March 26, 2019
In this week's edition:
A Letter to Men (Satire)
Breaking the Mark…And the Glass Ceiling
This Week in Social Media
Hey College Students - we want you!
A Letter to Men of the Patriarchy
(This is satire.)
To my chisel-jawed jocks. To my over protein powdered power puffs. To the misters with the less athletic sisters. I speak for all women (for the record I speak for no women) when I say that I gladly extend to you my best wishes for Women’s History Month and want to have an end-of-history-month check-in. How has Women’s History Month been going for you? Do tell. I’ve been meaning to ask. That’s my bad. I’m sorry.
I guess it is just that in wake of all this (loca)motion with the Premier Ultimate League, I worried you needed a safe space to come to, for any reason at all. Maybe you want a breather from hearing so many declarations of your female peers being Queens (I know, how could this many women all of a sudden endure a Princess Diaries moment?). Maybe you’ve seen enough Broad City memes and seek refuge. Maybe you have watched female players dancing to Lizzo, or seen Lizzo dance herself and are using saline solution to wash out your eyes. In this country, my privileged young gentlemen, you are not alone. I’m sorry.
I worried that some of you may desperately be looking for a friend or a dear friend, (let’s call her Insecurities), to vent with come that sobering moment when the matter of women in sports begins dominating the conversation in whatever circle you find yourself to be - social media, ultimate frisbee circles, team culture. I am that friend. Call me Insecurities. You can contact me anytime and share with me the injustices of reverse racism, reverse sexism, and just the qualms of being a dude. It know can’t be easy. I’m sorry.
Twitter has been all the rave about this VC sponsorship of PUL players and I worry, as I’m sure you do too, that my female friends will get their hopes up. After all, it has only been two weeks since that partnership was shared. Who knows what they were doing before. I’m guessing a pillow fight (that’s what women do right?). The PUL is the first ever women’s professional disc league to exist with the opportunity to sponsor a player on one of those eight teams. This is cool, but why didn’t they give you gentlemen the first round? At least out of respect or precedence or something, right?
The system works as such: men begin something, men excel, men continue doing this thing, time passes, women make an appearance, women excel (eventually). As clear as day, this pattern in sports and in everyday culture has not ceased to exist, and thus, should not change. Men have dominated the space and circles of frisbee for its entire 50 year long existence and women have slowly found a way to enter your level. But with this past month, this past womxn’s history month, this past month releasing the professional female frisballers (should I use another term?), the proper functioning of this patriarchal system is shifting altogether. Women were not supposed to thrive this much….at least not yet. We understand this and we are working on it. We are sorry.
I say to you dear friend, like the furry coat I wear out on New Years Eve, or like my best friend during high school, you are safe here with me so come out of the closet. Your insecurities needn’t come be suppressed. The only thing that should be suppressed is your excitement for this compelling moment in this time, after all, they are just now getting good. Premature applause makes you look like Hillary Clinton the night of Nov. 7th, 2016 (and no one wants to look like that amirite). Between you and me, by the way, if we as women really wanted Hillary to become President, maybe we would have made more phone calls. That’s on us. I’m sorry.
For once in our lives, unlike any other night when it’s time to go out on a date, all of a sudden, we women are early. We are building confidence faster, inspiring the next generation faster, challenging the Y Chromosome League faster, and now, we are selling out club sponsorships faster than they ever have before. Ladies ladies! Where is the fire? Why are you all messing with the steady flow that was suiting my brothers just fine? Why are you stirring the pot? This task wasn’t supposed to get done on our calendar or Gender Inequality Calendar until later - I mean the patriarchy told me they penciled it in so I guess they had plans on it happening soon, but still! Not to mention, the PUL’s stew of teams is not even exclusively brewed in the great American melting pot. One of the teams of the PUL isn’t even American, which I know makes me question its legitimacy in general. I am not calling the men’s professional league more patriotic, but if you hear someone say that, hop on the bandwagon and yell it from the rooftops.
And I’m not saying America only, but can we all agree on America first - or is that now politically incorrect to say? (eye roll). It seems you can’t say anything directly on your mind anymore. I’m sorry.
