On top of society, when male friends talk about the girls they have always been attracted to, small, petite, girls you can lift up and carry, that has never defined me. It is stupid to feel this pressure, I know that, but I do. Despite knowing its stupid, me being 36, and married....I still feel that way. What really bothers me is, good God if I feel this way, how must other women and girls feel? If deep down I know its wrong and I can somewhat now with age regulate this feeling, I weep for the young girls who aren't there yet. I clearly know what its like to work through physical pain to look a certain way, and worse, to perform a certain way, to be a certain way and to feel like you will never live up to the expectations of society. I am tired. It is tiring. It is why I was angry, very angry to hear this story and very angry that it occurred in a town in which I live and pay property taxes in. Angry to hear this woman still has a job, is still trusted by parents to influence their daughters. Angry to hear the intellectually lazy excuse of "political correctness" demands being the cause of anger for this. And, my 17 years old self is beyond angry. Angry at the hours remembered in the gym and sacrificed in the weight-room, if I had receive an award that focuses on shit I cannot help....the way the body I was born with looks, despite all the hard work and hours sacrificed (time I missed building and fostering friendships that last) it would have sent me on even more downward spiral in the lose of confidence department. So, yeah, my 17 year old self is pissed. Kenoshan's read the article, and the rest of my friends, click on the link to the article and be annoyed at how our sports culture still hasn't changed.
You see as a former coach and someone who has worked a lot with teenagers, as an adult what makes me super angry is that.....coaches and teacher, well, ARE THE ADULTS. Often times they are mentors and that relationship means a lot to a lot of kids. They are not friends who are of the equal intellectual level, they are not part of the gang or in this case squad. This woman was the adult, a coach, a mentor. I remember going to athletic banquets and award type things and I can tell you I would have been mortified had a coach done this, though NOT ONE of my coaches would have done that. They were coaches, teachers, mentors. They demanded respect and they also appreciated the responsibility that came with coaching and took it seriously, as a consequence myself and teammates felt like we were taken seriously. And, yeah, I was a good athlete and on winning teams, so.... I am beyond grossed out that parents are okay with this woman still coaching without apologizing and worse, realizing the potential damage she can cause by objectifying, and I will repeat, SHIT TEENAGE GIRLS CANNOT HELP LIKE THE BODY THEY WERE BORN WITH, much less other teachers and coaches within the school district. As a former 17 year old girl athlete who has always struggle with body issues, this makes me irate. As a member of this community I am disgusted. Disgusted by the district, this coach's lame excuse, and the fact that she is still influencing teenage girls in how they think about their own bodies and consequently how to thing of other peoples' bodies as well. It has nothing to do with political correctness and everything to do with human decency.
I NEEDED to write about this because I have been obsessing about it my issues recently, but now I am obsessing about it in a different way, this story is annoying me beyond belief. I am annoyed that this lady has parental support, I am annoyed that we live in a time when we can use the idea of political correctness/politics to excuse lazy, bad, and unacceptable behavior and mistakes. I especially want to share it because this city has been home for the past 12 years, I have coached in it, worked with teenagers in it, know adults engrossed in this community's world. It also hits close, metaphorically, to home as well. It has to do with being a female, being an athlete, living with a multitude of expectations, plus the un-obtainable ones foisted on us by a sick society. It has to do with people willfully ignoring the impact of things, actions, and words we have on others. We have the potential to, and actually do, damage to other people, especially those most vulnerable. Stop deluding yourselves into thinking this isn't the case. Children, the most vulnerable of our population, deserve better. THIS IS NOT OKAY. Those of us who care should not have to BEG people to see the potential damage of behavior like this. I should not have to air my personal dirty laundry begging you to see a different and very real perception of this. I don't want to feel like I have to beg parents to keep your children's vulnerabilities and weaknesses in mind when you are excusing what adults can and cannot do in their presence. It has nothing to do with political correctness, just be a god damned adult. Be good to our kids. Understand that NONE of us will every live up to society's expectations and have compassion for those still learning that, it's hard. I should not have to remind you that they are children after all.