If We Just Kill Off My Age Cohort, Things Will Improve….

For the past several weeks, this blog has mostly been sharing depressing observations. Since it’s Sunday (a day for uplift, or at the very least some time off), I thought I’d post a more hopeful story before returning to what threatens to become the “regular programming”at least until November 8th.

In a post memorably titled “Our Lady of Perpetual Misogyny,” Juanita Jean related a story of fundamentalist sexism and its unexpectedly heartwarming conclusion.

Two girls at Foothills Academy, a high school in Scottsdale, Arizona, made the boys’ soccer team. When the school was scheduled to play Our Lady of Sorrows (how appropriate!), a Phoenix parochial school, they were informed that Our Lady’s all-boy soccer team would not even come on the field if the girls were to play. They would rather forfeit. (God says girls have cooties…)

Presumably, they’d get those cooties–or be barred from heaven–if they so much as kicked a soccer ball in a game where females participated. The Foothills coach left it up to the team to decide whether to play without the girls, or to forfeit.

Each player on his team voted. Every player voted to accept the forfeit. Especially noted are the players who are being looked at for college soccer scholarships and whose stats will be affected by each game not played. “I don’t give a damn about my stats, the girls are my team mates.”

The league will be updating their rosters with schools willing to play girls.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: once my age cohort is gone, things will improve. As stories like this confirm, the younger generation gives reason for optimism.

The undergraduate and graduate students I teach are by orders of magnitude more inclusive, less bigoted and more focused upon building community than the cranky old men and women of my generation.

If we can manage not to destroy the world–or elect Donald Trump (pretty much the same thing)– before we hand it over to them, things will definitely improve.


  1. Thanks for the good news. NOW, if we can get those young folks to vote their own interests…

  2. Each generation brings new promise, but it also brings new problems. The state of the world today can be laid at the feet of the baby boomers, who showed such great promise in the 60s.

  3. The reaction of the team was promising, but like our generation, theirs is not monolithic. This mornings NY Times has an article in the Review section about anti-semitism at Brown University. Misogyny , anti-semitism, racism, etc., seem to be endemic in our society, regardless of age.

  4. I love that this team stood up for their teammates regardless of gender. But I don’t understand why the opposing team wasn’t forced to take the forfeit when they were the team refusing to play.

  5. It is way too easy to fall into the trap of everything is bad rather than the much more realistic things are all the way from great to terrible, some of each.

    Just like us.

  6. My Dad used to say the same thing. My generation was supposed to end racism. That said, there are a lot of obituaries that I would read with pleasure.

  7. Here is a link to the full story – http://www.azcentral.com/story/sports/high-school/2016/09/23/arizona-high-school-boys-soccer-team-refuses-play-team-two-female-players/90966406/
    Excerpt below:

    The Foothills Academy College Prep boys soccer team played without its two female players the first time a team objected to the sisters’ presence. This time, when Mesa’s Faith Christian told the Scottsdale high school the same thing, citing religious beliefs, the male players had the sisters’ back. The players voted not to play unless midfielders Alyssa and Colette Hocking were allowed to play.

    Dick Buckingham, administrative leader of Faith Christian. “It is based on a religious perspective that God created guys and girls differently. The difference physically, there is a strength advantage that men have over women. We want to teach our men that honor of ladies is just not in sports. We struggle how to teach that if we’re allowing them to play against young ladies in a competitive game.

    “We’re the ones harmed because we’re giving up a game. We think it’s better to do that than give a mixed message.”
    I wonder if Mr. Buckingham would allow the school’s chess team if they had one to play against
    a team with with girls on it??? I suspect Mr. Buckingham found in “his” bible in Ludicrous 2. 1-3, where girls are forbidden from playing sports together with boys.

    I must object to the generation comment about we “Boomers” being old and cranky. As a Boomer we were not born into Utopia. We arrived in a world of Jim Crow among other things, and then the Greatest Generation sent millions of us to invade Vietnam. We were supposed to be the Stepford Generation – good little robots. We rebelled and the America became a better place than we found it , not perfect but better.

  8. This story made me smile. I was still too short to continue to play on boys soccer teams; but my sister who was 5’8″ was taller than most of the guys and was a left winger and very good (Played for Purdue). She was better than a fair number of boys much to the dismay of the boys and their parents especially the moms who were known to scream out sexist, hateful remarks at my sister and their sons for letting a girl take the ball away from them and would out run them.

  9. In general yes I would agree – my students are ‘nicer’ people than their elders. One thing I have noticed, though, is that the small number of nasty youngsters are subject to less peer sanction. Peer pressure as we all know is super-effective at changing behaviors & attitudes (both for better & worse). As part of allowing people to go their own way, it seems that the real harm caused by bad actors among the young is being dismissed. Not sure if that’s a good idea.

  10. Everyone seems to forget that the Boomers have always been divided left and right. The left, so-called hippies, protested for peace, started the natural foods movement, promoted racial and gender equality, and raised concerns for the environment. The Boomers on the right signed to join the military (without being drafted), pursued business success, went to traditional churches, and led lives much like their parents. The Boomers by and large didn’t start out one way and turn into the other. Each side made its mark in various ways over the years.

  11. I have often thought that increased longevity impedes our progress. Brain plasticity, or lack thereof, is a real issue in our aged population. Do you realize how many people with dementia vote? And of course that is all made worse by the size of the BB generation.

  12. Love this story, but I didn’t understand why the Foothills team was the one forfeiting the game when it was the other team that said they’d rather forfeit than play opposite girls and refused to come onto the field.

  13. Safe to say the Age of Aquarius never did quite arrive in our Boomer generation. Nevertheless, I think the Boomers, of which I’m on the leading edge of, made great strides on many fronts; just one being in the area of women’s rights (O.K. things aren’t perfect, but look where our generation started out at). Also, I would like to believe the Boomer generation might have made more progress towards social justice had John Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and Robert Kennedy not all three been assassinated in their prime. I like to think, though there is no way anyone can ever know, that had these men not been killed there are many things they could have led our generation to accomplish. The vacuum that was left by their assassinations was filled by the likes of Richard Nixon and Ronald Regan.
    Just a thought.

  14. IMHO: anyone who thinks their assassinations were not planned and connected hasn’t been paying attention.

  15. First thing, WHO kills all the lawyers? Is that a more moral order than putting your mind on something in Indiana that is just as 2016 as any State citizens are? It is not the Stories that are depressing those keys on the writers’ machines, nor the children of the publishers selling their datelines.

  16. Nancy Papas: ididn’t get it either, even after reading it a couple more times. Perhaps the commenter could explain it for us.

  17. Team with female players “win” by forfeit. but they do not gain any statistics. The stats are crucial to ‘college’ coaches as they evaluate talent.

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