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Interesting article, what would you do?



Fraudulent Feminism vs. High School Football


By Terence P. Jeffrey

September 5, 2012

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Meritocracy is nowhere more manifest in modern America than on the high school football field.

The boys who play the game know who their most courageous teammates are, and they just as readily recognize the fastest, the smartest and the hardest working. In the weeks of physical training and full-pad practices that precede their first game, they learn to admire each other's skills and trust each other's character. Having been through much together — and having started with equal chances to prove themselves on the field — they become a team.

That is not what happened in Florida last Friday night, when South Plantation High fielded a girl as quarterback to run two carefully circumscribed plays.

The headlines stressed that Erin DiMeglio was the first female to play quarterback for a Florida high school football team. But reading past the headlines revealed that the formation of the team at South Plantation — and the game of football itself — had been altered to accommodate DiMeglio.

Last May 26, during spring practice, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported about DiMeglio: "Her father won't allow her to hit yet, limiting her to 7-on-7 drills, but her arm strength and commitment has won the respect of her teammates."

On Aug. 2, the Miami Herald reported of her coach, Doug Gatewood: "Gatewood, who didn't allow DiMeglio to get hit during spring football, said his goal is to get her into games that already have been decided or are out of reach. He also plans to play DiMeglio only in shotgun formations."

"I've played flag football since the fourth grade," Dimeglio told the paper. "Scoring on boys is really fun, just to see their reactions, see the coaches get mad."

On Aug. 29, the London Daily Mail reported: "Coach Gatewood has assured her parents that she'll have minimal field time and would only be brought in to play when the game is going favorably for the team, to avoid unnecessary roughness."

In the same story, Gatewood said, "She doesn't ask for any special treatment."

The New York Times published a story on Sept. 3, depicting Gatewood's treatment of DiMeglio in a preseason game as follows: "The one question he did not know the answer to, and did not want to know, was whether she could take a hit. So when Dimeglio dropped back for her first pass, saw no open receivers and began to roll to her left, Gatewood felt queasy. 'Go down, Rock,' he said quietly.

"Go down.'"

"Gatewood knew he had to prepare her to be hit eventually," the Times reported. "Last Wednesday, he brought junior varsity players up to the varsity and taught DiMeglio the best way to take a tackle."

The Times did not say whether her coaches drilled DiMeglio in making tackles.

On Friday night, when she made Florida history, DiMeglio lined up in the shotgun and twice handed the ball to a running back.

"Great publicity for the school — it's a positive thing — but at the end of the day it's not why we did it," Gatewood told the Miami Herald after the game. "We did it because she's a legitimate third-string quarterback."

But if she's a legitimate high school quarterback, third-string or otherwise, why couldn't she practice like the rest of the players on the team? Why didn't she participate in the exactly the same drills in exactly the same way as everyone else?

The Miami Herald used laudatory language to report on South Plantation's decision to play a female quarterback. The school, it said, "broke down a barrier in the process."

Yes, something did break down here. But it was not an illegitimate barrier to the advancement of women. It was a proper respect for the character of young men and the role that football can play in developing that character.

Feminism has been pushing those very few girls willing to try the game onto high school football fields for a long time now. In the 2011 high school season, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations, 14,421 high schools in the United States fielded 11-man tackle football teams. 1,095,993 boys played on those teams — making football, over track and feild, the most popular high school sport for boys by a margin of almost 2 to 1.

There were also 1,604 girls who played 11-man tackle football at 421 high schools in the 2011 season. That was up from 2010, when 1,395 girls played football at 241 high schools.

The purpose of high school football is to develop character in boys. Putting girls on the team destroys that purpose in at least one of two ways. Either the boys are taught to hit girls with the same intensity they would hit a male teammate in practice or an opponent in a game, or they are taught that when they face a girl — either in practice or in a game — they must temper their play and tilt the field to her advantage.

Had a 260-pound defensive lineman smashed South Plantation's female quarterback into the turf, would he have been a hero? Would he deserve the adulation of society for treating a 17-year-old girl as his football-playing equal?

Or would it be more heroic for South Plantation's opponents to refuse to play a team that doesn't truly want a level playing field?

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I haven't played organized football (other than flag football) so I can't say for sure what I would do. And as a goalie, I don't throw many hits on the ice.

From the time I was very small I was always taught 'you don't hit girls'. So I can't see tossing that aside and dropping her to the turf.

