Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Breaking A Small Glass Ceiling

I try to keep this blog light and friendly but this post will be nothing of the sort.  I'm pissed and I'm going to write about it.  So, if you're not in the mood for a rant close this now - I understand and we're still good ;)

First of all, here is the article that broke this Mom.

Let me break this article down for you.  The two girls on the team were benched because the opposing team called Sharia Law at half time.

See Daughter B played on a rep travel soccer team in a boys league. So I have first hand knowledge of what it's like being a girl on a boys team. Let's start the story shall we?

B rocking the throw in

It wasn't typical February Saturday in our little town. Sure it was cold but there was spring fever running rampant in the Life & Food house.  Why? Because it was soccer sign up day. A day almost better than Christmas.

Hubster & I made sure the girls were bundled up and we headed to the church where the sign ups were being held.  We were old pro's to the process by now, head in, find the girls birth year table, grab the re-enrollment forms, change any info & sign them, head to the cashier table.

B taking it down the line

This year though we were stopped by one of the coach's that we knew well. She was manning the travel soccer table and asked if Daughter B was interested in trying out for the team - the boys team.  Of course B was all over the idea so we signed her up for that too.  Try outs starting in March.

Once we got home Hubby and I knew that we had to have a discussion with her about being on a rep team and a boys rep team at that.  We told her that being on a travel team meant a lot of practices, a lot of out of town games, plus she would still have to attend her house league games, and that's only if she made the cut - there was no guarantee's she would even be chosen.  Trying to explain that she may be the only girl was a bit trickier but we got through it. We pretty much knew that she'd make the cut but there was some tough competition. We explained that being a girl didn't automatically get her in because it was a boys teams and they would only pick her if she could out play the boys.

B's first tournament with the boys

After two weeks of pretty intense try outs we were told the good news; she'd made it. Her first question was did the girl friend she had made during the practices made it too.  We had to tell her no, she was the only girl.  Again we verified with her that this was something she really wanted to do.  She was a little sad that her friend wouldn't be with her but she was all in.

Practices started the next week and the boys on the team were very welcoming, even psyched really. They knew how good she was and how the entire team would benefit from her being a member.  Even the parents commented how thrilled they were to have her there. Nobody cared that she was a girl.

B got called up to help out A's team

After a week or so of practices the coaches had worked out first and second strings.  Not only was she first string, she was a forward/striker! I can't tell you how big my heart swelled with the news.  A small glass ceiling had shattered for my baby girl and she didn't even know it.

Once the season had officially started and we were travelling all over Southern Ontario it seemed.  I noticed that parents on the other teams were completely shocked at the sight of her.  I heard comments like 'Why is there a girl on that team? Is that allowed?', or 'There can't be good enough boys in that town if they let a such a little girl play' (and let me tell you some pretty talented boys didn't make it - they tried out around 30ish kids for this team) and some other very mean comments that will never be repeated in fear that one day B will read this post. B is little, always has been; but what she lacks in height and mass she makes up for in aces for speed and intuition - ignorance is bliss you mean parents. See, I'm not one for immediate confrontation especially if I know that these people will look like complete assholes all on their own. Once that ref's whistle was blown and that ball was kicked there was no stopping my girl. She out ran and out maneuvered their little princes every time! And she had an entire team of talented boys on her side to help her out. What kills me is I never heard a bad comment from the other players, it was always from the parents.

B going in for the pass (she got the goal)

So, when I read articles like this it completely strikes the wrong cord with this girl mom.  Hubby & I have never instilled gender rolls with our girls. They were raised as people who can do anything and be anything they want and absolutely no one has the right to tell them they can't. If they wanted dolls or hot wheels it didn't matter to us.  All that mattered was they are happy and prepared to face the world head on & confident.  If I was the coach (and I hope B's coach would act in a similar fashion) I'd tell the other team to stuff it! Their team can take the forfeit (to hell with the point spread for our own team) those girls out played all the others that were cut and earned her right to play with the boys. Win or lose, it should always be about whats best for every player on the team, girl or boy. We live in an enlightened society (I thought) and to pull something like this crap infuriates me. Bowing down to some archaic belief is unforgivable.

B having a break with the boys

A final note to the mean parents out there. If you see a girl on a boys team know this; she worked her ass off to get there. So take your head out of your own ass, keep your negative comments to yourself, and cheer her on.

Never underestimate this face.
'And although she may be but little she is fierce'
~William Shakespeare~

Stay Sweet