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Right or Wrong: I just don’t feel right about this

September 23, 2011

ROCKLAND – Sometimes people make decisions that we do not agree with, sometimes those decisions are contradictory and because of that they make even less sense. This is one I just do not feel comfortable with.

Girls can play football with the boys, they can wrestle with the boys. Two contact sports that the Maine Principles Association allows male and females to compete together and against each other. However for some silly reason, even the courts could not get this one right, boys cannot play a non-contact sport like field hockey.

Aside from the fact that girls have a sport that boys cannot play, but girls can play any sport on any team they want, that is just wrong to begin with. The fact that the two sports that girls are OK to compete against are both high contact sports in my humble opinion is also wrong.

I have sat and wondered how I would feel if I was a football player and my job was to guard the girl. My first thought was what if I hurt her? My second thought was I guess I’ll show her she does not belong on this field. My last thought was what if I go to block her and I grab her wrong, that would be awkward at best.

Let me say right now I am a whole hearted supporter of girls sports. Everyone that knows me also knows girls sports are where it is at as far as I am concerned. I have two daughters, why would I not think that. But, and this is a big but, I do not think girls should be allowed to play football or wrestle against boys.

Why does it seem appropriate to allow boys and girls to grab each other and grapple to the ground or mat? Did the people that came up with this decision miss something growing up. We do everything we can to keep them apart as long as we can knowing that boys will be boys and girls will be girls. Then the next thing we know Suzie can play football or wrestle with the boys, but don’t let a guy put a field hockey uniform on. God forbid that boys would overtake a girls sport.

Title Nine was designed to be sure that males and females get the same treatment, have similar opportunities and equality is established. How is this equal? I guess if you are a girl it is.

On average, due to the normal difference in how a boy is built and how a girl is built, the girls will struggle at best against boys playing the same sport with the same level of skills. Does the fact that boys grow up playing football and wrestling have something to do with it? Are boys stronger then girls? For the most part yes, there are always exceptions.

Is it going to take a girl getting severely hurt for the decision makers to understand that equality comes in different forms, and allowing girls to play contact sports with boys and compete against boys is not fair to either sex. There was a high school wrestler last year that gave up his chance at a state championship because he refused to wrestle a girl. Not because he was afraid he would get hurt or beat, but because he believed it was not correct for him to be put in that situation.

In my e-mail to the MPA I asked them if they could explain their policy. Here is what I asked them “Who decided that it is OK for girls to play football with the boys, but boys cannot play field hockey with the girls. I am also doing an editorial on how I feel about girls and boys playing the same contact sport and competing against each other like wrestling and football and that is OK, but a male playing a non contact sport like field hockey is not OK.”
Here is the response I received. “there was a Maine court case in the early 1990s that ruled that boys could not play on girls teams. I am out of state the rest of the week and will not be back in the office until Tuesday afternoon so I do not have the citation with me.”

Not sure what that answer has to do with my question, but it is what I got. If the court ruled that boys could not play on girls teams then doesn’t common sense tell you girls should not be allowed to play on boys teams. What happened to offering both males and females the same opportunities?

Maybe it will take some parent of a boy taking the MPA and their school to court to block girls from playing on a boys team. It has to be one way or the other, each can play on any team or they must only play with their own gender. It cannot be one way for the girls and a different way for the boys.

I have been covering sports for over 10 years now and this has always bothered me. Girls can play baseball, but boys cannot play softball. Girls can play boys lacrosse, but boys cannot play girls lacrosse. Have we gone to far in trying to be sure that girls are treated equally? This is not equal, it is direct discrimination against boys.

I am curious to see how other people think on this subject. I hope you will take a minute and type a response. How do you feel about this subject? I just don’t feel right about it.

5 Responses to Right or Wrong: I just don’t feel right about this

  1. Tammy Brooks on September 25, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    I think this is a great article Ron, and I understand your viewpoints. However, I believe that girls should be able to play whatever they want, and they take the risk of that sport head on. As for the part where boys cannot play field hockey, I agree that they should be able to play. It is my opinion that in sports where there isn’t a boy/girl team, the kids should be able to play on one team together. Gender/sex shouldn’t have anything to do with whether they can play or not, it should be their skill level that determines their ability to be on the team.

  2. Chris Roman on September 23, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    As I read your article Ron, I sat and wondered how many men would respond. How many would remain silent in order not to offend. How many coaches would agree or disagree. I am only the fourth to respond and the first male. This day and age, we teach “equal rights” so much I think we have lost the true definition of equal. I believe with my heart my wife can open her own car door, but I believe as a man it is my job to get it for her. Does that make her less equal? I believe it lifts her above me. I have a son and a daughter. I will be the first to tell you that raising them, there is a difference. Lets put a male on our next softball team. How long before other schools say that’s not fair? My point, we have girl sports to keep skills and talents equal and boys sports for the same reason. The wrestler who refused to wrestle a girl should never had been put in that position to choose. He may not have the championship title but he has my respect. It is not a matter of equal as much as it is right and wrong. Girls and boys are different. Always have been and will always be.

  3. Heidi on September 23, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    I agree as well…doesn’t seem fair. I wouldn’t want my daughters playing with or against boys, but I think an all girls team would be more appropriate.

  4. Kelly on September 23, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    I agree 100 %… and I am the mother of a daughter.

  5. Norma Hunt on September 23, 2011 at 11:55 am

    Ron, have to say that I totally agree with you on this one. And some will find that hard to believe considering my feminist leanings. But in my opinion, fair is fair and equality should be equal all the way around.

    As most folks know, my son Nicholas is a wrestler and has been for many years now. In raising him to respect girls, it was very hard to convince him it was okay to wrestle them. So when the situation arose my comment to him was this “if that girl (and subsequently her parents) chose to wrestle, then you treat her as you would any other wrestler, take her down.” His first pin was against a girl and he had many other matches against girls. Before each of those matches I made the same comment “you take her down, she chose to do wrestle”. My opinion would be the same if he came up against a girl in football, soccer, etc. My son would love to play softball, he plays with his sister on occasion and does a good job at it.

    As always Ron, another great article.

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