Friday, May 18, 2012

Poetry Friday--Playing Baseball (Like a Girl)

I don't know if you heard the recent news about a Fundamentalist Catholic high school baseball team in Arizona that refused to play in a state finals game. The opposing team had a female second baseman. The gist of the story is that the girl, in deference to the objecting team, didn't play against them in regular season games, but when it came down to the crucial game in the finals, she stepped up to the plate! Unfortunately, the game was forfeited by the parochial school, and she didn't get to play.

I admire the confidence and spirit of the young woman who was able to try out for, and play with, the "boys" team. It's too bad her team won by default. As for the forfeiting team--they are truly losers--the 21st century is here to stay, and women are not going back!

By way of celebrating Paige Sultzbach, here's a poem by J. Patrick Lewis:
First Girls in Little League Baseball

December 26, 1974
Title IX of the 1972 Education Act is signed, providing for equal opportunity in athletics for girls as well as boys.

The year was 1974
When Little Leaguers learned the score.
President Ford took out his pen,
And signed a law that said from then
On women too would have the chance
To wear the stripes and wear the pants.
Now what you hear, as flags unfurl,
Is "Atta boy!" and "Atta girl!"

Head over to Write. Sketch. Repeat. for this week's Round-Up.



Author Amok said...

Great post! When my son was wrestling, there was a similar story in the news -- a boy forfeiting an important match because he wouldn't wrestle a girl. Our country seems overly-focused on gender and sex-role issues right now.

I'm Jet . . . said...

So good, Diane!

I was one of those athletic girls who couldn't play ANY sport with what the great State of Illinois (or perhaps my school district) deemed to be a Contact sport -- whether it be a boys' team OR a girls' team. All that was available to girls who wanted to play against other schools were the more genteel sports of tennis and golf.

I wanted basketball, volleyball, field hockey, etc.

I was 24 by the time Title IX was passed -- too late for me.

Or so I thought. When I finally joined a woman's Over-40 indoor soccer just-for-fun league, I got to see how truly important it is to allow women and girls to participate.

Indoor soccer taught me things about myself, about working with and having fun with teammates, and moving differently through the physical world.

The adults who made the decision to forfeit the game deprived the youngsters in their care of a great opportunity.

Great post today, D!


Diane Mayr said...

By striving to turn back the clock, people lose the present, and, limit their future. So sad that people think women can be manipulated!