A 12 year-old girl was booted off of her football team for being a potential object of desire to the other members of her team, all of whom are boys.
Madison Baxter has been denied the opportunity to try out for her football team, despite being a starter the previous year. IMAGE: Let Her Play Facebook page
A 12 year-old girl was booted off of her football team for being a potential object of desire to the other members of her team, all of whom are boys. Madison Baxter, a starter on the sixth-grade team and someone who has played football since the second grade, was told that she would not be allowed in tryouts for the seventh-grade team at Strong Rock Christian Academy in Atlanta.
“In the meeting with the CEO of the school [Patrick Stuart], I was told that the reasons behind it were one, that the boys were going to start lusting after her and have impure thoughts about her and that the locker-room talk was not appropriate for a female to hear even though she had a separate locker room from the boys,” Baxter’s mother, Cassy Blythe, told Atlanta’s WXIA-TV.
Let's simply look at the assumptions that have to be behind this decision for the logic to work.
1. No players on the team are gay.
2. Football teammates having lusty thoughts about each other is bad.
3. The value in having Madison on the team, the value in making this a teaching moment, and the value of displaying acceptance of women in sports are all trumped by the harm done by having Madison on the football team.
4. One can and should control the thoughts of 12 year-old boys.
On that last point, sure, it makes sense to guide and in some cases restrict what young people take in and experience. You can make a good case along those lines for restricting intake of violent video games for example. But playing with a girl? And isn't the real idea to acknowledge that "impure thoughts" are going to happen, and you can teach people not to act on them? Or to do so respectfully, by say, asking her on a date?
I'm making a big point out of this because we need to stop living in a world where boys will be boys and girls have to get out of their way and deal with them. We tried that for a few millenia. Let's see how equality works out.