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Jun 24 2013

Not welcome at tryouts for the football team

Girl likes football. Girl plays on team in 6th grade. Girl gets kicked off team in 7th grade because Impure Thoughts.

A private school outside Atlanta recently informed 12-year-old Madison Baxter that she would not be welcome at tryouts for the 7th-grade football team, even though she started on the sixth-grade team and has been playing football since second grade. The reason she won’t be allowed on the field? Because her male teammates are beginning to have “impure thoughts” about her, Strong Rock Christian Academy school administrator Patrick Stuart told Baxter’s mother.

Uh huh. And that’s not Christian, so female people have to be kept at a distance. In the kitchen, once the war is won, but in the meantime – at least off the fuckin football team. If God wanted girls to play football God would have sealed over their naughty bits with cement.

Baxter’s case, now part of a Facebook page pushing the school to “Let her play,” is unfortunately not unique: A Philadelphia youth league banned an 11-year-old girl last fall before reinstating her after a nationwide petition drive called attention to her case. And the logic behind Baxter’s case, sadly, isn’t unique either. The misguided assumption that the problem is the person who is “different” rather than those who are incapable of accepting and adjusting to the difference has been used to urge gay players to remain in the closet, lest they become a distraction, and to keep female reporters out of male lockerrooms.

But everything is perfectly fine just the way it is right now, and that includes with Madison Baxter off the football team. Anybody who says it isn’t is just a troublemaker. God doesn’t like troublemakers.

Go Like that Facebook page. It was 16 thousand something a few minutes ago when I shared it, and it’s now 17 thousand something. The numbers are rocketing. Tell Strong Rock Christian Academy what you think of this crap.

 

29 comments

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  1. 1
    Hamilton Jacobi

    Several of her male teammates are almost certainly beginning to have impure thoughts about the other male teammates too. Better disband all team sports for everyone over the age of 10 just to make sure their thoughts remain pure.

    But even that won’t stop them from having impure thoughts in the classroom and in other ungodly places such as shopping malls. So it looks like our only option is to put everyone in solitary confinement well in advance of the onset of puberty.

  2. 2
    CaitieCat, in no way a robot nosireebot

    Hamilton, I’d say that your argument doesn’t go far enough; clearly the only sure way to make sure the little sinners don’t have impure thoughts is to nuke ‘em from orbit.. Then they can be perfectly pure and sitting on the Sky-Daddy’s Lap.

  3. 3
    Hamilton Jacobi

    I think that may be going a little too far. I admit that solitary confinement has a fatal flaw — it won’t stop them from wanking, and everybody knows god hates a wanker. But if we decapitate them all at the age of 5, surely that would be much more thrifty and environmentally friendly than nuclear weapons.

  4. 4
    NoSinNever

    Surely we could find some technology to prevent impure thoughts before they begin. Think of how much heartache this would prevent! This is the 21st century — why is no one working on this?

  5. 5
    NoxiousNana

    What kind of sick perverts are on the school board? To stigmatize this girl in such a way…that is truly twisted and fucked up. I have no words.

  6. 6
    Allan Frost

    It’s okay because the CEO of the school prayed about it and I guess Jesus told him a girl shouldn’t be playing football. <– that's a disgusting sentence I just wrote.

  7. 7
    Tyrant

    “Several of her male teammates are almost certainly beginning to have impure thoughts about the other male teammates too.”

    Well, you know, the filthy girl needs to be off the team before Jesus can step in (and he will) to properly deal with the sodomy crisis without distraction.

  8. 8
    Tyrant

    One question though: Does this Firm Wood christian academy or what its called have Cheerleaders?

  9. 9
    opposablethumbs

    Doubly, triply, quadruply pissed off – because now, even if she gets reinstated, she’s going to be made to feel even more conspicuous and under scrutiny than before. Which is likely to spoil her enjoyment and screw up her game, thus giving these arseholes another excuse to drop her from the team. Fuckers.

    Seriously, some of the boys screw up and so she has to suffer for it? So, so fucked up.

  10. 10
    ImaginesABeach

    So, if she doesn’t play football, will they stop having impure thoughts about her? Or, instead of having impure thoughts about a girl that they know is tough enough to play football, will they instead have impure thoughts about the same girl that they see sitting quietly on the sidelines?

  11. 11
    opposablethumbs

    And on second thoughts (to correct my own stupid mistake), there’s nothing in the article to say that any of the boys actually have screwed up in any way. This is all in the prejudices and fucked-up mind of the school staff and their CEO Patrick Stuart, who is convinced that the boys will have “impure thoughts” and that this is the answer.

