Girls and Contact Sports: What are We not Discussing?

Recently a wave of excitement rippled through many of the 9 to 12-year-old girls at the Primary School where I work. The girls were presented with the opportunity of participating in an exclusively all girl AFL* training programme during their lunch breaks – the latest example of the way in which girls are mixing it with the boys and claiming their apparent gender ‘equality.’

I could share neither in their excitement, nor in the vaunted claims of this being another positive step towards gender equity in sport. Rather, this for me marked a backward step.

Girls are now raised and educated to compete with the boys, and in this are laying down a foundation for a possible lifetime of competing with men on the terms dictated by a society that drives girls to toughen up and harden their bodies in exactly the same way as boys are exhorted to do – to the absolute detriment of their own emerging femininity.

In 2016 more than 76,000 Queensland women and girls participated in AFL, an increase of 30% and a 140% increase over the last three years (1). Skills training begins at age 5 and modified mixed gender games at age 8. With the establishing of the first eight elite women’s national teams this year, very young girls now have something to aspire to.

“The establishment of a national women’s league will provide a platform to inspire young girls to reach for the stars and provide another avenue for Australian Rules fans to enjoy. Our game will never be the same.” (Mike Fitzpatrick, AFL commission chairman (2))

The ABC News recently ran a news item reporting how the Women’s National Rugby League (WNRL) is to offer female career pathways through to elite player status starting from the age of 6. In 2016 in Australia, 482,000 women and girls participated in Rugby League, an increase of 27% in one year alone. With a national competition planned, the WNRL is the largest growing area in NRL.

For devotees of sport, these figures are to be feted and celebrated, the signs of things to come where men and women have equal status in the sporting arenas and in sporting status and adulation.

For those who prefer to express the precious and delicate nature of a woman and hence, that of girls, this is a sorry indictment of the lack of value we as a society place on femaleness, if not on the complete undermining of all qualities associated with the expression of true womanliness.

Inherent within the girl is the woman that is to be with all of her tenderness, stillness, sacredness and joy. Rather than allowing these qualities to unfold from within as each female child is nurtured and confirmed by the adults in her life to be who she naturally is, we seem to be currently intent upon bludgeoning such qualities out of existence.

Contact sports like AFL and WNRL are the latest, and I feel, most intense, in a long line of extremely harsh and gruelling exercise regimens which serve to harden, masculinise and toughen up girls so that they can claim to have won some type of illusory, physical gender equity with boys and ultimately, with men. The added feature of the physical contact, which is a part of such sports, where hurling one’s body around and banging into the opposition is all part of the game of securing the goal or try for one’s own team whilst inhibiting the same efforts on the part of the competing team, is particularly aggressive and suppressive of the true and delicate nature of a girl.

This applies also to boys and to men so is it the case that, having successfully imposed such false and erroneous rigours upon one gender, we are now further compounding this gargantuan error by imposing the same on girls and then covering this collective madness under the insidiously deceptive ideal of ‘gender equity’?

So… we are effectively free to abuse our bodies in the same way as the men do? Is that what we are saying?

Would the women of ancient Rome have seen it as a step towards their equality had they been invited to enter the gladiator’s forum as ‘equal’ combatants with the male gladiators, or perhaps to be equally thrown to the lions, I wonder?

For every girl the time of puberty is a time to connect with the cycles and joyful responsibility of what it is to live the grace and beauty of a woman (4). How is this possible if our girls have already become desensitised, bludgeoned and numbed within their own bodies due to engaging in certain types of physical activity? How can a young woman connect with her tender sensitivity when she has already spent several years disconnecting from her physicality in order to compete with and mix it with the boys?

Do we really want to raise our girls to become urban ‘GI Janes,’ ever ready for any type of combative action, bullet belt draped around their hips replete not with bullets, but with ‘I can do anything’ tampons?

Or do we want to raise our girls to be the sensitive, self-nurturing, gorgeous women they all are on the inside?

If we choose the latter, do we not then need to seriously evaluate what does and does not support such an unfolding, including the type and quality of physical activity and exercise in which they engage throughout their childhood and especially as they enter puberty? Does what we currently offer support our girls to claim their femininity or does it militate against it? Is this not one of those topics that needs a truly open forum discussion so that we can, as a collective, discuss what we truly want for our children as a foundation for the question, where to next?

