“They won’t give me the football, and so I took up badminton,” said the little girl to her mother’s friend.

“They, who?”asked the mother’s friend. Exactly the question on my mind too. They, who?

“Them…the boys, aunty…”

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“What the hell! Didn’t you let your P.T. teacher know about it?” The incredulousness mirrored mine.

“Come on, Sia, you know boys. They are like that only. So I suggested badminton and she’s enjoying it. No problem!”

In a few lines, the mother had summarized everything that was so bizarrely wrong with the way we brought up our boys. They are like that only. Period.

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But then, just a few days back, as a 40-year old female business leader on a company-sponsored trip with colleagues, I had encountered the same problem the little girl had faced.

You know how we readily give up the official roles on such trips. There we were, organising ourselves into teams to play cricket. The captain of my team was a young, female colleague. But then, a self-appointed bowler in our team called three male colleagues and gave them orders to bowl the next three overs one after the other. He also went on to give the other female team members fixed fielding spots.

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As we went into the game, it became obvious that the women would never get to bowl. Things would have continued that way had we not spoken up. For the right to bowl, the right to get wickets and feel good, the right to lead the team to success.

I snapped back to the present as the mom’s friend suggested a solution.

“Join a school that has an all-girls team if you are so passionate about football. Don’t change your game for the boys. It’s not worth it.”

The mother looked pained at the prospect. I saw a glimmer of something in the girl’s eyes.

But then, is that the world we want to create for our girls? One where an all-girls team is the only solution?


India Women In Sports
India Women In Sports

Views Expressed in this piece are that of the blogger not of the organisation