Stop oppressing men!

By By Tom Quinn

By Tom Quinn

OK, I’m a little bugged right now.

And since you’re reading my column, I’m going to assume that you care.

Last Friday, the Deseret Morning News ran a story about Dorcus Angilau, a female student at Kearns High School who moonlights as both an offensive guard and a linebacker on the school’s football team.

The story itself was well written. And based on what I gathered while reading the feature, Angilau merits special recognition. I have all the respect in the world for her and her desire to compete, and there is no doubt in my mind that she could break me in half if she wanted to.

But in spite of the admiration that I have for her, I don’t think that she should be allowed to play football, at least not on an officially sanctioned team.

Now, before the army of militant feminists on campus tries to rip me to pieces and eat my liver with a chilled Fresca, let me explain my reasoning.

I wholeheartedly support egalitarian policy in all areas of society, including sports. I am a huge fan of women’s soccer, and I even put in time as the coach of a women’s high school water polo team a few years back.

I have no beef with either women’s sports or female athletes, but I believe that equality should always be a two-way street. If women are allowed to compete in men’s sports, then wouldn’t a truly egalitarian policy allow men to compete in women’s sports as well?

Unfortunately for us guys, very few people share that opinion. As a result, lots of men, for one reason or another, aren’t allowed to compete in their sport of choice.

I, for example, could have been one hell of a synchronized swimmer when I was young, but I was never given the chance. Of course, had I been a girl desperate to play on the football team, apparently that could have been arranged. Just thinking about my missed opportunity makes me feel oppressed.

Some folks would counter my argument by pointing out that there is no women’s football team, leaving females no choice but to play with men. While that logic certainly has merit, it is not without flaw.

According to that reasoning, it would then be permissible for male students at the U to compete with the women’s volleyball, soccer, gymnastics and/or track teams, since the U offers no such programs for men.

The sports world applauds individuals for breaking down gender barriers and enjoying opportunities that wouldn’t otherwise be available on account of the individual’s sex, provided that the individual is female and the barriers are keeping her out of a male-dominated area of society. Switch things around and everyone freaks out.

Sports Illustrated ran an article a few years ago about a group of male field hockey players in Massachusetts who joined the women’s team at their high school under the banner of gender equality.

After telling a few horror stories about injuries that the boys inflicted on the female players, the author condemned the young men for encroaching on a traditionally female sport.

Am I the only one who notices the incongruities in these situations?

In order to solve this problem, I propose that all sports be made co-ed. That way, I’ll finally be able to put my sequined swimming cap to good use.