html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en" lang="en"> From the archives: This is what Title IX means to me.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

This is what Title IX means to me.

Home Brood may be able to do what they have done because they chose each other and tested themselves in an athletic venue where they had great success. They’ve self-selected for attitude; they all believe in doing everything all out, that they can do great things when they rely on each other, that fun should be part of everything they do, that their best approach to each other is loving acceptance. I don’t know how much it can be duplicated. It can be extended, though. They reach out to me, a sister of a Broodie with affection and care.

Here in Sac, the women of Ultimate are kind to each other as well. We aren’t as close as Brood and I don’t think we could be. But I can say without hesitation that we only support each other. I know that if I tell a female Ultimate player that I want to run a half-marathon or write a book, the only thing I’ll ever hear from her is: “Of course you are. It’ll be awesome. I can’t wait to cheer for you.” When Debi and I were sorting teams for summer league, she asked me who Cara is. I said, “You know, Cara. Sweet girl, smart, pretty face.” At which Debi sighed in exasperation and said “Megan, that’s all of them.” It is true. That's how we think of us. We simply don’t trash each other. There aren’t enough women on the field for us to trash each other. It isn’t universally true that we all like each other, but if a new girl comes to Women’s Clinic, we start by thinking that she is awesome for showing up, and has the potential to be great at some part of Ultimate, and that we are only a few games away from being friends. We’ll cheer for her until we’re sure, and if it doesn’t click, we still won’t bash her. We’ll just say nothing or make a vague comment about how she has good Spirit. Most of our care for each other is a reflection of the culture of Ultimate. But some of that culture of Ultimate was created by Home Brood, and some of us saw an amazing example and decided to live like that when we could. Either way, it is how you get socialized into women’s Ultimate here in Sac. It doesn’t run as deep as Home Brood, but it is still a warm and kind and constant support. I am so lucky to be a part of it.

5 Comments:

Anonymous justus said...

FWIW, this is essentially the same kind of inter-personal interaction I've seen in pretty much every non-mainstream hobby/sport I've ever participated in. I think when an activity becomes niche enough the us/them line becomes strong enough to overwhelm the Really, They're A Total Stranger reaction.

It happened when I played ultimate but it also happens in testosterone drenched things like weight lifting and car racing and martial arts.

I think that most people are essentially decent and as long as the right incentives and structures are in place it can be easy for that to show through.

Pick-up games work against that as do "popular" activities because it is easier to find replacements groups.

7:50 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

I've yet to do a popular sport, but in our town where only a couple hundred people play Ultimate, the supportive attitude extends to pick-up. Our pick-up is pretty consolidated.

Also, I feel all pretentious talking about Ultimate, since I haven't played in months. I'll play in Spring League, but the call to Ultimate seems to have faded for me.

8:22 AM  
Blogger ScottM said...

Your Ultimate group sounds wonderful-- I hope that you're able to step back into the rhythm effortlessly.

My hobby groups are smaller, and more riven with personality conflicts, but we tend to enjoy each other's company too.

10:40 AM  
Anonymous Jim said...

I hate Title IX. Women's sports are, for the most part, not as exciting as the male version. To this day women's sports bring in far less money for fan attendance, sponsorships, etc. Why? Not as many people want to watch.

Title IX is to sports what farm subsidies are to the economy.

6:12 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

Jim:

We have nothing in common.

10:26 AM  

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