Being a Girl Doesn't Mean She Can't

If there's one thing I've learned over the years, it's that stereotypes exist for a reason. There truly are some people who fit into certain categories. But that does not mean we need to categorize all the people. This is something we try to explain to our own kids.

If my daughter wants to grab some trucks and play in the mud, so be it. If my son wants to run around wearing nothing but pink, so be it.

Ok, that example of my son is a bad one because he is a boy through and through. But he would wear pink if he had it.

A few months ago, my daughter expressed to me that she wanted to play baseball. I admit, the first thing I asked was if she could. I knew younger baseball teams in our borough are co-ed, but I wasn't sure about her age group. She's 12. She said yes. I even asked on Facebook. We all know that the internet isn't always correct, but in this case, her answer was confirmed.

In January, her and I went up to our library to sign her up for a season of baseball. Having never played before, the husband and I were a bit nervous, but it's what she wanted to play and we want our kids involved in what interests them.

I walked over to one of the volunteers and said we were there for baseball sign ups. His response?

"Fast pitch or slow pitch?"

Um, neither. She wants to play baseball. With a bit of hesitation, he proceeded with signing her up. No where on the paperwork or their website did it say baseball is just for boys. Yes, I was annoyed.

Fast forward a few weeks and I get a phone call from the head of the league. He wanted clarification.

"Your daughter is signed up for baseball. I just want to make sure this is correct."

What I wanted to say was I am not a dumbass. I know how to read and yes, I did indeed sign her up for BASEBALL!! But I bit my tongue and politely responded that we signed her up correctly. He then went on to tell me that there was a girl who was really good and it's a shame they won't play together. This girl moved onto playing softball.

This was one of those moments where I wanted to reach through the phone and throat punch someone.

My DAUGHTER wants to play BASEBALL!!!!! Is it really that difficult to understand? If you allow it, why do I continue to be questioned about this? I understand she has never played this sport on an official team, but she knows what to do. Her skills might need a bit of refining, but she's quick to catch on.

My DAUGHTER is going to play BASEBALL. I'll be the crazy mother cheering in the stands secretly hoping she blows all those boys out of the water.

Don't ever tell a girl she can't do something just because she's a girl.

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Until next time...


Unknown said...

Good for you for standing up for your girl. I wish her only the BEST of luck!

mj said...

Good for her and good for you! If she wants to play baseball, then baseball it should be!

Shell said...

I'm glad you were able to get her signed up for baseball! Maybe they just wanted to make sure you knew that she would be primarily with boys... though once they realized that, they should have stopped asking!

Unknown said...

That is awesome that your daughter wants to play baseball. My cousin was one of the first girls to play in our area Little League 40 years ago. I think she even had to sue them to do so. So it could be worse. From what I've seen, very few girls start playing baseball at 12 and that could be part of the resistance. My nephew's girlfriend plays on their U16 team and is a really good player and rarely meets any resistance, but she started playing with many of the boys when she was 5 or 6. In fact, I've notice that anybody new sometimes gets the cold shoulder. Good luck to you and her.

BNM said...

good for you! we had a girl on Baileys team last year and she outplayed all the boys!

Anonymous said...

I am so glad that you got her signed up, and so sorry about all that you had to deal with to get her signed up!

Hope she has a fabulous time playing! :) Oh and really looking forward to hearing all about how she blows those boys out of the water with her baseball skills!

Unknown said...

Good for you, the more we keep challenging existing stereotypes (like girls only play softball and only boys play baseball) the more they start to break away. I'm a father who loves baseball, so I put my girls into little league baseball. I'm coaching their teams too so that I can follow their progress, be a part of their baseball experience, and help navigate them around any ignorance out there as to why girls are playing baseball and not softball.