I suppose I consider myself a feminist if that means I align myself with those that believe men and women should have equal rights and equal oppurtunity. I think in this day and age that the term should be dropped, because it is altogether condescending, but that is beside the point. My main issue is why haven’t times caught up with the playing fields, courts, or ice? Why are there separate rules between men and women’s basketball, men and women’s ice hockey, men and women’s lacrosse, etc? I understand the logical thoughts behind banning “checking” or hitting in ice hockey or lacrosse if MEN were hitting WOMEN. But, that is not the case. We are talking about women against women, and men against men. The separate rules only perpetuate the idea that females shouldn’t or can’t be as physical in their sport as men. Females cannot hit or check in lacrosse, but men can. Male ice hockey players can hit and check against the boards, but such actions are illegal in women’s ice hockey.
Men and women’s basketball have essentially the same rules in regard to fouling; however, there are several other unnecessary rule differences. For instance, men have a shot clock of 35 seconds whereas women have one of 30 seconds and men have a 10 second backcourt rule, but women do not. It simply does not make sense to me why there needs to be differences in these arbitrary rules.
In an era where women have proven their physical prowess I simply don’t understand this double standard. Moreover, I believe that these types of separations are perpetuated in the worst of ways by some female sports requiring skirts; women’s lacrosse and field hockey. Field hockey has some historical context because men in Europe who play professional field hockey wear kilts, as well. But you certainly never see a male lacrosse player wearing a kilt or skirt when they play. It is these types of differences on the playing fields that set us back by whole decades in the “feminist” movement.