* Australian Football League – a contact team sport played in Australia, which has aspects of both Rugby and Gaelic Football

By Coleen Hensey

References:

  1. AFL Queensland. (2017). Female – AFL Queensland. [online] Available at: http://www.aflq.com.au/female/ [Accessed 23 Aug. 2017].
  2. AFL.com.au. (2017). Eight teams named for inaugural women’s league – AFL.com.au. [online] Available at: http://www.afl.com.au/news/2016-06-15/eight-teams-named-for-inaugural-womens-league [Accessed 23 Aug. 2017].
  3. ABC News, Queensland, 12.04.2017 – 7pm bulletin
  4. [online] Available at: http://www.esotericwomenshealth.com/girl-to-woman–festival.html [Accessed 23 Aug. 2017].

Related Reading:
Exposing the Brutality of Rugby
Beverley Carter – from Tough to Tender
My True Tenderness and Delicateness – a Fresh Look at True Gender Equality

485 thoughts on “Girls and Contact Sports: What are We not Discussing?

  1. Competition in any form does not foster the power that a woman innately has. When you add the mantle of physical sport, you are taking a further step away from that power and strength, which has nothing to do with being the toughest woman on a sporting field.

  2. Girls learning to compete in the world by playing on men’s terms can’t be a good way to go forward in society. For one thing equality will never be had by competing. We need to work together with our own strengths that together complete the whole. Secondly, it feels unnatural to me for girls to become ‘little men’ and ‘beat them at their own game’. I think we have tried this and have ended up doing everything a man can do plus all the home duties we have always done = exhaustion and ill health.

  3. Is the word ‘equality’ the right one to orient a true departure from the status quo, following the word ‘gender’? What would be the true expression that humanity needs? Would it even have the word gender in it?

  4. What sort of equality is this? Are we equally lowering the standards of wellness and care for ourselves and upping the standards of abuse and competition? It certainly is not a world that makes one feel at ease to be themselves when competition and abuse are not in any way part of our true nature.

  5. I used to enjoy watching contact sports of all types, but eventually I had to come to the realisation that these sports are brutal on the body of those playing especially seeing the effects on the players bodies first hand as a Physiotherapist. I simply could not watch it anymore knowing the forces and harm that was being done to the bodies of those playing. It did not make sense to me to cheer on people hurting themselves and each other. So I stopped watching them.

  6. It’s true that the ‘GI Jane’ lifestyle is becoming more and more glamorous and girls are being encouraged to do more sports like kickboxing, martial arts and rugby, and this is having a big impact on how girls feel towards themselves but also towards other girls, where relationships between them can nowadays be quite hostile and charged.

  7. We tolerate sport because it entertains us. Drop the need for entertainment and sport will drop away altogether.

  8. As a girl growing up I was encouraged to do sports competitively but I refused feeling the abuse it put on my body. I have no scientific proof but today my body is the proof that throughout growing up I have not suffered from painful periods that show the hardening women put their bodies through.

  9. For many years I practiced a very strong form of Yoga, doing a lot of free-balancing and headstands etc, I did this daily and I began to notice how masculine my body started to look and the testosterone levels in my body rose and my periods became sporadic. Is was clear to me the female body is not designed for certain sports or for pushing it beyond its limits, as we can begin to adopt more masculine features crushing our natural, beautiful and unique feminine qualities.

  10. Maybe…instead of focusing on the sameness of gender equality we should drop the e and make it gender quality – quality in that both men and women honor their own innate qualities and how they complement and activate the innate qualities of the other gender.

  11. I have never really been a sports fan. Played a little sport as a young women, but really none of this interested me. There is however much that is offered by sport that I can understand why someone would choose to be involved. In Australia, sports has almost religious zeal for some. What I can feel is that people crave community and connection for that is what’s on offer. But it is at the expense of our bodies. Look at any sports persons body and mental health after involvement at elite levels and its not good. So really we do need to ask ourselves is the connections and community we seek through sport true? We have say no its not, for if it was true we would never have to place anyone’s body on the line, we would never place the importance of winning over relationships, we would never take sides.

  12. We all crave what is innately within in us be it women or men, yet as you so clearly describe it is unfortunately not what we are living hence the desperate acts to try and cover up what we have left behind.

