'You CAN'T let her be the only girl on the team!' how to deal with sexist gp?(25 Posts)
Another ex rugby player here
My 6 yo DD plays rugby and started when she was 4, she's a good deal better than some of the boys and she is the only girl on the team.
She helped her teacher teach the kids at school how to play rugby when they covered it for pe and she was very dismissive that some of the boys didn't know how to throw the ball properly.
She is also a beaver and goes to a wildlife group where they catch bugs and learn about birds etc.
I'd take her along, rugby parents are incredibly friendly and before you know it you'll be chatting on the touch lines whilst she makes friends on the pitch. Dd is always pleased to score a try and when she's won player of the week she loves taking the trophy into school for it to be handed out in assembly.
Children can easily discount the views of those who care for them if they have strong opinions from parents. Do not worry about it.
Being the only once can be great. I am often at work things the only women of many men, earn more than anyone - massive fun, huge power. Will stand her in good stead. My mother always said that male ballet dancers were fitter than boxers (which is true).
By the way never let sexist views pass - always state your point even if just to say well I don't agree with that.
Also ask them when they care for her how they have challenged gender stereotypes with her today or get them to read aloud to her from feminist books for chidlren - we had some good ones for our chidlren when younger showing the female plumber, the woman GP, the househusband etc and not surprisingly my daughters are doing pretty well now they have graduated.
Stevie- they are sole care for my girls two days a week- the hours I work mean no other form of childcare is appropriate, however, my dds and in laws love each other and have a strong positive relationship- for the minute I think that in-laws know that they keep quiet with this crap in front of dds, and I hope that by the time my dds notice the undercurrent of outdated sexist opinion they will be old enough to reject it.
I have no idea what they have against lesbians I can't for the life of me understand what the dds potential sexuality has to do with them or me, its nowt to do with us.
<another ex-rugby player here>
Have a similar prob in our house - dd1 (7) is the only girl in her Beaver troop (her choice) and mil complains constantly that she should be at Brownies. In dd's own words -"they're boring Mummy!"
Ds1 (9) goes to gymnastics and I keep being told that he'll get bullied for doing a girly sport - mind thats changed somewhat since the Olympics
Fair play to them is what I say for doing what they want to do, don't worry about it and should a problem arise them deal with it then not before it happens iyswim.
Smile sweetly and ignore MIL
Oh, and as the mother of a lesbian DD, she by far is the most feminine of all my three DDs and the only one who has ever worn pink!
In my fairly wide experience of primary school aged girls it is very unlikely that she would be bullied because she plays football (or for any other hobby she might choose for that matter.) Contrary to your PILs peculiarly dated beliefs girls and boys do a wide wide range of extra-curricular activities and even if she was the only girl playing football (which I doubt) it wouldn't raise an eyebrow with your average five year old.
As to advice: my advice is you roundly tell your PIL to STFU as their opinions are unhelpful and you are not interested in hearing them. Pussyfooting around their prejudices won't help.
<<ex-rugby player here>>
though I probably shouldn't admit to being the ringer in an all lesbian team
What a severely limiting mindset. If we are afraid of being "the only one" then we would have never climbed mountains, sailed oceans or explored science. Or are discovery, exploring and fun only the preserved of males?
And what the hell is wrong with being a lesbian?
All the children at DDs mixed primary did football, tag rugby and hockey.
DDs secondary school they also do some footie and rugby - its a girls school. They all appear to be proper girls to me!
If she's only 5 there are almost certainly going to be other girls doing footie and may be others doing rugby. But even if there aren't (yet) - so what?
Is it fair to let her be the only girl? Whyever not? If any bullying arises then the bullies would need dealing with.
Finally - do you think any of her friends would be interested in doing footie/rugby with her? There may be some who'd love to but are being similarly deterred.
As an ex lady rugby player i feel that she will be able to address any bullying with confidence. Not i hasten to add because she will be able to beat up anyone that leans on her, more because she is participating in a sport that gives physical confidence and with physical confidence comes the mental and emotional confidence to stand your ground.
