As many of you know, my older son is very athletic and his favorite sport to play is basketball. Currently, he is playing on an intramural team since his regular season for the school Bantam team has finished. Today, as I was sitting in the bleachers watching the game, I noticed that whenever one of the girls on either of the teams had possession of the ball, the coaches would call out to the male players, “Let her shoot!”
Now, I’m all for being a gentleman and chivalry but, am I the only one who thinks that this is sending the wrong message out to all the kids about gender equality. By telling the boys to back away and allow the girls to shoot the ball they are saying, in essence, that the girls are not as skilled at basketball as they boys are and that a special set of rules applies to them.
I wonder if professional female basketball players would be offended if they were playing on the same team or against their male counterparts and this took place. It sends the message that females are not as good at sports and it perpetuates gender stereotypes about the differences between men and women. Additionally, it teaches the kids that females are somehow fragile or delicate and incapable of performing under competitive athletic conditions.
This afternoon, I posed this discussion on the Tough Cookie Mommy Facebook Page and these are some of the responses that this topic received:
Kris Quier Blank said, “If sports are played with both boys and girls, they should be played equally with the same rules across the board…”
Jenny Frances said, “No, I think the coach is teaching the boys to be generous and teaching manners…”
Laura Walter Pryst said, “Maybe, but it might be because the boys aren’t letting her (shoot) while they’re in practice and the coach is trying to make sure the girls on the team get a chance to participate and gain skills…”
Let’s discuss: Do you think giving girls special privileges and rules in sports sends the wrong message to children about gender equality and male and female roles in society?
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