  13. We are in a way robbing our young girls and boys of their sensitivity, tenderness, sacredness and grace when we introduce them to any form of sport. Because when we truly connect to our body’s quality, there is not one part of our body that would say yes to the physical act of sport. It makes us harden our body and disconnects us to the quality and depth that it holds.

  14. When we champion sport to the detriment of our fragility we are not only cementing hardness into our bodies but hardness and competition into society – in this we do not admit to our vulnerability and fragility below the surface and continue to perpetuate many of the ideals and beliefs we are owned by.

    1. Beautifully shared Michelle and I agree. It is our choice to align to the energy first to enable us to say yes to sports and the consequences of this is huge. It will take a lot of effort for our body to clear what is not true, loving or supportive. When we are in activity of a sport and our body is screaming with pain for us to stop, do we listen?

      1. Sometimes when I observe people out jogging I notice how awkward they look and in many cases how much discomfort and pain they are in too. I remember observing a man in London climbing his front steps to his door in such exhaustion after a bike ride he looked close to collapse. It does beg the question why, doesn’t it?

  15. Sport promotes aggression, competition, individualism and partisan division. How can any of this help foster the Sacredness, grace, sweetness and inner strength of any man or woman? All it seems to do is constantly have us chasing a trophy on the horizon somewhere. When we smash ourselves in this pursuit we just end up empty.

  16. Is it possible that exercise can actually cement us further into ideals and beliefs and harden our bodies against the love that is on offer constantly.

  17. The AFL pitch is no place to nurture the tenderness, stillness and sacredness inherent within these girls, however the Girl 2 Woman Festival is. Currently offered in Australia, it plays an enormous role in true connection, nurturing the whole family’s understanding of tenderness, stillness and sacredness as being natural, inherent and vital qualities of the women of our future.

  18. If gaining equality is mutually being able to harm oneself and others then I’d rather not nor encourage it. Not just physically but examing how I treat myself in everyday, because how I live encourges or inspires others to live the same way. We need to ask – how am I living because other people are going to watch and possibly follow?

  19. I grew up playing my own version of this women’s AFL, except I did not bludgeon myself with a ball and into other people’s bodies. I did the bludgeoning myself with being super super hard on myself, and living in so much drive to be a good person, an excellent worker, a good friend etc…. And gosh the hardness felt awful in my body. It was only when I decided to start upping the self-love, the self-care and healing the unresolved hurts that lay within my body, that the hardness started to melt, and underneath I discovered the delicate, tender, precious womanly nature that lay buried underneath.

  20. I was a tom boy to a degree when growing up, and I can remember several times I would be trying to meet the boys in what ever games at school and to do so I had to suppress and deny what I was truly feeling within. There needs to be more support and encouragement for girls to be embraced for the sweet, delicate and loving beings that we are.

    1. Well said, Natalie, there does seem to be a lure to be like the boys (I see it in the 6 and 7 year old girls when they play football at school) but it’s easy to see why these activities are being championed, as there is no one having the conversations that inspire the young girls to honour their tenderness.

  21. I find it difficult to watch women playing a contact sport like rugby because I know how much it hurts when someone elbows me in the breast by mistake let alone tackling someone full force on purpose. To see these women put themselves through this in the name of sport is painful to watch, as it makes no sense to me and only goes to confirm how hardened we can get in order to not feel what we are doing to ourselves.

    1. Hear hearJenny, this is so true. There are many forms and ways we do this and sport is only one aspect of it. There are thousands and thousands of flavours and ways to suppress and give our power away. Once we understand what is going on, then we are more able to see the world for what it currently is and more able to make wiser and more loving choices to not align to the energy that causes us to seek the comfort or stimulation in any of what has been offered to us by creation.

    2. Championed as equalness and women ‘can do; everything that a man “can do’. But what are we all truly doing to support one another?

  22. I really do look forward to the day when men refuse to play the intense contact sports that are seen as entertainment now. These sports just deepen and harden in more the shell that men surround themselves with, so that they do not have to feel the deeply tender quality that is their nature.

  23. Thank you for exposing the harm that is hidden in this notion of “equality” it seems like we are blind to the fact of how harmful it is to ones body when we partake in sports that ask us to compete let alone hard physical sports where there is higher chance of getting harmed.
    One day it will be known how detrimental it is to engage in such activities.

  24. Thank you Coleen, this is such a great topic to discuss. As a society we need to find ways to support our young people to maintain their sensitivity, preciousness and tenderness and this very much includes looking at sport and being honest about whether this is something that supports those qualities or not.

