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 

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

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

  1. How many roles can we play that keep us from the Truth of who we innately are, because until we reconnect to our essences or Soul we are on the tread mill of lies.

  2. To have an in-depth conversation about this and how we brutalise a female body we need to understand that when we are born we are precious. I was reminded of this fact just recently while out shopping I saw a 6 week old baby in a pouch being carried around by the grandparent. The grandparent was carrying this baby as though it was the most precious package in the world and it is. It was easy to feel just how precious the baby is. As we all grow from babies to adulthood, that preciousness gets bludgeoned so that we cannot feel our preciousness or sensitivity at all. I now understand why this happens and why it happens to women especially. Females are subjugated from young to disassociate from their stillness, sensitivity and preciousness and instead they are encouraged to be the complete opposite, racy, hard and in constant motion. Why? Because the Astral plane and for now the Astral plane runs the show and we are all puppets to this consciousness. The female represents the Stillness before motion. Currently the entire world is in motion so that the spirit that is separated from the soul can stay separated to keep the world in motion, to do that bludgeon all females as they carry the potential to bring the stillness and we have a world that doesn’t change.
    Allow all females to express and move the sacredness they come from and the world would change very rapidly because actually the male loves the stillness of the female because it reminds them they have this quality equally too, and just like in the female example their sensitivity and preciousness they were born with is squashed from young too.

  3. So much in life has become about making things seem a certain way and like a wolf in sheep’s clothing the outrageous mis-in-formation will be exposed as more of society wakes to the torture our bodies have been placed under.

  4. This is a concern, the growth of girls/women attempting to do sports that are aggressive full stop. Once upon a time I was doing heavy lifting of weights in the gym and it was all to be accepted, to say to people I was a strong person.

    Now the gym has gone and I do light exercise to keep my body supple, strong and fit to its biological age. I don’t have to prove anything to anyone anymore.

    Learning to be the true woman that I am and have always been from the day I birthed…

  5. We all feel the difference❤️ in those who hold there essence😇 as an essential quality that delivers the innate Love❤️ we all come from so is it any wonder that our wayward spirit👽 deceit-fully plays every game in the book to keep us from feeling the Truth💡 of our Inner-Most-Essence🔥 or Soul🤞 as presented by Serge Benhayon.

    1. gregbarnes888 I watched Serge Benhayon TV last night and watching and listening to the conversation he was having with Rebecca Baldwin, you can feel that there is not a mean or abusive bone in that man’s body that he lives what he presents and you can actually feel heaven exuding from him. Serge Benhayon represents the true union or at-one-ment with God, this is the true meaning of the word religion.

      1. Absoulutely Mary as adding to what you have shared would only take away from the amazing contribution you have shared so silence or stillness is observed with much Love.

  6. Both women and men, girls and boys, we all have a side to us that is vulnerable and sensitive – this too needs to be equally honoured in both sexes and alongside physical health and stamina. One does not need to come at the expense of the other, for when both are considered and allowed, then true balance can come from that.

    1. Henrietta both sexes are vulnerable and sensitive. The body is made up of the same, slight variation of the hormones and reproductive system and thats about it. So it’s ok not to keep up with each other, it’s about remaining equal of another.

  7. Sports can be done in a way that supports the body and our connection with the body. Sports can also be done in a way that does not support the body and pushes it to extremes and hence disconnects us from the body. The latter is sadly more common in my society, in my experience at least.

    1. Henrietta chang,I agree there is a way to exercise that does not harden our bodies or put our bodies into further drive. It’s called Move-fit. I have never been a fitness fan, but I so enjoy Move-fit as I can feel the difference in my body from following the exercise program. I have far more vitality and feel stronger in my body which gives me more energy. I was explaining to someone recently my daily schedule and they were amazed, they shared that at 65 I’m doing more than they are in their 30’s and they exercise, but at the end of their exercise routine they feel exhausted, whereas I feel full of vitality and raring to go.

  8. I chose to do a lot of sport as a teenager growing up – it was a safe arena for me to excel in and this also meant that I got some attention from my father who was a lot into sports at the time too. At the time it was also a convenient way for me to deal with my emotions and my insecurities – the sports allowed me to harden up and not feel so much of what was happening. This is often seen as an acceptable and ‘good’ way of dealing with our issues and emotions as a teenager: ‘give them something to focus on, exercise is healthy and builds confidence and character’ is what I heard others say. Of course years down the track I then had to face the very things that I did not want to deal with at the time, and that was a lot of layers to deal with, some of which are still peeling off today!

  9. Hiding any true connection we have in our bodies through contact sports only delays the natural nurturing and sensitivity in women and the true tenderness and sensitivity in men.

  10. It’s quite the set up isn’t it, remove boys into toxic masculinity by hardening them up, make them competitive and make everything about their value to do with either intellectual or physical performance, and then invite girls to be equal to that. Not an ounce of this mentality honours the inner person or the true qualities of each gender and how that might express itself naturally through the physical body. We are still so far from true equality because it has nothing to do with the body or it’s abilities, it’s about the equal essence within every person, something that is continually overlooked, including in the education system.

      1. gregbarnes888 I have spoken to teachers that have introduced the Gentle Breath Meditation to the class of children and they love it, as it brings them straight back to their essence which they are still aware of.

    1. Neither girls or boys are honoured for their true self, their inner self, ‘Not an ounce of this mentality honours the inner person or the true qualities of each gender and how that might express itself naturally through the physical body.’

      1. Absoulutely 😇 Lorraine❤️, life will be very different 🚦 when we all understand that we all about being 🔥 and not doing 👽 and in that connection 😇 we return to that innate Inner-being 🦉.

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

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