September 18, 2017
In this week's edition:
- Being a Male Ally for Gender Equity (4/4)
- Introducing The Crosswind Tour 2018
- Oh Yes She Did! Highlight of the Week
Being a Male Ally for Gender Equity (4/4):
Female Role Models
Recently, a high-level ultimate player began stirring a discussion about gender. The gist of what he was saying was that not having women role models in sports shouldn’t be something preventing women and young girls from playing them. Now I’m sure that this is true for some women, and not so much for others. He wasn’t right to say this though. He can’t say this from his own experience.
I’ve talked to several women about their thoughts on his comments. Some have said their reaction isn’t as strong as others, while some have reacted very strongly to it. However, they all agreed one thing: there aren’t enough female role models in sports due to visibility issues, and they want more.
This got me thinking, who are some women in sports that are role models to me? Wow. This was so much harder to answer than I thought it would be. I really had to think about it before I could name two. The reason this took so long is because I’d hardly been exposed to high-level female athletes my whole life. The media, the country, really the whole world pushes male athletes over females. This gives young people especially the perception that females are not as talented or gifted as males. This is a massive issue. Something we can work on daily with our language and the way we promote and talk about sports.
However, I digress. After much digging through my brain there were two female role models that I thought of. The first is a former tennis coach at my alma mater. ACE, which was her nickname and initials, was the winningest coach in the school’s history. Now, she was never my coach, but whenever I wanted to talk about tennis, the Red Sox, or just sports in general then she was the first person in the school I’d go to. She knew sports and she knew winning as well as anyone I’d met before.
The next is my friend Delaney, aka D$. Not too long ago I decided I wanted to get in better shape, so I could play that ultimate frisbee disc football game better. Naturally, my first instinct was to ask my friends Gus and Delaney to help me out (shout out Gus and Delaney). As far as power couples go, they’re the poweriest. I’ve never met people, let alone a two that are in a relationship, that are in such incredible shape. Gus puts most men to shame with his athleticism. But, Delaney? Delaney puts Gus to shame. Over the last month or so I’ve either been meeting up with them to work out or having them send me workouts that they do. Some days they do different workouts, and some days they do the same. When they do the same workout, they kick my butt. However, when they do different workouts? I always opt to do the one that Gus does. Now that’s not because I want to be more like Gus, it’s because I can’t be Delaney. They both work their tails off but there is no way I could get to her level, and frankly I’m not sure Gus can either (sorry Gus).
Finding role models is hard, finding female ones is harder. This isn’t because there aren’t loads of capable women, it’s because of how regularly we as men oppress them. I shouldn’t have to seek women out to find them as role models. This is important to note: There are SO many women who can be a role model to anyone. As men, we have to do a better job of promoting them and not trying to speak over them or oppress them. Our job as men is to help provide women with a platform to be leaders. I don’t want people to have to seek out female role models. I don’t want it to be so hard to think about who their female role models are. I want for my generation and the future generation to be surrounded by women who inspire them.
I got started doing stuff with Upwind Ultimate thanks to Laurel Oldershaw, who I co-host The Upline Cut with. She made this website and does so much for women in ultimate. Hosting The Upline Cut with her has allowed me to talk to so many incredible women. So with this being the last part of my series on being a male ally, I thought I’d like to mention some truly inspiring women that everyone should look up to:
- Laurel Oldershaw (Twitter: @Loreality @UpwindUlti @TheUplineCut)
- Mish Phillips (Twitter: @MishPhil & FaceBook: Mish Phillips)
- Hannah Leathers (Twitter: @hLeath)
- Jenna Weiner (Twitter: @JennaWeiner6)
- Georgia Bosscher (Twitter: @Bosscher19)
- Erin Schrode (Twitter: @ErinSchrode)
There are so many more incredible women that inspire me I can’t even name them all. I implore all you men out there to follow them, go out and find other women that inspire you, and please dear god help lift women up. We need them so much.
Introducing The Crosswind Tour 2018
100 days. 38 cities.
Do you love parties? Do you love playing ultimate with old friends and new ones? Do you want to further the discussion on equity in ultimate?
Introducing The Crosswind Tour! We'll be coming to a city near you to play, discuss, celebrate, and repeat. Save the date and let us know if you can help out! #XWTour
OH YES SHE DID!
Highlight of the Week
Getting ready for Regionals by getting inspired by last year's competition! Thanks to Fulcrum Media for their coverage from 2016 USAU Club Nationals.