  25. The very fact that women will often take the contraceptive pill in certain doses to put off their period, in order to do contact and other sport, shows the extent to which the woman is denying their power and role as a woman in our world – we know now that a woman’s period is an amazing energetic clearing as well as having its important physical functions – a clearing that is crucial for the woman and those around her. To disrupt the natural rhythms of the body and alter the hormonal system plays havoc with the body and so also prevents the woman from connecting to her true power.

  26. This is a great question Coleen, to me there feels like there’s something very wrong with girls doing aggressive contact sports, and it makes me feel slightly sick that these gorgeous young women don’t mind hurting themselves for the purpose of feeding the illusion we should be “equal” with men. What if equality is not being physically equal but an innate birthright, and it doesn’t actually need to be gained or earnt?

  27. You are very right in saying that girls entering the world of contact sports is two steps further away from home, as men in contact sports is already an abuse on the sensitivity and tenderness of the man, let alone if the more delicate body of the girl or woman is thrown in there.

  28. ‘Girls and Contact Sports: What are We not Discussing?’ What we are not discussing is how parents allow beautiful gentle, caring, loving boys assault each other under the camouflage of sport. And now they want the same fate for beautyful, nurturing, caring girls.

  29. In the whole discussion about the importance of sport and movements the key ingredient that is missing is the quality of the movements and what it actually does to our body.

  30. We seem to be able to fool ourselves very easily and use words like contact to give an impression that we are connecting with others in a healthy and loving way while jostling on a sports field. Does wrestling and boxing come into this category too? How is it that we can be so rough and harsh with ourselves and applaud ourselves for it, surely we have lost a form of respect for ourselves somewhere along the way.

  31. Sport exposed as the counter/suppressor of the innate tenderness, delicacy and sweetness (qualities of true strength) that we all innately have and that need to be expressed to re-harmonise our world. This makes so much sense of what I have observed in my body playing sport and the behaviour of others around sport, both playing and watching.

  32. Why do we need to have sports that involve contact like this…? Is the contact needed and how fun is it to live with the consequences in our body especially as we age… I wonder how much more genuinely joyful it would be to exercise in a way that truly honours our body rather than we could say beating it up…

  33. A lot of my colleagues have done a lot of sport in their younger years and they are noticing as they get older the damage it has done to their bodies. We really need to look at how sport is affecting us and its long term effects.

  34. When we shut down the woman or in this case the young girl growing into the woman we invite through the reflection activities or a way of being that confirms the shutting down of ourselves. It begins with how we feel as a woman or man. We are born into either a woman’s or man’s body and it is a question as to whether we are truly embracing the divine qualities that are inherent within or doing our best to find ways such as playing contact sport to numb and avoid who we truly are.

  35. I recently watched a local mixed football team play and noted how in the distance you could not see or feel the difference in the male and female players as they had both become so entrenched in the momentum of speed, competition and drive that left no room for the true connect of the male and female.

  36. Once we champion grace and Sacredness, we will see chasing sporting glamour for the loosing game it is. It’s self-defeating from the start, for the entire human race. Thank you Coleen for highlighting it here.

  37. We celebrate women doing more contact sports to ‘balance the gender gap’, but have we actually looked at what it does to men and their fitness/bodies in the first place? Something I’ve certainly seen is that more and more men are experiencing back pain, knee problems, shoulder issues etc. as a result of playing contact sports when they were younger and getting injured, and it really does have a huge impact on their quality of life as they’ve grown older. Do we want the same for women, or for this to continue?

  38. Contact sport was definitely my normal when growing up in New Zealand and even if it wasn’t supposed to be, because it had contact in it there would still be an element of it pushing and being aggressive to win. The amount of hardness that we had to go into was extraordinary but when that is what you are encouraged to do it seems normal.

  39. These qualities are beautiful to feel in girls or women, so what is going on that we do not foster and cherish them, ‘Inherent within the girl is the woman that is to be with all of her tenderness, stillness, sacredness and joy.’

  40. “Does what we currently offer support our girls to claim their femininity or does it militate against it?” – Excellent question Colleen. Whenever you set up a program that will be delivered to the public or write/produce/work on something that is going out to humanity it’s crucial that we look at what exactly we are offering, and what the impact might be on society. For example, if we were to design a new technology we would need to look at HOW that product will be used, or with writing an article WHAT are we truly putting out there for the world to read and trust?