    As the article goes on to point out, in addition to the blatant injustice of punishing one person for somebody else’s as yet uncomitted “sins” (could this get any more ass-backwards?),

    playing football with a girl could have been a valuable experience for Baxter’s teammates about how to appropriately interact with women and girls, about how a person’s sex doesn’t make her inherently inferior athletically or in any other way, and about how having “impure thoughts” doesn’t mean you have license to act on them. They won’t get that lesson, though, because the adults in charge of Strong Rock Christian Academy’s athletics program apparently have yet to learn it themselves.

  12. 12
    unbound

    @8 – To be realistic, there were probably a number of parents that raised the issue to the school administrators. And, I wouldn’t necessarily count out the boys on the team either. I know the high school baseball players on our local high school team are rather foul-mouthed and rude (including many derogatory / sexual statements about girls – they were willing to say their shit in front of me, so they aren’t afraid of displaying their crap in front of adults), so I wouldn’t be surprised to find the football players to be nearly as bad. If the parents overheard something of that nature, I could understand some of the more ignorant parents running to the school instead of correctly their kids.

  13. 13
    MEFoley

    Agree with opposeablethumbs (#6)

    Plus, imagine the scene before the game. All the guys psyching each other up, all the comradery in the locker room and then, elsewhere in the building, a silent locker room, just for the one girl on the team.

    It’s not that I want them showering together or something, it’s not even a case of separate not being equal, it’s just an illustration of the determination it takes for her to stay on the team in the face of such obvious signals that she is different and that this team never expected her to show up.

    I can see it in my head like a movie, cutting back and forth between the rooms.

    And think of the celebrations after they win! Shouting and high fives where the guys are, and… she’s showering and changing by herself.

    No, nothing wrong with that, but… sad.

  14. 14
    grumpyoldfart

    I doubt the boys told the school administrator that they were having impure thoughts about the girl, so I’m wondering where he got the idea.

    The word ‘projection’ just popped into my head.

  15. 15
    AJ Milne

    I can see it in my head like a movie, cutting back and forth between the rooms. / And think of the celebrations after they win! Shouting and high fives where the guys are, and… she’s showering and changing by herself. / No, nothing wrong with that, but… sad.

    It’s probably a little ways from that even happening, anyway, but still, dreaming of what could be, I don’t think it has to be especially sad…

    Teachable moment there, even, maybe. Boys gotta get, listen, she is alone in this one regard, at least, and so you’re going to have to work a bit to include her. So there probably do have to be separate showers; fine; let’s work around that anyway; the celebrations or commiserations happen before that, on the field, on the way in, so on. Inclusion isn’t just going to happen, here. You have to make it so.

    (It’s not at all the same thing, probably–and may also contain a spot of privilege blindness–but I can also tell ya honestly, from my experience of lockers rooms, I’d be pretty okay with having a separate shower. Party some, yell a bit, make some bad jokes and rib anyone who fumbled and then grabbed it and somehow scored on a fluke anyway, celebrate the victory, fine, but now let me have some peace and time to collect myself and change, and seriously, thanks, kindly. I like you guys just fine, but listen, space is good, too. But then this is probably as much about personality as anything, and probably not at all for everyone. And I guess wanting or choosing to have space isn’t the same as having it forced upon you, and not really being able to cross it even if you want to. And, granted, it also says ‘not a team player’ on pretty much every performance review I’ve ever had. Point is, though: it’s not all sad, necessarily.)

  16. 16
    opposablethumbs

    @ unbound #9, I’m sure you’re right – I just meant there’s nothing in the article to say that any of the boys have already been observed screwing up with derogatory and sexist statements/attitudes/behaviour; just the CEO’s Minitrue-type assumption that they will think ungood thoughts. And sadly you’re probably right about the parents as well :-(
    Of course the main problem is that instead of tackling any behaviour like this in the boys their “solution” is to penalise the girl.

    the celebrations or commiserations happen before that, on the field, on the way in, so on. Inclusion isn’t just going to happen, here. You have to make it so.

    Exactly! This is a huge teachable moment, for inclusion and non-discrimination in all kinds of aspects of life. Learn something like that, learn that this is what is (or ought to be) normal when it’s “just” kids playing sports and maybe it makes one tiny contribution to preparing the ground for genuine inclusion in the workplace … with all that that entails. One tiny contribution among millions, of course – imagine if it we all got to experience thousands of micro-inclusions instead of micro-agressions! :-\

  17. 17
    MEFoley

    “Not a team player” is kinda the whole thing here… Even if they let her play, she’ll be kind of on the team, and kind of not.

