Coming from the South, I’ve seen a mixed reaction to girls playing football. While you’d think the deep South frowns on the ‘softer sex’ wearing a jersey, it wasn’t really that cut and dry. We didn’t have female players when I was in school and the mention of it would earn you a few laughs, but that was fifteen years ago; it was rare to see a girl even in the weight room. My brother is nine years my junior and by the time he was in high school they did have a female player on the varsity team as well as others on teams in our district. I never heard anything derogatory said about them by adults or peers. Then again, I believe they were both second string kickers. The only way you can rag on a kicker is if they actually get the chance to kick….and even then they have to miss. I’d like to hope they were accepted just because and not for lack of situations worth heckling. But I digress…
Recently girls in football came up in conversation on Facebook between some friends and acquaintances of mine. On average the parents who responded were supportive. I heard a few mention safety and elsewhere I’ve heard talk about endurance, aggression and skill. If endurance were a logical point then women wouldn’t run track. If we’re talking about skill and aggression then I’m just going to ignore you because gender has nothing to do with either (have you seen roller derby or women’s hockey?!). So we’re left with size. “A girl is smaller and more fragile. I don’t want guys running into her and hurting her.” If that’s your reasons for your OWN daughter not playing – that’s fine. Your child, your rules. But if that’s someone’s argument for ANY girl playing contact sports then I have a question for them: when are we going to kick the scrawny 120 pound boys who could be snapped like a twig off the team?
If a boy can get out on the field and risk maiming and dismemberment – then so can my daughter, dang it!
Actually, I don’t even have a daughter. But if I did, she would be free to grab a jersey and play with the guys.