Girls Who Like to Ruck!
The other day I was at a childrenís rugby tournament for the under-elevens,
where the star player was a girl. She wasnít the only one around, there were
a couple, but she was by far the best player in the whole thing.
Unfortunately for her, she starts secondary school next year and bam!
suddenly, sheíll have nobody to play with. Girls arenít allowed to play rugby
at S1 in schools where I live. Once they reach S1, after all, the safe Mini
Laws are replaced by the opportunity to push in the scrum, use the hand-off
and tackle properly. And ≠ hear the gasps of horror ≠ girls might hurt
What is it with this absolute horror over girls getting hurt in sports? How
come itís OK for boys to know the joys of a damn good tackle, but not the
girls? Are we made of china? Are we more prone to injury? Or is it, as I
strongly suspect, yet another way in which women are treated like Barbie dolls
by society? Society doesnít want to see girls getting sweaty, filthy and
battered. Weíre not meant to be on a field with sticks flailing, screaming at
each other and hacking at shins. We donít please people when we wear
gumshields instead of lipstick, and naked aggression is so unbecoming, after
all. Hence we were stuck playing netball and rounders whilst the boys whooped
in the mud on the next pitch. And this patronising crap doesnít stop even
when weíre fully grown adults.
I played shinty at university, where the male
side of the club openly stated that they disapproved of womenís shinty. When
asked why, they would begin to squirm, whilst muttering solid arguments such
as, "Itís just not right. . . it's rough out there. . . girls shouldnít be doing
things like that." This was echoed by every spectator at tournaments,
horrified that "the lassies" were grabbing a slice of the action but not
giving a toss about the 24 guys whacking lumps out of each other on the next
pitch. Male teams refused to let their female teams use their facilities.
They shook their heads that they had "lived to see this day", but were
indignant when accused of sexism.
And other girls are just as bad. See the
bimbos clustered adoringly around the average menís sports team. Watch their
snide disgust as the womenís team walks past. They have muscles! Theyíre so
ugly! They must all be fat hairy lesbians, because real, feminine women would
never play a sport where the wimpy, patronising girly safeguards have been
removed! After all, they might get HURT!
Fuck them all. Letís get a grip here and stop wrapping girls in cotton wool.
Letís knock off the underlying message that theyíre all inferior and weak.
Not all of them want to go out and play contact sports, but why should we stop
those who do, for the lame crap that itís dangerous for them but not the
boys? Tits arenít that fragile. This attitude belongs in the 1950ís, not the
21st century. Throw the sports open to all ≠ what have we got to lose? What
are we all so frightened of? That some women might enjoy themselves too? That
some of us revel in traditionally masculine preserves? This is sport ≠ itís
meant to be FUN. Why are we being denied that?
Iím involved in youth rugby. I get coaches who wonít speak to me, players who
think they can walk all over me (they canít), people asking in disbelief, "Are
you the ref?" when itís on my shirt, and horrified spectators assuring me that
Iíll get trampled to death. Yeah, well, watch me for five minutes and youíll
see that youíre wrong. Iím not going to sit back and wait for it to be
acceptable to morons. Iíll just get out there and have a great time, and if
you donít like it ≠ tough shit. You should be grateful your daughterís got
another role model, instead of embarrassed because you told your son women
didnít belong in rugby and he repeated it to me. Bring your daughter *and*
you son along next time. Bring yourself. Get involved. Get rid of your
presumptions. Everyoneís welcome. If you donít like it, thatís your choice,
but make it a choice, not an obligation because you think itís unladylike.
Donít treat your daughter like a toy who might snap. Teach her to be strong,
confident, healthy and unafraid. And if you canít do that, bring her down
next Sunday afternoon and Iíll do it for you.