  41. Indeed what may appear as equal opportunities may really be a road to increasing competition at the expense of hardening our bodies further away from its innate tenderness and preciousness.

  42. Colleen, you ask great questions here about how we are raising our girls. If we, as a society continue to encourage our young women to engage in harmful activities like the ones that you describe then we have to take responsibility for the consequences, that is that we are creating a world where more and more women are disconnected from their sacredness and beauty as a woman. This then affects how they feel about themselves, how they look after their bodies, how they are in relationships, how they mother etc.

  43. You may observe life and count doors that are open for men and doors that are open to women and decry the fact as an injustice. If this is your way, it is a matter of having the same doors where you can walk. The other option is to pay attention to what is going to happen to you if you open this or that door. You are not just entitled to walk in alongside men; you are also enticed into start moving like men and bring an incredible amount of self-harm into your body in the same way men do. There are some doors that are worth not opening.

    1. Love what you have said Eduardo – there certainly are some doors not worth opening. Our race opened a door aeons ago that was not worth opening and we keep opening more doors of the same kind hoping to find the mythical thing we are seeking outside ourselves, when all the time we could simply go within and find Heaven.

  44. I couldn’t think of anything worse. All women know how painful it is when we get accidentally hit in the breast and men know how painful it is to be kicked in the groin, so why would we consciously choose to put ourselves in harm’s way. It makes no sense.

  45. The statistics you present for women getting involved in these hard core games is saddening and disappointing , what is happening to the true woman? ‘For those who prefer to express the precious and delicate nature of a woman and hence, that of girls, this is a sorry indictment of the lack of value we as a society place on femaleness, if not on the complete undermining of all qualities associated with the expression of true womanliness.’

  46. Girls and contact sports raises one question for me – why? Why do it. i don’t need to justify why not and there is nothing I have heard that can give me a justification to abuse young bodies in that way.

  47. I feel we have fallen for the biggest cosmic lie by competing to be “as good/as strong, as men”. Have we gone loopy. There were two sexes put on earth, and two divine ways to express. A woman’s true expression definitely does not come from “being one of the boys” it comes from the power and grace her body enhouses in her womb. After feeling and connecting to the sacredness of all women it is incomprehensible that this could be dismissed for “rough housing”.

  48. “Doing it tough” serves noone. We are delicate and tender human beings and anything that does not support us to live in this way is harming us.

  49. The choices we make in raising our children today literally create the future we will live with, and I agree this choice to bring women and girls into more “tough” style physical sports is the opposite direction of the future grace that could be on offer.

  50. The thought of going onto a field or court to play a sport with the intensity of what it brings simply couldn’t happen again. Back when I did thou I never thought twice, it was what you did and you were on a mission to win, what ever it takes. Not in the sense of physical abuse to the opposition but for myself and not even blinking an eye lid.

  51. “Inherent within the girl is the woman that is to be with all of her tenderness, stillness, sacredness and joy.” So what happens to this tenderness stillness sacredness and joy if we ask our sensitive loving caring 6 year olds to harden and toughen up their bodies to play a sport that was never designed for women and in truth not for men. We have taken equality to the extremes at the expense of the woman’s body. What sort of women will these 6 year olds grow up to be if they can’t feel the innateness of what it is to be in a woman’s body. And the sad thing is that it is the men that lose out too because they don’t get to feel what it is to be with a woman that knows who she is from the inside out.

  52. If in the name of gender equality we as women supress our feminine qualities, we won’t have found any equalness at last, because we would have lost our wholeness in the way.

  53. “The ABC News recently ran a news item reporting how the Women’s National Rugby League (WNRL) is to offer female career pathways through to elite player status starting from the age of 6.” This is extremely scary and something that needs much more awareness around and discussion about. We need to ask how does playing rugby affect girls, their periods, their overall health etc because for a woman to deny her femineity is detrimental to their health and well-being.

  54. As someone who played women’s touch football for a few months, I can honestly say i did it to prove that I was better if not equal to a man. It was awful and I really did not enjoy it – the only thing I enjoyed was telling a bunch of guys that I played a contact sport. But the hard reality is that when we play this sport we are not honouring our sensitivity or tenderness.