  18. 18
    Gregory in Seattle

    As I recall, football at this age is flag, not tackle, so they don’t have the excuse of “girls aren’t suited for rough and tumble.” They have to come up with the tired old meme of “A male is having impure thoughts, and it is of course a female’s fault.”

    Maybe they will let her be a cheerleader, if she can get a burka in the school colors.

  19. 19
    ArtK

    Awwww… poor little boys can’t learn to control their impure thoughts.

  20. 20
    Jackie, all dressed in black

    I don’t buy the “impure thoughts” excuse. The CEO said,

    “the locker-room talk was not appropriate for a female to hear even though she had a separate locker room from the boys”

    He knows they aren’t having a prayer meeting in that locker room. Impure thoughts are expected in football. It’s just like the violence in the game. It isn’t a bug, it’s a feature. It is a manly, macho sport. The boys and men who play are often damaged permanently by the game. It is associated with toughness, beer and scantily clad young women dancing and cheering. Football culture has a lot in common with a Dothraki wedding.

    My guess? They don’t want to see a girl knock their boys on their butts on the practice field for another year.

    Fundies take gender roles seriously. She has to be kept in her place. Notice that the boys will not be asked to keep their locker-room talk “pure”. Boys will be boys! This is about gender identity and how it is tied to sports culture. So, she can’t be in that space or even on the team.

  21. 21
    Marcus Ranum

    If god created woman to be tempting, then god wants men to be tempted; therefore removing women from places where they are tempting is interference with the divine plan. God wants to give those boys a chance to overcome their animal natures by being well-behaved and respectful towards women.

    Love me some sophistimacated theology!

  22. 22
    Jackie, all dressed in black

    a female

    >.<

  23. 23
    Marcus Ranum

    “the locker-room talk was not appropriate for a female to hear even though she had a separate locker room from the boys

    Leadership opportunity: missed.

    If I had failed so spectacularly, I’d be hesitant to publicize it. I’m guessing the impure thoughts were in the coach’s mind, more than anywhere else.

  24. 24
    Marcus Ranum

    Maybe they will let her be a cheerleader

    …cheerleaders, of course, being intended to promote “impure thoughts.”
    Sounds like someone’s trying to have things both ways, huh? Because, you know,
    no football players have ever had hot locker-room talk about the cheerleaders…

  25. 25
    Gregory in Seattle

    @Marcus Ranum #24 – Exactly.

  26. 26
    LykeX

    …cheerleaders, of course, being intended to promote “impure thoughts.”

    Yes, but the important thing is that cheerleaders are in a distinctly secondary position. They are there to support the guys doing the real job of playing on the field. This isn’t about “impure thoughts”. It’s about making sure that this girl (and all the girls watching) learns her place and doesn’t get the idea that she might be equal to the boys.

    Another sad thing is that this could have been a great opportunity for the boys to see a girl as something other than an chance to get laid. Having a girl on the team, as one of the “guys”, could have provided an antidote to any future denigration of women. It’s hard to maintain the idea that women are weaker than men if you’ve spent your formative years getting your ass kicked by a girl.

    Now, that chance is wasted. Instead, they’re reinforced in the idea that girls are inherently different; that there are girl things and boy things and they should be kept strictly separate. As if football culture didn’t already have plenty of problems.

  27. 27
    CaitieCat, in no way a robot nosireebot

    Another sad thing is that this could have been a great opportunity for the boys to see a girl as something other than an chance to get laid.

    You see this as a bug; I’m quite sure they view it as a spectacularly awesome feature.

  28. 28
    Adam Highway

    I feel for her, I really do, but rather than trying to get her reinstated on the school’s team, wouldn’t it be better for her and her parents to realise quite how screwed up the notion of a christian school is in the first place, and move her somewhere less interested in indoctrination and more interested in, say, education? And football if they must? Seriously, why would she even want to stay there? Maybe it would even teach the teammates a lesson, if they miss out on someone many of them respect and who was a valuable part of the team!

  29. 29
    LykeX

    But then again, why should she have to move schools, away from all her friends, just because these school administrators have decided that their personal hang-ups are more important than the children they’re supposed to be educating?

    This isn’t just about her alone. It’s also about pushing back against the asshole who still have control over a larger number of impressionable kids. If they’re willing to do this, they’re probably doing a lot of other things, too.

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