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What really gets my goat...

(36 Posts)
reallyyummymummy Sat 27-Apr-13 10:39:32

Starting thread here because I don't really know how else this gets classified. But there has been an issue that has been bothering me for ages.

I have two boys (3 and 2) and I take them to kiddie football classes, not only because they enjoy it but because it sports like this are really good for developing visual spacial skills and builds confidence. In short - it makes you brighter (or so I have read). The thing I have noticed, even at this tender age, is how few girls attend the class and the ones that do get put off because already the class is so dominated by boys. When girls do attend I see that they are just as capable and at this age are actually better because they listen and focus.

I find it really hard watching intelligent women dressing their young girls in tutus and taking them to ballet lessons whilst saying girls are just as good at boys when in actual fact they are not giving their child a chance to develop skills other than competitive prettiness and have their confidence knocked by the fact that actually chances are they won't have particularly good coordination.

It is a bit of a rant I know but DH and I were discussing the issue of girls and sport last night and we both made different points. His being that girls tend not to be as strong on ball sports and boys and me making the point that girls seem to start life at a disadvantage because they don't get to play ball sports at a young age.

Are my observations completely unfounded? Or is there truth to it from a feminist perspective? Interested in you thoughts.

FreedomOfTheTess Sun 28-Apr-13 13:14:52

* and get paid millions of pounds a year for doing so!

Greythorne Sun 28-Apr-13 13:17:06

If you think ballet is about competitive prettiness and is not a proper sport, you are seriously missing something.

You just happen to like soccer. Good for you.

Some people happen to like ballet.

Deal with it.

Phineyj Sun 28-Apr-13 13:24:29

Ballet is hard work!

Also, where do you think male ballet dancers come from? hmm

When I see a male British ballet dancer (there are some good ones) I think 'there is one determined guy', given attitudes like this...

Which is not to say girls shouldn't be encouraged to play football if they want to. However, there do seem to be more opportunities for girls to play than when I was a child.

simplesusan Sun 28-Apr-13 13:33:00

My dcs do a range of sports and are all very fit and active.

My dd1 is considered by her pe teacher to be her top student. Interestingly she has done ballet for 13 years. Ballet is very hard and ballerinas are incredibly disciplined in all walks of life.
Of all the activities dd1 does, ballet she says is the hardest. No room for error at al,l a move is either right or wrong, you cannot just get by.
Oh and she does play football for the school team when she gets a free moment.

Yes there is tremendous pressure for ballerinas to be thin, but there is pressure on all women to look a certain way. I am not condoning this at all and dd1 is under no illusion that she is not the correct "body type" to be a professional ballerina.

reallyyummymummy Sun 28-Apr-13 18:52:33

I am being harsh because I can only report on my observations and experience. I have seen so many parents taking their children to ballet classes in the most amazing outfits and hair done beautifully.

I know that ballet is a proper sport and all the things it is good for but I feel that so many parents push their children to do it not out of the interest of being fit but because they want to show off their little girls in their tutus.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Mon 29-Apr-13 20:18:52

Um, is there not a uniform outfit and hairstyle? I had to have hair in a bun and wear the school leotard and leggings for dance class. Didn't mean it wasn't exercise.

kickassangel Tue 30-Apr-13 02:30:21

You should read The Frailty Myth. Girls can be just as good at sport as boys, if given equal access.

DonDrapersAltrEgoBigglesDraper Tue 30-Apr-13 08:18:43

And plenty of people push their DSs into football, et al.

I don't understand why girls are 'pushed into ballet' and are inevitably crap at it and so get their confidence knocked, but boys embrace football and are inevitably good it at.

My brother hated football (or soccer as we call it) as a child; absolutely loathed it and ditched it (and any and all team sports) as soon as he possibly could.

And quite honestly - I'd far, far rather send my DC for ballet lessons than football. Football culture is vile, IMO. Uttery vile and misogynistic. Anything is better than football.

HullMum Tue 30-Apr-13 17:10:15

men's football is vile. women's isn't. And would you really prefer the culture of thin to the point of illness to football?

lisianthus Wed 01-May-13 04:09:13

I can see where you are coming from. My DD does both ballet and soccer (football). She loves both, but there are a lot more boys than girls in her football class and no boys at all in her ballet class (which I think is a pity).

I was a bit nervous about letting her start ballet as it can become a bit of a "competitive prettiness" thing (great phrase, btw), and did a couple of "try it out" classes in different places. There was a huge difference- like many things, the teacher makes a big difference. At the first place I went to, the CP aspect seemed very much in play, with lots of sparkly tutus and children's hair being put up with gel and hairspray (at pre-school age!), and the teacher banging on about children's looks a lot. The place we decided on has far more emphasis on ballet as imaginative play, using it to tell stories in dance, with all the ballet advantages of fostering good balance, good posture, etc.

WhoWhatWhereWhen Wed 01-May-13 04:54:18

The main advantage of sports such as Rugby and Football is they are mass participation, It really doesn't matter how good you are, you're likely to be able to find a team to play in throughout nearly your entire life (recently noticed a walking football team has been set up at my local Gym)

Ballet doesn't fulfil the same criteria, if you're not good enough to be professional then participation ends around the early teens ( there are very few Adult Ballet classes )

I do believe ballet classes for children offer the same advantages in developing coordination, building strength etc.

Better options for most children would be Netball, Basketball, Football, Rugby, Cricket, Hockey

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