  55. I am yet to meet someone ‘on the streets’ who doesn’t champion girls being able to play contact sports. It is seen as a great advance in women’s equality with men. However, I have heard many women share their experiences of playing competitive sports and how hardened and disregarding of their body they had to become to be ‘as good as the boys’. If I was cynical I would say the small print of the quote from the AFL chairman reads more like, ‘AFL will now have more consumers which is great for the sport and our pockets’. It reminds me of when marketing to women started by smoking companies, as they realised 50% of the market was not being targeting. This was sold as a liberation for women, when it was actually a harm to our health.

  56. What we have come to here with the introduction of tough contact sport for young girls is the end result of the ‘imaginary’ yet oh so real battle of men versus women, and vice versa . There is no enemy – this is the biggest trick and illusion on earth. There is no battle and it cannot ever be won. The ‘opponent’ is pure love, pure wisdom and pure universal intelligence and this ‘opponent’ will never be in battle with anything or anyone. We are simply fighting against our own evolution.

  57. it seems like there will continue to be more and more desensitizing activities on offer… No coincidence because if we really looked around and felt truly what was happening it would be extraordinarily devastating

    1. Yes and the rate of this activities are escalating on a grand scale. What is interesting here is that in most cases it is a far higher level of harm than before as the extreme sport is held us the ultimate ‘nova’ experience – a must do on the bucket list!

  58. We really need the qualified health and well-being practitioners, doctors and dentists, who realise what is going on with this violence done to both men and women’s bodies, to set up a committee, a forum, and to contact the appropriate body and submit a document which lays down what is going on, and the damage that is being caused.

  59. I would have thought that on a very practical level the soft breast tissue that women have could be damaged irreparably by contact sport, this seems to be sidestepped as even an issue. If we were to go on feeling and remove our need for this oh so false equality, we would be struck by the enormous overriding of a natural delicacy that women have, and on a deeper level, what internal anatomy are being thrown out of balance through such unnatural physicality.

  60. We have become so good at fighting our true nature within, women and men alike will do crazy things in order to escape and not embrace the tenderness and sacredness which are our own natural rights. As a society we need to discuss such topics, which are creating such harm for women as this has such an impact on the way we men are encouraged to embrace our own feminity within.

  61. Women and girls participating and competing in sport is deemed as a great thing for women, showing that we can do everything that men do. But with the focus on being able to compete with men on many levels what qualities of being a woman are we leaving behind? Which means what reflection of women are men receiving also?

  62. The status quo that we have all allowed is further and even more brutally bashing and hardening the beautiful delicate yet powerful body of a woman. It is so clear and blatant that it can almost take your breath away that we are still allowing this to occur.

  63. A most serious state of affairs the world is in where we don’t honour our sensitivity ,natural delicateness and tenderness of both women and men alike and the trends are worsening as seen here. However there is also another movement of honouring and sacredness being lived and this is very beautiful to see and really can offer the true reflection we all know inside us deeply of who we really are through Universal Medicine and Serge Benhayon.

  64. It makes me shudder to think of women (let alone young boys) playing full-contact sport – watching the boys and girls in primary school kicking a foam ball around in their lunch break is enough for me. On many occasions, we end up with children on the floor crying from being hurt because things have gotten too aggressive.

  65. Equality, should not mean everything is done the same by each sex. Our differences are what make us such a dynamic team. I have joined the gym recently and was shocked to see the images of the ideal womens body shape at the moment, these images were displayed on all the screens in the gym and presented in the female trainers. It was very masculine image, big bums and muscular thighs, like tree trunks. This pumped up and unnatural woman shape was being championed, held up and it did not look feminine at all. We have to be careful that we don’t end up crushing woman for a second time around all in the name of “gender equality”. True equality honours differences and shows everyone an equal respect.

  66. Hearing an extraordinary presentation at the weekend by Serge Benhayon at Universal medicine, it is so interesting to get to the bottom of realising the discomfort the human spirit felt when entering the male and female bodies with the divine particles that they are made of. It makes prefect sense then why the human spirit with its desire for domination champions rough sports so that the challenging, amazing body will be wounded, subdued and disabled.

  67. I agree that we as women are very disconnected from our bodies and this has serious consequences when it comes to our well-being and how we take care of ourselves. Being tender and gentle are not qualities that we hold dear in western society, and I do remember as a young woman having the idea that I wanted to show I was just as strong and tough as the men. Why is this? We really do have it all confused.

