Sunday, March 3, 2013

Power Play

So, have you seen the kerfluffle about the 11-year-old girl who's been playing football since she was 5?  She goes to a Catholic school, and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia suddenly realized she was playing and decided she shouldn't anymore because they "don't want her to get hurt".  Of course.  They're only trying to help.

I like this kid and her disingenuous replies. 
"I was mad," Caroline said after learning she wasn't allowed to play, "just really mad that we don't get the same opportunity as boys just because we're not a boy.
"Not only am I not going to be able to play, but girls all over aren't going to be able to sign up," she said. "And I don't think that's fair."
When asked whether she's gotten hurt, the crowd erupted when she quipped with a made-for-TV smile, "I've never really gotten hurt, but I have hurt people."
She's not being disrespectful when she says the archbishop's claim that he's just trying to protect her doesn't ring true. "I was just really surprised that we're not allowed to play because we're girls," Caroline said. "They say it's a safety issue, but I don't get that because it's not just a safety issue for us; it's a safety issue for anybody that goes on to the field."
Of course she doesn't understand.  This is neither about logic nor fairness.  It's about control.  For as much as Fundamentalists rail about the evils of Catholicism, they share the exact same entrenched misogyny and power issues*.

I feel for her. I said similar disingenuous things when I was in Fundamentalism because I didn't understand it was about power and not letting (especially) women have too much.  The following quote from the Archbishop gave me PTSD flashbacks:
"I admire your love of the game, Caroline, and I'm impressed by your zeal in pursuing the opportunity to play it," he wrote. "At the same time, it's important to understand that pressure is not a good way of showing respect for dedicated people who are simply fulfilling their duty to protect young people in sports."
In other words, "Sit down, shut up, and you'll be sorry you talked."  Been there, heard that.

It gets better.  In a followup article in Forbes Magazine, one of the main reasons for their decision was made clear: they are concerned about "inappropriate touching" (cue the late-night TV jokes) between male and female students. 

Despite the diocese announcing that it would be a panel consisting of "priests, parents, coaches, and medical experts would be formed to review their football policy", there was "no one qualified to talk" about law or human physiology at the panel convened to discuss the case.  The only dialogue involved "personal opinion, tradition and Vatican law". Ignore the law, ignore anyone with actual experience in the question at hand, and just talk about tradition and personal opinion. 

How familiar does that sound?  Fundamentalist University just did the same thing last November.  Never mind the number of abuse victims they have themselves miserably failed - several of whom I know personally - now they're going to tell you how to do it right, from the mouths of those who personally did the failing.

No clothes.  No clothes at all, on either emperor.  

 *I'm talking the Catholic heirarchy here, not the average individual parishioner or church. 

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