Posts Tagged ‘Shalane Flanagan’

A bit of a detour today….we will return to our regularly scheduled fitness blog tomorrow.  For now…..I’d like to talk about something that is near and dear to my heart.

 

I have definitely expressed my passion for coaching young women and girls of all ages.  I’ve also expressed my desire to teach them pride, courage, respect, and honor in what they do, who they are, and in their dreams.  While many of you have seen that side of me, many of you do not know my background in education and the compassion I feel for women, sports, and gender equality in general.

In Grad school I had to write a Thesis (as many of us do) in order to graduate.  It could be about ANYTHING so long as it pertained to broadcast and cinematic arts…and even then it could be stretched ever-so-slightly.  I decided to do research on women in sports and the amount of time devoted to women’s sports on television – primetime or otherwise.  I specifically looked at the 2004 Olympic Games as a basis for some of my research with a strong emphasis on feminism.  *I wish I could have done a bigger study but with my resources and time, this was what I worked with.  Basically, what I found was that despite the same time allotment for men and women during prime time TV hours, the specific women sports that were shown were: Beach Volleyball, Gymnastics, and Swimming.  Anyone take a gander why?

These are the sports that show the most skin.  Women are seen as more “feminine” in these sports.  They don’t necessarily go against “gender roles” as perceived by the public arena.

To me this begs the question(s):

WHY DO WE HAVE TO VIEW WOMEN JUST AS A GENDER?  WHY CAN’T WE SEE THEM AS ATHLETES?  AS BUSINESS OWNERS?  AS CEO’S?  AS MOTHER’S (sometimes playing the roles of both parents)? AS POLITICIANS WHO ARE NOT TOO “GIRLY” or “SENSITIVE”?

The want for equality is such a huge factor.  EVERYWHERE.  Some countries have different gender roles and those countries/social constructs are entitled to their lifestyle.  Personally, I feel like more people should be excited to say things like, “YOU THROW LIKE A GIRL” or “YOU RUN LIKE A GIRL”.  Because, why is that a bad thing?  Why is doing anything like a girl supposed to automatically mean it’s less than?

If you’re not from the Philadelphia area, it’s possible you haven’t heard this story but if you watch ESPN at all, you have most likely heard of Mo’ne Davis.  If you have no idea who I’m talking about – the full and INCREDIBLE story can be found here.

Here are her stats:

Age: 13

Position: Pitcher

Pitch Speed: 55-75 mph (yes, it’s true)

Gender: FEMALE

Description: She is just the 18th girl to play in the Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA.  She is also one of the ONLY female pitchers to throw back to back shut outs (just recently).  She is smart.  Humble.  Most importantly, SHE THROWS LIKE A GIRL.  Who’dve thunk it?

 

She doesn’t play to play like a girl or a boy…she plays because she LOVES the sport.  Is she an exception?  Possibly….but she doesn’t have to be and, more importantly, shouldn’t be.  Doing ANYTHING like a girl shouldn’t be considered less than.

Let me ask you a few questions, if you still don’t believe me…….

1.  If you run like a girl…does that mean you won’t win any marathons?  I think Deena Kastor and Shalane Flanagan would have something to say about that…..

2.  If you play baseball like a girl….does that mean you won’t throw any shut outs or throw a complete game on 71 pitches because it’s a “boys sport”?  I think Mo’ne would have something to say about that

3.  If you play basketball like a girl….does that mean you won’t be able to beat boys at their own game?  I think Brittney Griner would have something to say about that…..

4.  If you play soccer like a girl….does that mean you’ll never win a world cup? or a national title?  I think Mia Hamm has something to say about that…..

5.  When you think of the world’s best swimmer…..do you only think of Michael Phelps?  Or you do also think of Missy Franklin?

6.  If your daughter or daughters or athletes or students want to learn a sport or do an activity…..who are you going to point out someone to look up to?

7.  Wouldn’t you be flattered to be thought of as a girl who runs like Shalane?  A girl who pitches like Mo’ne?  A girl who dunks like Brittney?  A girl who kicks like Mia? or a girl who makes a splash like Missy?

Don’t even act like you wouldn’t.

Yes, you can argue that these cases are exceptional…..but let’s be honest…I don’t have all day to give you all the examples that no longer make the above exceptions.

I leave you with one final video and I am open to comments (so long as they are valid and not derogatory) and opinions.

 

I’ll ask one more time…..what’s so wrong with doing anything “like a girl”?