Thursday, November 20, 2008

Co-ed rec sports

I think a lot about co-ed sports. Okay not a lot a lot--I do have a life. But I find them particularly interesting in all their various manifestations. I myself have played co-ed softball and mixed doubles. Quite different, of course, but definitely sharing some similarities. Because most co-ed sports share similarities and that is because they all adopt a similar paradigm: the need to make adjustments to accommodate the skills of women. And the implication, of course, is that those skills are inferior.
And that paradigm manifests itself in more ways than just the gendered batting order or the mandate that women serve to women on the deciding point of a game. Jennifer Doyle, a rec soccer player, talks about her experiences playing with men at her blog From a Left Wing (another new blog to add to the list!) and the thoughts such experiences have created in her.
Also, the UCLA student newspaper The Daily Bruin, has an article about co-rec sports on its campus. They are quite popular, according to sources. Unfortunately, the rule changes, again made in the name of accommodating women, result in statements like this:
"It’s less physical, but you can’t do much about that,” second-year prebusiness economics student Charles Liu said.
“Girls can really surprise you about how good they are at football. ... It’s still a lot of fun."
If Liu really wanted a physical game, why doesn't he just play men's flag football? It just could be, maybe, that there are men out there that enjoy this version of the game(s) as well. In other words, the accommodations, I would bet, aren't just for women. They provide an alternative for everyone.

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