In 1971, a Joint Resolution of Congress was passed with the following text:
- WHEREAS, the women of the United States have been treated as second-class citizens and have not been entitled the full rights and privileges, public or private, legal or institutional, which are available to male citizens of the United States; and
- WHEREAS, the women of the United States have united to assure that these rights and privileges are available to all citizens equally regardless of sex;
- WHEREAS, the women of the United States have designated August 26, the anniversary date of the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, as symbol of the continued fight for equal rights: and
- WHEREAS, the women of the United States are to be commended and supported in their organizations and activities,
- NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, that August 26 of each year is designated as “Women’s Equality Day,” and the President is authorized and requested to issue a proclamation annually in commemoration of that day in 1920, on which the women of America were first given the right to vote, and that day in 1970, on which a nationwide demonstration for women’s rights took place.
For the purposes of this blog, we’ll focus on the highlighted portion.
There’s an old saying that parents love their sons and raise their daughters. Nowhere is the saying more true than in youth sports. Youth football, boys basketball, baseball, etc. have throngs of support from parents and spectators.
They cheer and yell their collective heads off for those boys. We’ve seen the videos and I’ve written about it extensively in this space about how worked up we get. And it’s mostly over our boys.
We give them nicknames that remind us of adult superstars. “There’s my little Jordan!” “Boy, that crossover is like Steph!” “Look at him…the next Pujols!”
As far as quality of play goes, youth games are not very good. Kids don’t know where to line up. They can’t catch, hit, throw or shoot.
Seriously, how many times does the catcher drop the pitch in youth baseball? How often do youth football teams even attempt a forward pass?
Yet and still, we shower our boys with praise and admiration through all this mediocrity. We cheer for their potential. When dad goes hoarse cheering for his 4th grade running back, the kid thinks, “Dad really does think I can be the next Adrian Peterson.”
Girls’ games are a different story. The stands look like PT at 5 a.m. on an army base. No one’s there who isn’t supposed to be. Cheers are motivational instead of euphoric. You know who Haley’s, Brooke’s and Taylor’s dads are because they cheer individually instead of collectively.
“There’s the next Elena Delle Donne right there!” yelled no parent, ever (Editor’s Note: Elena Delle Donne is the reigning WNBA MVP and scoring champion). Girls sports are generally viewed the way youth sports should be in general. Teamwork and fundamentals are emphasized.
Most girls get to play because the coach is more concerned with teaching them the game than winning it. When we go to see our daughters play basketball, soccer, or softball, we don’t connect professional aspirations to the 9-year-old before us.
I challenge you, your extended family and friends to pack out a girls game. Cheer for them like they’re UConn or the U.S. Women’s National Basketball Team. If you don’t know any great female athletes, look them up and try as hard as you can to see that greatness in your own princess.
I also challenge you to let your little boy be a little boy. He’s not Steph, yet. Steph wasn’t Steph until two years ago. Your son may not grow any taller than 5-5 and that’s OK. Allow to him learn, develop his skills and enjoy the game.
Let’s love our girls a little more and take greater care in raising our boys. Both deserve it.