Simply the best...

I have to admit it - I am not the best volleyball player. I'm not even particularly good. But I like to try. If I were in school I'd get a C in skills, a B in participation (I'm short, so I don't always jump or dive at the right time) and an A in attitude/effort.

At the outset I got D's across the board.

One of the guys who plays volleyball through the Bridgewater rec department organizes free volleyball games on Saturday and Sunday mornings at Duke Island Park. This week he also set up nets on Tuesday evening, too. We are about 20-25 people who play for about 3 hours. I am always a bit sore at the end.

On Tuesday I was more than a little miffed when he divided the courts up, "Men over here, women over there. Later we'll mix it up."

Like a Mormon temple!

Mixing it up later - pulling a few "better players" from the "girls' net" (where there are also several weaker guy players) and putting them on the "men's net", and rotating "the good guys" in with us, a few at a time helps, but it doesn't address the fact that a few of them women (I'm not one of them) are actually better than several of the men. Maybe these women would rather "play up" so to speak, but they don't always get the chance.

The most amazing part is that on the mixed court at the rec department games, the men speak to the women in a very condescending way, and most of us women accept it.

Today I asked to play one round - the final round - with the big boys. I got shot down. The organizer said that he can't let me because they are just too good for me. Ouch! Another guy asked me, "you really wanted to do it, didn't you?" I said it was no big deal, but I should have the right at least to try my meager skills. Yes, they hit harder balls, yes they are more experienced, yes they are mean sometimes. But I feel that if I am courageous enough to put out there that I want to try, I should be given the opportunity.  But when push came to shove I didn't have the balls (ha ha) to push the issue and say to the guy, "I mean it, let me try." If it really meant something to me, why not talk to him about it? I should convince him that I deserve a shot.

It's basically the same complaint I have with Bridgewater schools. Let my kids try something that BRRSD thinks they are just not quite ready for. Someone whose daughter just got into e-math said she thinks it is good that they don't let "just anyone in" so that the program stays competitive. I think that you don't need to water the academics down just because one or two kids aren't as good.

Sexism - and elitism - comes in many forms. Even on this beautiful July day...

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