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I give her all the props in the world for having the courage and skill to play against the boys. She's just another one of the guys as far as I would be concerned. With that though goes the expectations that as one of the guys, she has to and will take her fair share of knocks. Football is as much about the physicality as it is about the skills involved, and many time the two are one in the same. I've popped off a few QB's helmets in my time as a Safety, and i'd pop hers off too.....but i'd respect the hell out of her for tucking the ball and running down-field with it knowing that someone like me was waiting for her. I'd respect her as a 'gamer' first and foremost. So, with that said, if they're going to let her play, as they should, they'd better teach her how to take a hit. And those guys hitting her should hit her for the sake of stopping her....not gloating that they hit a female QB. If they're thinking in those terms, then there's already something wrong with their maturity levels. Anyone who's played intramural sports knows that at the end of the day, you find satisfaction for the most part, for making a play against an opponent, be they male or female. I could understand a little extra satisfaction being taken by a girl whose been told all her life that she can't play with the boys, when she makes a play against them though. I wouldn't fault her too much for it.

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We had a girl on our High School Junior Varsity team. She was tough as nails. Played Nose Tackle for us and half the time, the other team didn't even know she was a girl until the handshake line.

Even in Senior Varsity I remember two opposing teams that had girls on them. One simply played kicker and the other one I'm not sure if she even got on the field, but she was on the team.

I currently coach youth football, and we've had our share of girls come through the program, and I think it's fantastic. They have all had varried levels of skill and strength, but one thing they've all had in common is they were not afraid to hit or be hit.

So if a female wants to play football, that's great. I hope that the opponent gives her the respect to treat her like any other player and hit her as hard as they would a male counterpart. If my player eased up and let a player go for any reason, even if it was because it was a girl, I wouldn't be happy.

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I played in a small town, and every 2nd year our team would have 3 girls on it (one my age, two a year younger so they weren't with me alternating years) and when we got into contact, they were ferocious and offended if you didn't lay them out. All 3 were brutal, impenetrable defensewomen. I didn't think women want to be treated differently on the ice, and in the years I played against a few on other teams and would throw the shoulder, but I'd also rub them out instead of slamming them into the boards if I could, and try to avoid sticking them or getting testosterone-rough with them lol. You'd be surprised how many times I turned around in front of the net to find the D chopping up my legs and cross checking me in the small of the back was a 5'3, 110 pound 15 year old girl. That's more where I would hold back, a guy might have taken a shot back or some postering, but I'm not going to loom over a woman and tell her how I'm going to knock the shi!t out of her if she keeps it up. Doesn't feel right.

Of course, I'm talking about hockey because I instinctively assume we're always talking about it.

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I'd smash her like she was a guy! Why not? Just because there is a girl on the field does not change the fact that she is the opponent, you're playing a sport and your job is to destroy her. It doesn't matter if the person is a guy, girl..

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A team from Maple Ridge used to have 2 girls on one of their hockey teams.

They know the risk of going out there, and from that alone they are entitled to getting smoked just like the rest of u.s

Sure we would give the guys that him them a hard time (in jest) afterwards, but very few players went easy on them. Just like the boys, if they got caught with their head down, someone would give em a shot.

We also had 2 girls play for us during a high school rugby game when we were short on subs one game (they did have their own team), the one girl was about 6' and 200lbs, so s\it wasn't much of an issue for her, the other girl was about 5'3, and 110lbs, and she got absolutely crushed and left the field in tears. Again, I felt bad for her being hurt, but she knew the risks of going out there.

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I played up to Grade 12 football, if there was a girl on the other team I would hit her just as hard as any guy. I did not have time to analyze my opponents according to sex during the play. If the block or tackle needed to be made, I made it. As far as I am concerned if this team doesn't want their QB hit, they need to block that much better, it wouldn't affect me on a blitz one iota.

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Can't say much about organized football, but when I used to play lacrosse I played against some girls, and had a girl on one of my teams growing up too.

The girl we had on our team was tough as nails, and dirty as hell too. Probably the dirtiest player on the team, lol. She was always using her stick to slash at people's legs when the ref wasn't looking, and she laid out quite a few guys pretty good too.

I remember distinctly drilling some girl into the boards from about a metre away from the boards near the penalty boxes, and only found out later that she was a girl. I felt bad, but had I known, I don't think it would be fair to her or to my teammates to treat her any differently.

If you play with men, you have to play like men.

I think it's lame her coach keeps trying to protect her that way. If she really wants to play with the boys and earn their respect, isolating her by giving her special treatment isn't the way to go.

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As a female, I would prefer to be treated the same as everyone else. The article said it already, she hasn't asked for special treatment, it's those around her who think she can't make her own decisions that are giving her the special treatment.

If we didn't want or expect the physical play, we wouldn't play on the same field.

In fact, I do feel offended (at least a little...) when guys feel the need to "go easy" on me.

PS, I also really don't like that boys are often taught "don't hit girls". That isn't to say I think hitting girls is ok. I just don't think hitting a girl is any worse than hitting a guy. (ie, hitting a defenseless girl = hitting a defenseless guy. If I go at a man with fists flying, I don't expect him to just stand there and take it)

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