Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Let her play.


Do you know what really grinds my gears? The objectification of young girls and women on the basis of what they are (or are not) wearing. Do you know what really, really grinds my gears? When that objectification is used to hold them responsible for the thoughts and feelings of others.

Last week I read the story of Maddy Paige, a 12-year-old girl from Georgia. If you're not familiar with the story, Maddy has been playing football on her Christian school's team since she was in second grade. Recently, she was told by her school's administration that she could no longer play on the team because she may cause her male teammates to have impure thoughts. Yes, that's right. Maddy was kicked off the team because of the potential thoughts of others.

The issue here isn't simply that Maddy was kicked off of the boys' team because she is a girl. By removing her from the football team, Maddy was given the responsibility for the thoughts and actions of those boys. And that makes me SO angry.

As a young teen, I remember being at a Christian summer camp  and being told that girls needed to make sure we were wearing long shorts and tee-shirts over our bathing suits so as to not be a "stumbling block to our brothers in Christ." I can remember going to youth group and being told the importance of making sure that our clothes weren't too revealing lest we cause the guys in the group to "lust after us." I remember being told from the pulpit that it was a women's duty to be modest and pure. 

Let me tell you, those are not the type of things you want to be saying to a young (or any age, for that matter) girl who is already self-conscious of her body. This bastardized idea of purity and modesty is wrong and it needs to end. Right. Now. I rarely get upset like this, but few things make me angrier. 

Don't just let Maddy play. Let Maddy, and all girls (and boys) like her, grow up in a world where they are valued for who they are. Not for what's in between their legs.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, this is ridiculous. I read about it as well, and read a lot of articles about stuff like this because apparently I like to infuriate myself every day. Messages like this sent to young girls and boys lead to victim-blaming in sexual assault cases and causes girls to be ashamed of themselves when something awful happens to them. It's so sad. :( Thankfully, Maddy seems to have a lot of support in her community and on the Facebook page.