The American sports landscape has drastically changed in the past 25 years. Sure, there remain some bastions of all male, testosterone-laced environments, like football. And that will eventually prove to be the last bastion of male exclusionary participation, if you ask me. Probably the NBA will remain female free, but maybe not. All other sports are up for grabs. And that is what I want to ruminate on. Chicks rule, guys. They will soon take over the world. Even our sacred sports world. Their occupation of the White House is a fait accomplis.
Because if women get even close to being on a par with us athletically (think Michelle Wie), and I think they are dead set on that path, we will fade to black. They hold the sexual allure and can control us with that alone (shh...maybe they don't know this yet). If they combine that with an ability to kick our ass in sports, however sporadically, we will succumb like Pavarotti when the Beluga Caviar is passed to him. I do not see this as a bad thing.
What is at the root of this revolution? My favorite word: Fairness. We finally gave girls and women the opportunity. I believe we not only can co-exist, and even compete directly, but thrive in that atmosphere.
I have no children, and if I had a boy, I would have guided him into sports. But if I had a daughter, I would have done so equally as much. And no, of course I don't deserve accolades for that, but it reveals the changing of the landscape. Think what it has done for father-daughter relationships. There are untold healthier, deeper relationships than before this cultural change occurred. It is win-win.
Girls get a sense of a level playing field, so to speak, and this stuff washes upward. These young women will insist on the same fairness in the classroom, in their ensuing jobs. There is much less of a glass ceiling for competent grown women in the business world because of this development. With the increasing focus on the bottom line, a decidedly green one, the powers that be tend to focus less and less on whether the people who can make them money have tits or balls. And when you think about it, the absurdity of rejecting someone for their gender, rather than their level of competence, may be the height of stupidity. And yet it still happens. Amazing.
So, giving young girls the opportunity to compete and further, to compete against boys, develops confidence. And a sense of equality. Probably nothing more important for the continual growth and success of women than confidence. I know it is a huge aphrodisiac for me in a woman. And I also know women are very attracted to that trait in men.
I stop short of stating that today's young female athletes are trailblazers. Not a chance. The girls who choose sports today as their vehicle to young adulthood do so merely because they CAN. Those feminist roads were smoothed by heroes, REAL heroes. Billie Jean King, Martina Navratilova, Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy, Jennifer Azzi, Jan Stephenson, Nancy Lopez, and many more. They fought the fight so today's young girls wouldn't have to.
Far more pernicious, however, are the small minded girls, culture mall-rats who eschew the character building, healthy route of competitive sports instead for the pursuit of boys, shopping, their lattes and their French fries, the tattoo above the crack of the ass, and the fashion choice to show off their muffin top in some bizarre defiance of fitness. And their embracing of Abercrombie & Fitch's "let's be a young whore" fashion statement, while trying to be brazen, achieves only crassness. This group seems more influential, culturally, and that is unfortunate.
Of course, culture is its own phenomena, literally choosing its path like a hurricane, and we adjust to if AFTER it hits landfall. And when you present that landscape to the unformed mind of a teenager, more often than not, the kid will go with the common flow, and be absolutely afraid of independent thought, of going against the grain, of being an individualist, of not following their friends. Our "culture" used to be the red-headed step-child, running a distant second to religious commitment, community involvement, and family. Now pop (funny, I originally typed in 'poop') culture rules the world.
Again, this recent (like I say, about 25 years) freedom for young girls in no way excuses the historical suppression of girls and women. Women earned their freedom by forcing us men to allow it.
We have a pretty ugly history, us white guys do, of oppression. Real progress has been made, real strides taken, but there are still more hurdles. My money is on the female gender to win.
I hope I’m alive to see it.
© Copyright 2016 Bill Rayburn. All rights reserved.
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