A good coach will encourage this confidence.
Our team were a motley mixture of single/married/co-habiting/gay/straight/parent/non-parent/glamourous and low maintenance women. As were the netball team i used to play in. And come to think of it my mother's bowing team as well. It is just a sport, the same as any other.
Could the IL's be encouraged to watch a game when she is playing? The touchline spectator adrenaline usually takes over and before you know it they could be her biggest supporters.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
"dd enjoys it and I'm really proud of her"
Repeat as necessary.
Don't try and change their minds it will never work.
wrt female rugby players- my fil used Jenna Allen as an example- I'm assuming its just a name he was aware of, as she lives four doors sown and couldn't be more 'feminine (boak) if she tried. when I pointed this out, he insisted it must be a different Jenna Allen, captain if the welsh team - you can't argue with bare faced lies unfortunately.
I've said if there are all boys and she is excluded I won't force her to do it, but if, as I suspect, sue is included and enjoys it then let her be. mil then said even if the -whisper and cats bum face- boys, like her the girls in school, will bully her for playing anyway. I'm clearly on a losing battle here
you could always point out to them that to discourage or ban something will often have the contrary effect to the one you want - i.e. they'll want to do it even more and it will just lead to conflict. As to 'all female rugby players being lesbians or not proper girls' just show them the RFU England womens team - can't comment on their sexuality but they are all gorgeous women so the 'not proper girls' holds little water (yes, superficial, but so is the assertion that they're gay or not proper girls).
Flojo - good for your DS! I don't think anyone who has seen carlos acosta dance could doubt the sheer masculinity and strength that male ballet dancers require!
Sorry I haven't got any actual advice, I just wanted to say good for you and your dd
My dd has been playing football, and boxing since she was 6 and she is 14 now.
My MIL and still is very cats bum face at it but as long as she is enjoying it, it's all good IMO
she is 5, so too young to argue for herself and young enough to let nannys disapproval influence her .
she doesn't know that sport is for boys. that's not how I've raised her, but soon I suppose she will . I'm going to let her play of course, its the potential for gp influence that worries me
I would just tell them she's really keen so you'll go ahead for a trial period but if she doesn't like it you'll let her stop
and take up ballet instead
Don't let them influence her though!
Tell them 1950 called and they want there attitudes back.
DD wants to play these sports so you support her, as for getting bullied, only an idiot bullies a rugby player.
I get this from DM and DF about my DS who enjoys gymnastics (there are lots of boys) and cheerleading and ballet of which he's the only boy. DS is only 7 and worries about it as it is without my folks putting their bit in.
Jeez, am making no sense tonight. I do think you should let your DD play, regardless of how many girls on the team. I just think how you explain it to her, and how she tackles any comments, will depend on how old she is, and therefore how complex the arguments can be.
if she is younger she is unlikely to be the only girl, most younger age teams have several girls playing tag or footie. Is she is u12 or older then she needs to play in a single sex team so it is only if she is 9/10 that she may well be the only girl.
Sorry, just to be clear, I am asking because I think the answer to this lies with your daughter having the tools to deal with silly comments - whether from the GP or elsewhere, and obviously ability on that is quite age related.
I have 2 dds, the eldest of which has asked to play football. she's vert physically able and will be starting in Jan either rugby or football. my in-laws, particularly my mil, have really made it clear that I shouldn't let her join a team of all boys or encourage rugby. the former as its unfair, the latter because all female rugby players are 'gay' or not proper girls.
I know these are ridiculous views, but my in-laws are heavily involved in childcare and I'm not sure how to challenge this sort of thing. obviously its easy in regard to the homophobia, I tell them not to be ridiculous, but my mil has me questioning is it fair to let her be the only girl? she thinks that the other girls will bully dd. how do you approach this sensitively?
Tia for any advice.
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