A Page of One's Own

Like a Girl

Feb
05

This morning, Charlee and I showed up at the church gym to cheer on daddy as he played a basketball game.

Branden’s team was down a player, and I can play basketball. Branden suggested that I join the team, and I watched as some of the men shifted, some accepted, and some grimaced. Playing with a girl?

One of the men, stooped over putting his basketball shoes on, said, “Well, if we can’t get five guys we might as well start trying to get girls to play.”

Oh, really?

I lifted my eyebrows, looked directly at him, and said, “might as well?” loud enough for everyone within the room to hear.

He caught on, laughing nervously and playing it off. I immediately said to Branden in Portuguese, “I don’t want to play with this guy,” to which he responded, “I get that.” There was an immediate assumption that I was going to play basketball “like a girl,” which phrase we can use interchangeably with “worse” in this case.

I ended up playing, because I wanted to play and I’m actually pretty good, not great but pretty good, and I played while my baby crawled around on the sideline. I asked the opposing team to play hard against me, and they did. I got swatted a few times, and I had a few great steals. I played good defense. And not that I was keeping score or anything, but I scored more points than that guy.

Women are as individual as men. Please do not make assumptions about me.

How does it make sense to assume that because someone is a woman, she cannot possibly play basketball as good as say, a middle-aged, out-of-shape man? And how does it make sense to assume that men can lift heavy things while women cannot? It doesn’t, but I’m still picked hesitantly to play for a team, and eyes still skip over me when looking for “strong hands” to help.

I am as individual as you, with strengths and weaknesses. Being a women does not make me weak and it does not make me strong. Let me decide what I am.

I am a mother and a creator and I like to play basketball. I can lift heavy things. I am a woman, a mother, a creator, an athlete, and I am strong.

In order to compete though, I need opportunities to compete–so give them freely.

And then if I am not keeping up, cut me from the team.

I want my daughter to hear the phrase “like a girl” and know that that phrase connotes strength and individuality, not weakness or inferiority. Because girls can do, well, pretty cool things.

See stats from basketball game today.

10 Responses to Like a Girl

  1. LOVE this! Well said as always!

  2. Reminds me of Train Magazine article,”Woman in a man’s world”, written Jan,2003, by Linda Niemann,English Ph.D.,Her railroad career 1979 to1999.Fight over women’s bathroom key and being called pet names by yardmaster were part of it.

  3. Reminds me of Train Magazine article,”Woman in a man’s world”, written Jan,2003, by Linda Niemann,English Ph.D.,Her railroad career 1979 to1999.Fight over women’s bathroom key and being called pet names by yardmaster were part of it.

  4. What’s up, I log on to your new stuff regularly.

    Your writing style is witty, keep doing what you’re doing!

  5. I love this and I echo your sentiments. I was raised to be as tough as any of my 4 brothers, if not tougher. I came out a fighter battling to live. And my mom said it made me strong. And I hate when people think because I’m a girl, I can’t. I always love when I outlift the guy next to me at the gym. They look surprised and I’m like yeah.. I can do that. And my ainslee is no different. I tell her we are strong and we work hard. You’re doing great things.

  6. Nice post. I learn something new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon everyday. It’s always useful to read through articles from other authors and use a little something from other sites.

  7. That’s my girl

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