There is certainly something admirable in being a strong athlete—no matter what the gender.
Will Lucas is one such athlete who rang the top bell in his sport this week. At age 12, he pitched a no-hitter in the Little League World Series. Age 12. Most pro-ball pitchers can’t say that.
In 1950, a young Kathryn Johnston tucked her hair in her cap and posed as a boy in order to play. She was the first of many, until the Supreme Court upheld a 1973 ruling to allow girls.
Studies have shown that after Title IX, girls’ participation in high school sports increased by 900 percent, and in college by 450 percent. Clearly, the claim that sports are just for boys is a myth. There is a long list of female Olympians who just shattered that glass ceiling.
Another woman who is pushing the limits is marathon swimmer Diana Nyad. The 62-year-old is determined to swim from Cuba to the Florida Keys without a protective shark cage. Swollen from jellyfish stings to her face and hands, they finally pulled her from the water Tuesday due to threat of storms.
Despite all these accomplishments, it took 80 years for Augusta National Golf Club to allow women members. Pull up your pantyhose, girls, because we are going to the Masters. The former chairman, Hootie Johnson, who still requires a razor for his Neanderthal knuckles, had to retire in order for women to be considered.
Women’s rights activists call this a milestone for businesswomen. Not to take anything away from businesswomen, a more accurate assessment is that this is a milestone for Johnson and Augusta.
Boys like Will Lucas deserve full-throated cheers for accomplishments like his. Nothing, absolutely nothing, should be taken away from him. There is plenty of room in all sports for both women and men. Mikhail Baryshnikov and Chicago’s own Michael Flatley proved that dancing isn’t just for girls. The Women’s Olympic Soccer Team just scored a goal for girls’ soccer everywhere.
We, parents, still define roles for our children based on their genders. Instead, let’s encourage them to follow their interests—not ours. Let’s erase the pink and blue divider lines.
Dads, take your daughters to football games. Moms, take your sons to the ballet. Instead of deciding for them, let them decide for themselves.