Recently, the senior girls at the high school challenged the junior girls to a "powder puff" football game girls only, with boys as cheerleaders on the side.
You may have seen the photograph a few weeks ago on the front page of the Reflector. Sure enough, the girls were carrying the football and making the touchdowns. I didn't attend, but I was told many people did, and that there was much cheering and excitement. It makes for a fun annual event.
I also was told it was odd to see the boys "cheering" for the girls, in a complete role reversal. Despite the fact that we have a wide variety of girls' sports, football is a world that still belongs to the boys.
It raises the issue of gender roles. And perhaps it's not too big a jump to raise the issue of Hillary Clinton for president.
I don't usually get into politics in this column, and I'm not going to. I'm talking about gender here. I am tired of people saying, "I'm not against a woman president, but I just don't like Hillary."
For one thing, if it were a male candidate they didn't like, would they say "I'm not against a male president, but I just don't like Dennis ... or Mitt ... . or John ... .?" We aren't on a first-name basis with the male candidates, so why do we call her Hillary? Is it to emphasize that she is female? Or is it to make her seem childlike? Is it merely to differentiate her from her husband, who is also Clinton? But we all know Bill isn't running. If you said Clinton in connection with the current candidates, we'd know you were talking about her and not him.
And when I ask people what they don't like about "Hillary," most people say she seems "cold." So what? Do we expect our male presidents to be warm and fuzzy? Or is it just a woman? If a man is "cold," we think he is authoritative and businesslike and a leader. But a woman who is "cold" is considered unfeminine and there must be something wrong with her ...
Make no mistake about it: I like Hillary Clinton, that is. For one thing, she graduated from the same college I did. For another thing, I think she really cares about health issues. Men in this country haven't created a fair system where everyone has equal access to basic medical care, and I think Mrs. Clinton will try to achieve that. Also, I love to see her pictures on the campaign trail. Rightly or wrongly, it gives me an irrational thrill to see a member of my own sex portrayed as a possible president, rather than as a cheerleader or someone's wife. I like to see the close-up pictures of Mrs. Clinton with wrinkles on her face not a woman there for men to gawk at her body, but a woman to evaluate based on her brains.
It is so important for our daughters to see this, too. I'm not always a good example I'm a homemaker with four children and my interests revolve around the home. But I want a woman out there to set an example for my daughters and potential granddaughters to show what a woman is capable of doing, besides baking cookies.
What do powder puff football and Hillary Clinton have in common? They stretch our definition of what is permissible, and possible, for a female.