This big fundraising push all over Twitter was quite the coordinated effort (now if only women demonstrated that kind of effort behind the wheel). Some players saw their jerseys sold out faster than A-list movie stars in a car commercial. In less than a week, the entire Player Sponsorship Program sold out entirely, having raised $120,000. What do I have to say to that? There is a special place in hell for women who don’t support their equivalent of a men’s organization. It’s also just science. Don’t bother coming at me with a “there’s a special place in hell for men who don’t support women,” because you would be wrong (and thus probably a woman). Men don’t go to hell for that. There are special places in society for those kind of unsupportive men: perhaps as an executive of a business, as a Hollywood film producer, or on the bench of the supreme court, or as a journalist for ESPN, or as a coach, or in the White House. Gentlemen, YOU HAVE A PLACE. It may seem hectic from time to time, with flows or hysterical women going crazy and making history, but remember, you will never be out of a job or without a safe space so long as you remember this. So no need to feel any type of way. There are endless ways to man up which don’t require supporting women. If we as women are not reminding you of this enough, we’ll do better. I’m sorry.
For those of you who have any questions, you can always write to your dear friend here (Insecurities) for questions and or concerns with the injustices of progressivism.
Any questions please contact the Insecurities hotline: firstname.lastname@example.org. We have experts on the case available 24-hours.
To all you men of the Patriarchy, we never could have done it without you. Thank you (next).
Breaking the Mark…And the Glass Ceiling.
Never have I ever been taught by a black educator.
Never. Not in preschool. Not in kindergarten. Not during the filthy, snot-ridden existence of my primary school education. Not during the glory years of middle school that is often so perfectly summarized by Netflix’s Big Mouth. Not during the years where the world throws judgment at you faster than the hands of a bully at William McKinley High School who just left the slushie machine at 7/11. Not during these years at college where I have blossomed in a sea of white daisies, as a colorful Sunflower from the plains. Don’t bother asking, never in the form of a substitute teacher either. In such a dishonest world, plenty of (history) lessons of which I have received in the classroom have amounted to nothing more than just a little white lie. I thought to myself, “When will it be when I am able to learn about my own history? To learn of the names who pioneered their respected field to give me a chance? Who is responsible for me having a chance?” Although it's rather unreliable and disorganized, I found that the internet was where I would have the best chance into excavating my history, living and dead. Learning of your own history through a virtual classroom is more than mildly humdrum channel of receiving information. When learning of legends who live among us, the social inquiry and the candid conversations literally brings to life their power and force. Before college, I was was a just a matchbox without matches.
Never have I ever had a black coach.
I came from another world of sport before joining frisbee. Many of us can say the same. Frisbee is our second chance, our midlife crisis, our midlife career change, our second spouse who makes us wonder how we were married before in the first place, our glass slipper. I participated in basketball and soccer. For the longest time, my coaches were my educators. So what position does that put me in when none of them appreciate the identity of a black athlete, surrounded by privileged kids.
In eighth grade, I failed to impress Mr. Meyers, the girl’s head basketball coach and my infinitely irked Spanish teacher. I always wondered if it was related to a situation, one day in class, when I was in the midst of a heated argument with my classmate, Meredith, on the political situation of this country (this was 2008 so what a year). She declared that Nancy Pelosi was crazy, and I yelled “Jesus!” Milliseconds later, Mr. Meyers told me that I was not allowed to say Jesus’ name in vain in class and handed me a pink detention slip (I always thought it was rude that my favorite color had to be plastered all over my number one, junior-high nemesis). As I recall, I took that piece of paper, walked out of his classroom, ripped it up, gave him the bird, and never reported to that detention, firm in my convictions that his punishment for me was in violation of the separation between Church and State. That December, I was put on the A-2 basketball team for Oxford Middle School. If that doesn’t sound all that impressive to you, I’ll be the first one to yield enthusiasm. I was good. This is simply so. I spent the entire season play below my potential, expected to be a leader and refrain from displaying frustration when my fellow teammates took longer to do virtually anything. This entirely derived from an opinion made by Mr. Meyers that was made off the basis of nonsense, lies; or exaggeration (this is dictionary.com’s definition of bullshit).
Soccer. Now this was the worst. Soccer is my ex-husband. Soccer never saw me for who I was.
Not only that, but the lack of support for my own teammates produced an environment so toxic, it gave toxic masculinity a run for its money.
During sophomore year of high school, it was my second year on JV and the notion that I might be in a position of leadership was laughed about by my teammates all season. Looking back, it is unclear to my how this joke became saturized so quickly. By the end of the year, in wake of a team incident, having not even performed a leadership role, my JV coach Ms. O’Brien told me that I was one of the worst leaders this high school has ever had and that I would never be a leader. The next year, the combination of my anxiety with the coach, college decisions, and my parent’s divorce, I lacked the healthy mental headspace and support group to excel in soccer. By the time tryouts occured, I was demoted to the C-team. Me! (Not to brag, but have you seen me on the field?) I was put on the watch list for my weakening grades. I was ridiculed and teased by my classmates and teammates, suggesting that an attitude adjustment to qualify for varsity material (btw haters, I have a silver medal from Nationals but that’s neither here nor there). Come my senior year, my victory lap, my peaking season, I was cut from my high school soccer team. I graduated from Blue Valley Northwest High School, a school, by the way, that is currently under investigation for racism amongst the coaching staff of another sport, and I entered the world actually believing the words of Ms. O’Brien - that I was a horrible leader and that I would never be a leader. I had not a team, not a support system, not a coach who believed in me.