  68. Apart from all the obvious reasons of injury, hardening the body adversely etc. You would think that traditionally and medically it would be inadvisable to be playing rough sports at an age when the body is not yet fully formed and is very tender. Where is the medical profession???

  69. Where does it all end, this constant competing and fighting for validation through what we do. Rugby is a great example of this, the men’s sport is getting bulkier, harder, faster, more velocity, unstoppable forces meeting immovable objects, place a microphone near a collision and it sounds like two ferocious stags locking horns. Apparently the impacts are becoming more and more like car crashes. And women are replicating this, thus adopting the very behaviours that are damaging men’s bodies. I have heard it said that women used to be the ones who reflected the common sense to men to rein in their excessive testosterone, acting like the most natural emollient, but if women are now copying the men, who is reining anyone in and where does it all end. Is our prostate and breast cancer rates evidence of a way of living gone wrong, a way showing that we do not thrive through this excessive drive to seek recognition through aggressive, often violent sport. And what effects does it have on young girls and why are we so keen to gain equality through competition but wont explore equality in the wider meaning of cherishing natural qualities and accepting and embracing differences that exist between men and women and are also apparent in each individual.

  70. Any contact sport is full on and intense for anyone. When you look at a baby there is not an ounce of that quality in them, we are pure, divine and precious beings that have just entered into the world. For it to get to a point where contact sport is considered normal and fun, for people to go and watch and cheer this on is craziness. I’m so pleased I started to see and feel how far away from who I am when I went into this.

  71. There are so many ways to override our natural delicateness as women, recently I was talking to someone who was carrying huge bags around in her grandmothers store when she was 7 years old, and the accumulative hardness is very apparent and how it affected her outlook.

  72. Last Christmas I was involved in a family game of back yard cricket, and its time for me to bat and my young niece comes into bowl at me and bam, she bowls me out first ball, well I wasn’t expecting that and because in back yard cricket you can’t go out first ball I get another go. So in she comes at me and I manage to hit this one straight at her and she catches it and I’m out. Her skills were exceptional, she was equal if not better than the boys of her age and I somehow felt, well for a start a little embarrassed that I got out without scoring but also a little sad that sport and competing with each others such a revered thing and now the girls are beating boys at their own game.

  73. It is when we start to have conversations about this topic from this great blog we can bring more awareness to the real issues at hand. It is when we choose to ignore or collude with what we feel keeps us comfortable on such a topic that we will continue to see the rise of sports and behaviours that are far from a young girl and women’s natural way of expressing.

  74. We certainly need to step back and re-evaluate what we are doing to our young girls and young women and ask ourselves why we are doing it. Why do we jump onto this bandwagon and champion tough contact sports for girls (or even boys!) There is an insidious force out there that does to want the true power of a woman to come to the fore so any mad and brutal scheme that comes to mind gets launched and all in the name of equality! It would be enough to make my blood boil if I weren’t taking great care to be the observer and understander of this.

  75. We live in a world full of confusion and sadly the only thing that will make us stop and consider the rot that we willingly subscribe to is the escalating rates of illness and disease amongst all.

  76. Great you bring this point up Coleen. As a community we have to support our children to keep the tenderness they natural are. If we look at women now a days we see an increase in breastcancer.
    The hard bobbels in the breasts show us much more then ‘ just in illness’ . Why we have so much hardness in the breasts, does it relate to the hardness we live in with our bodies? How can we take care our young ones get shown a different way that honours their body?
    Serge Benhayon shows us clearly this new way which is basically not known as it is our natural state of being to live in our tenderness.

  77. Such hard contact sports affects women, hardening their body to prove she can just be as competitive in any environment. When women become so driven and hardened their bodies, they can later experience issues with periods, endometriosis and infertility.

  78. Whilst we live in competition we will always be out of harmony regardless of our sex. The way forward is not in trying to be like another but to be true to your expression.

  79. Men are too precious and sensitive to engage in these rough sports, let alone a woman’s body getting thrown in the mix. Having to tape down their breasts to play contact sport is a great indicator of the gender denial factor that women face and also the brutal activity at hand.

    1. Yet women are encouraged to go for these sorts of sports as part of ‘gender equality’. I put my vote in for the equality that you have mentioned where both genders are “too precious and sensitive to engage in these rough sports”

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