Saturday, October 25, 2008

Kicker gets to kick

So a high school girl, Kacy Stuart, down in Georgia wanted to play football for her high school. But they wouldn't let her. Then her mother advocated on her daughter's behalf (i.e., raised some hell) and now Stuart is playing. Other schools are not so happy about this and Bible verses have been uttered in defense of all-boy football.
Because I Played Sports chronicles the story so I won't go into further detail that you can find there. No word yet on what exactly compelled the school to allow Stuart to kick. It wasn't Title IX because it does not apply to contact sports. Maybe they just didn't like the publicity--of which they were receiving a lot.
But here's the thing...Stuart plays for New Creation Center Crusaders. It's a private, Christian school. It is, according to its website, "non-denominational." When someone says they are Christina non-denominational that is usually code for Pentecostal. This may not be the case at New Creation Center, but even if it's not, Stuart is trying to play a traditionally masculine game at a Christian school--in the south. Its non-discrimination policy does not include gender. Let me repeat that: the school's non-discrimination policy (which covers things like athletics) does not include gender.
I am glad the Stuarts won their fight against the school and that Kacy is playing football, but I don't have much sympathy for them generally. If you want your female child to have equal opportunities try sending her to a school that actually believes in gender equality.


Unknown said...

Since religion is, God help me, my professional specialty, I'd just like to point out that people in certain traditions can believe women should have equal opportunity in some areas and not in others. There's a huge range of opinion as to what those arenas for equality are. This mother probably believes that her daughter should not enter the clergy, for instance, but that doesn't mean she shouldn't play sports with boys. In a setting where gender discrimination is allowed (and seen not as discrimination but as God-mandated differentiation) it's all the more important to chip away at the edges and exploit the areas of legitimate disagreement. Often that's the only way forward in such settings. And although I don't know about this school in particular, non-denominational conservative Christians are not all Pentecostals. The 'Christian unspecified' tag is fairly common.

Unknown said...

After all that self-indulgent blather I wanted to congratulate you, having just read on WHB that you got an article published. The holy grail! Congratulations! Looking forward to reading it.

ken said...

Thanks. I'll send you a copy.
I do see that some people see equality as a case by case basis. I'm just not a fan of that paradigm. And I find it a particularly dangerous approach when one is dealing with such a patriarchal institution as the Christian church. The mother (and others) may be able to reconcile and support the idea that her daughter should be able to play football with boys but not, for example, be allowed to be a minister or priest. But clearly others did not see it thusly. The Stuarts appear to have won this one, but in how many other instances has this not happened?