Jewish World Review June 16, 2006/ 20 Sivan, 5766

Greg Crosby

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Playing by women's rules | Being the wonderful, supportive uncle I am, I thought I’d attend my 7 year-old nephew’s T-ball game last week. I was looking forward to rooting him and the other little boys on his team on to victory. I was dead wrong on both counts. In my excitement to watch my nephew play, I had totally forgotten a couple of politically correct rules regarding organized team sports for little boys in the America of the 21st century. They are as follows:

Number one, there is no such thing as “victory” since there is no such thing as keeping score anymore — that way there can never be winners or losers. Number two, there is no such thing as “boy’s sports” — little girls are as much a part of the teams as are the boys today. Both these rules are prime examples of the softening of boys’ sports, which is all part of a much bigger phenomenon — the feminization of American society.

Ben’s team included about three or four little girls. All the girls had their long hair pulled back in tight ponytails which stuck out through the hole in the back of their caps. During the course of the game, one little girl undid her hair and let it flow long down her back. Seeing this, her mother ran up to the fence, called her daughter over and sternly told her to put her hair back up the way the other girls had theirs. Obediently the child did as she was told. How sad for this kid. It seemed obvious to me that this little girl wanted to actually LOOK like a little girl, but was being pushed into looking like a little baseball player by her mother.

I’m no child psychologist, but I have to believe that adding girls to what is traditionally boys’ team sports alters the dynamic of sports for the boys. What was once an opportunity for boys to “bond” with other boys is now just another co-ed activity. Thanks to women’s lib, it is virtually impossible for little boys to play with other little boys without having little girls be a part of it. I don’t think this is a wonderful thing for either the boys or the girls. What’s wrong with having time for boys to be together without girls and vice versa?

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The modern idea, rampant in our universities today, that boys and girls, men and women, are basically the same (with the exception of the plumbing), is so patently imbecilic that only an undergraduate would believe it. You’ve literally got to spend years in academia in order to swallow this drivel — but that’s what they’re teaching. (You might recall a year or so ago when Harvard University president, Lawrence H. Summers, caused an uproar at an academic conference when he suggested that innate differences between men and women might be one reason fewer women succeed in science and math careers. He was practically run out of town on a rail! To even remotely suggest such a thing at an Ivy League school is regarded as heresy!)

Boys growing up today have almost no contact with male role models outside of their fathers (and pity the ones who don’t even have that). From daycare through high school the preponderance of teachers are women. Furthermore, women are becoming more common than ever in the clergy. Most community activities in which a child would be involved are generally run by women. And there’s a very good chance that a child’s pediatrician will be female.

By their very nature boys are more physically aggressive than are girls. Does this mean that no girl is physically aggressive? Of course not. But usually boys have the tendency toward aggression while girls have more of a nurturing nature. Sports, by definition, are an aggressive activity — which is why it has been primarily a boy thing for centuries. What happens when you stick the girls into the mix is now you must make accommodations for them. Suddenly it isn’t about winning and losing anymore — it’s about feeling good. It’s not about competition, it’s about compassion.

And it changes a boys approach to playing hard. Is a boy going to be as rough on a girl as he would be towards another boy? Maybe, but I don’t think so. I would hope he wouldn’t be. It is inherently in a woman’s nature to want to make everyone feel good about themselves and that’s very nice, but that shouldn’t be the prime objective on the baseball or football field. When I watch a game I want a winner and a loser. I want to see aggressive playing. I want hard-driving competition between teams so that the best team wins in the end. Frankly, I don’t give a rip if all the players “feel good about themselves” or not.

Incidentally, if you think that the inclusion of girls into boys’ sports is being done only for the very young ones, my sister tells me that this past season our local high school football squad had two girls on it. Maybe girls are getting tougher and more aggressive — if they are, I’m sure there are plenty of feminists who think that’s a good thing. But one thing I can tell you for certain — when boys are being groomed to be “softer,” that is definitely NOT a good thing.

I liked it when men were men and women were women. And as they used to say, “Viva le difference!”

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JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. A freelance writer in Southern California, you may contact him by clicking here.

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