Thursday, May 22, 2008

Too good for the boys?

What's up with the west coast? Last month I wrote about a girl in British Columbia (ok the Canadian west coast in this one) who has been prevented from playing rugby with boys.

Now in Beaverton, Oregon (suburb of Portland) a 12-year old girl who has been playing with the boys on teams at a private club, The Hoop, has been barred from doing so in the future. Six foot one inch Jaime Nared is just too good apparently and parents are pissed. Under the guise of "the rules," Nared will no longer be playing on boys' teams after parents complained about her presence. Some of the arguments went like this: the boys won't push her because they have been taught not to push girls.*

In an age where in most mainstream sports winning is everything, the one thing that seems to trump even that is gender. What do I mean? Well Nared frequently scores nearly 30 points and outplays the boys. Thus she is an asset. Not that I believe her ability is the reason to let her to continue to play with the boys--just that the ban on her is likely inconsistent with most of these complaining parents' own philosophies.

Girls play with boys because they want to be better (a problematic concept I have addressed elsewhere) but boys won't play with girls because they don't want to be inferior--it's not about being the best they can be. This is equally problematic.

Check out Pandagon where this story has been covered and extensively commented on.

* If it's so easy to teach boys not to push girls why is it so hard to eradicate things like domestic abuse and sexism generally??

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