive one call from him after a couple of weeks asking if she would be more comfortable getting dressed in her own locker room. I thought that was weird since she wears spandex and sports bras and has always been just one of the boys. Why would that change now? I asked her and she thought it was weird. She stays in the locker room…with her team.
And that’s how the boys saw her. A teammate. One that worked hard and out skated a good majority of them, even in her goalie gear. It could be they thought of her as a girl off the ice but I don’t think so. She was just part of the team. Nothing more, nothing less.
All this was brought back to me yesterday when I read this. It seems a 7th grader who has been on the football field since she was in second grade is no longer able to play due to the possibility that her team mates will have “impure” thought about her. Huh? I’ll tell you this, not only was it good for my girl to have a healthy camaraderie with the boys, but it was good for them too. They didn’t see a female, they saw a goalie. That’s a good thing parents. Unless you want a stupid girl who has no idea that she doesn’t have to put out to be friends with a boy or a redneck boy who only see’s that girls should put out. Duh.
But no. The sexually uptight parents of Strong Rock Christian Academy put THEIR baggage on these kids and decided that now is the time to teach them to sexualize a team mate. Well done douchebags. Well done. And you want to talk about how girls have events in their lives that change the course of believeing in themselves? This would be near the top. For five years, you’ve been on equal footing with these dudes but suddenly because you now need a sports bra, you’re ostracized. You’ve become different enough that you’re no longer an equal. That is a complete and utter parent fail. They should all be ashamed of themselves. It makes my head want to explode.
I hope some reason intervenes in this situation but we are proving to be less and less able to allow reason into daily lives. It’s deflating.
My girl still plays hockey with the boys and even though she does have some very good girl friends, her boys are her rock. Some of them are very cute, very nice boys and when I ask why she doesn’t date one of them I get an eye roll and a “gross Ma. They’re like brothers.” All ten or so of them. ‘aight, good girl.
I am living proof that the American dream still exists. It is still alive and well. There is only one trick, you have to be willing to roll up your sleeves and work very, very hard.