Never had I ever heard of the name Mickle or Chastain.
I came to CU, damaged, depressed, and yet, determined to keep moving my body on a sport field, for that’s all I knew how to do. I was an athlete and running around tirelessly for endless hours was all I knew. I came to the freshmen orientation night at the Rec Center for Club Sports dragging my feet to the women’s club soccer team booth when a voice, with the sheer force of lightning, rang through my ears, as a Sarah Bartosh cast her line of friendship out to me, in a sea of lost freshmen, and reel me in like no one’s business. Like many of us who have only recently begun playing frisbee, I was immediately told that my lack of knowledge, skills, aptitude, training, or physical fitness was hardly an issue to join in on the game. I was hooked. Over the course of my first two years, I resembled a juuling, sleep deprived teenager during a driver’s education session. I was shit (on and off the field). My rookie year was filled with more error and laughs than any of my years playing soccer. My mistakes were viewed as opportunities to grow and my first coach, Christina Mickle, celebrated my intense energy, maintaining patience for me that I couldn’t yet find in myself. Come my junior year, my spot on the Kali roster was put into question by the leadership and it was none other than Claire Chastain, a teacher at heart and in real life, who came to my defense and insisted on keeping me on. She was the first coach who insisted that I be given a second chance, that suggested there was more to me than met the eye. Throughout the second part of my college career, Claire and I discussed intersectionality, she paid for me to see Black Panther, and she has even gifted to me multiple books on Black Girl Magic. Never had I ever had a coach who saw me as a black player and an asset to her team. It soon became evident, she would be by my side. This was true before I knew it to be fact. This has been true ever since. I had found my kindling
I soon learned, it was not a black coach I was hungry for, it was a coach who appreciated and strived to learn about the black experience and the personality of a black woman (if you do not one hundred percent follow, make some new friends - preferably black). That’s all I needed to become the athlete I am today.
Never did I ever believe I too could be a professional athlete.
Under the instruction of Mickle and Chastain (and certainly Lauren Boyle), the fear and vacillation I once carried with me through the halls of junior high that once weighed me down more than the polluted air of the Rec Center zone of toxic masculinity (i.e. the weights room) has over time completely dissolved. I look back and consider the headspace of my tween-year-old self, lacking not only style, but spirit altogether. The spirit of the game and its call for inclusion is what got me hooked and is responsible for my personal growth. Every spring, I’ve had the privilege of scrimmaging Denver’s Molly Brown in preparation for College Nationals, taking in a first hand account of my potential as a female player. Now with the emergence of the Premier Ultimate League, the goals I once set for myself have never been higher. Existing around me, quite often, are female individuals, excuse me, black female individuals (I’m talking about you, Anraya Palmer), who have embodied so perfectly the power of the female and the contagiousness of Black Girl Magic on and off the field. Little did I know that before officially graduating from college, would I consider a position in the big leagues.
Never have I ever thought I could be a professional athlete.
Hey College Students - we want you!
Thankfully, Spirit of the Game teaches us to speak our mind and stand up for ourselves, which we want to embolden here. We at Upwind are working to build resources designed for college students, the largest group out of USA Ultimate memberships. In order to make these resources impactful, we want to hear from you on your current ultimate experience and what you might want to know more about. We are also building a College Student Ambassador Network and would love for you to sign up and participate! Any questions you might have, fill out the form, and we’ll get back to you.
All college students, regardless of gender, race, class, sexual orientation, etc. are invited and encouraged to participate.
Pubwind presents An Old Fashioned Evening
April 3, 2019 - Washington, DC - 7-10 pm
Pubwind presents An Old Fashioned Evening featuring Old Fashioneds and a conversation on what makes old fashioned party culture, and how we can create an even better party culture.
$6 Old Fashioneds, $5 glasses of wine, $4 Narragansett baby cans
Flannel and pocket watches encouraged. This is a 21+ event.
#HUCKYES at Fools Fest
April 5-7, 2019 - Fredericksburg, VA
We’ll be at Fools Fest with a booth in the Beer Tent to chat consent and support a fun and safe party tournament!
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