Friday, May 11, 2012

CNN's/Catholic School's Misogyny Is Noted

The ACAA state baseball championship game was canceled due to Catholic misogyny. Tell the truth, CNN!

CNN reports that a Catholic school in Arizona displayed its festering misogyny for all to see last night, when it denied its boys' baseball team an opportunity to play in the Arizona Charter Athletic Association state championship baseball game.

The Christian religion will continue to behave in an openly misogynistic manner until a critical mass in society finally rejects it,  but I am sure the justified outrage in the public reactions and the media reporting on the story might help move things in the right direction, amirite?

But, wait! The CNN story begins with this blatantly misleading - and, naturally, victim-blaming - line (emphasis on bald misrepresentation, mine):

"The Arizona Charter Athletic Association state championship baseball game wasn't played Thursday night because Mesa Prep's second baseman is a girl."

CNN fail. Again.
Wrong, CNN.

The game wasn't played on Thursday night because of the bigotry of the unnamed officials at Our Lady of Sorrows school.  The cowardly nameless spokesperson(s) for the school denied their students a chance to play for the state championship because of their refusal to allow their boys to mix with girls in sports. The presence of Paige Sultzbach on the field did not stop the game; Catholic misogyny did.  I think people should ask why the CNN writer, Brad Lendon, played so willingly into the narrative that it was "because of the girl" that this game was cancelled.

Moving down the page, the article goes from bad to worse.

"“It takes tremendous moral courage to stand by what it is you believe, and they are doing what they think is right,” Mesa Prep Headmaster Robert Wagner told KTVK."

Wrong, Mr. Wagner.

Why would you excuse the behavior of another school which robbed not only its own students of a great experience, but yours as well? What does it say about your attitude toward girls - and toward Paige's presence on the baseball team - when you are comfortable describing the baldly misogynistic discrimination by another school against one of your students as an act of "tremendous moral courage"?  Seriously, WTF?

Women in sports? The horror!
It takes no courage at all to single out, victimize and diminish a lone teenaged girl out of a sea of teenaged boys.  Our Lady of Sorrows school made a power play. They know that social sentiment will support them in blaming this young girl for the fact that they robbed a group of deserving boys of the chance to play in a state championship. They know they can count on the same old, depressingly predictable victim-blaming: if only that one girl had just sat out, none of this would have happened! Why did everyone have to suffer just because of her?

It is part of a larger power play, too. This Catholic school's goal is to put pressure on the entire league to eliminate opportunities for girls like Paige who had no other option to play other than the boys' team. They ruined the championship for everyone in the league and have neatly set up a problem for next year. They have thrown down a challenge to the other participants in the league, one which will undermine morale and leave all the teams in the league wondering what will be the point if such a thing will surely happen again (possibly with additional schools of "tremendous moral courage" similarly emboldened to refuse to play Mesa Prep if Paige is on the field). But, thanks to the manner of the reporting and the collusion of pandering officials like Mr. Wagner, the blame for it all will be placed squarely and unfairly on the shoulders of one Paige Sultzbach.

They know how the the implacable tyranny of majorities works: the powerful never ask themselves, "Wait a minute, why should the weaker among us always have to lose privileges?" - they say, "Why the hell should all of us have to give the weaker ones the same privileges we enjoy? We won't do it!". Including one girl (or even more girls) in the game (if they qualify for the team by the same rules as the boys) should not have been difficult. It isn't difficult. Games involving hand-eye coordination and other non-gender specific abilities are not barriers for inclusiveness. But, for religious and patriarchal societies, it is the inclusion of girls itself that is anathema. Girls are other, and Bible-based theism demands that they be marginalized. That is systemic misogyny.

The endgame is to force girls out of sports unless they can be ghettoized into all-girl sports programs (read: programs given short shrift in time, resources and promotion in many schools, especially religious schools). With reporting like Brad Lendon's and attitudes like Mr. Wagner's, they may succeed.

That's right, insecure men. Those scary female eyes are looking at you!

Thanks to my nifty son-in-law, DvdD for pointing me toward this story!

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