I might get into a little trouble with this month’s column, but it is an overdue subject concerning women and coaching. I realize that there may be some that think that my column is a little one dimensional. Believe me, there are three dimensions when I put keys down to electronic paper. So, I warn you in advance…get out the smelling salts.
Women SHOULD be coaches, too! However, the need is for women to coach OTHER women, more than men, and vice versa. There are certain things that ONLY a woman can teach a girl, and a man can teach a boy. I realize that in our current, sixth wave of feminism in American culture this may not be a popular statement…but it is still the truth, nevertheless.
Let me repeat myself: Women SHOULD be coaches, too!
True story. At a church on one warm, summer day, one of the younger women decided to sit on the front row. She was improperly dressed, and was actively ‘showing’ her wares in front of the pulpit. The wives of the pastor and another minister quickly escorted the woman out of the sanctuary, and ‘schooled’ her on proper church dress. Needless to say, when the young woman returned, she was properly covered with a colorful shawl. All of this in accordance with the biblical guidelines set down for men AND women in Titus, chapter two.
There will be some who will dispute the mention, use, or even citing a biblical source concerning women, dress, coaching, behavior. Some believe that a woman having the skills of cooking, cleaning and sewing are old fashioned. However, just a cursory look at other major religions readings state otherwise. Older women have a firm duty to school their younger counterparts. Further, based upon the recent antics by some visible young women in entertainment, politics, and media, one has to conclude that--possibly--these young sisters have forgotten not only their home training, but have shunned wisdom and advice from older women around them.
Make no mistake--God DOES put older women around young women for a reason, and a season.
Doubt me? Visit any middle or high school. Take a quick look at the number of women teachers and administrators on site. Next, take a look (if you can find it) at the dress code for the school district. Then…if you dare…examine the dress of female students on campus, and compare them with their adult female counterparts. Can you spot the pattern? As a former teacher myself, let me tell you something. I can NOT understand how mothers (and fathers) let their children out of the house dressed in some of the get-ups that passes for clothing these days.
Let’s move on to the college or university campus. I never could understand how many of the most successful women’s teams at colleges are coached by men. Where are the women who are going to ‘step up’ to show other women athletes how its done? Now, I know that there are some successful teams in the college ranks that are led by female coaches…but those numbers are not vast by any stretch of the imagination. Why? Because there is more money to be made in other segments of academia. It seems that female coaches who coach female athletes at the college/university level doesn’t pay that well, when other segments of the campus--including administrative posts--pay a lot better AND have a lot more in the way of power and visibility.
What about women helping women? Wasn’t that what we were led to believe was the ‘driving’ force being feminism when the latest incarnation surfaced in the seventies--bra burning and all? Sadly, based upon my observations and experience, women of color have been ‘left off’ the help line by their Caucasian feminist sisters. Get a copy of the 1995 Beijing, China UN Women’s Conference report, if you doubt me. I’ve got a copy…and reading about what went on at the ‘Fling in Beijing’ is just plain brutal. But, I digress.
What brought this column to fruition? What kicked my switch? The first portion I mentioned, that being young women behaving badly in public. Secondly, it was a local TV news story about the Girl Scouts. Back when I was growing up, the Girl Scouts taught a LOT more skills to young women in the ways of building a home and raising children. The TV news story that I viewed spent a lot more time proclaiming skills for young women to build careers and not even being guided to marriage and family.
Aren’t marriage and motherhood worthy careers? Think about it, folks.
What has been the unintended result? This has really burned the biscuits--pardon the pun--of Girl Scout leadership. Sadly, more and more girls are not bothering with the Girl Scouts. They are joining the Boy Scouts. If you think that boys can teach girls how to be girls, then you need to see if you can bottle sunshine at your next sunrise.
I’ve seen this trend before…and the ending thereof is not pretty.
Back in the day, there were some women who entered male dominated fields merely to find dates and husbands. I know, I know, but the truth is the truth. Women stormed--for example--the college campus and academia. The old saying was: “Some women went to college for their ‘B.S.’ degree, and some went to college for their ‘Mrs.’ degree.”
Allow me to continue. These women ‘figured’ that they would have ‘exclusive’ access. When the men ‘saw’ and ‘treated’ these women as fellow professionals, and not just women (which is what women of the seventies and eighties said that they wanted), many of them got frustrated and left these professions. I mention this because I read a recent study about the number of women flowing OUT of the STEM fields, that caused me to reflect upon this history lesson. Twenty-five percent of women who entered STEM fields have left…supposedly with more following…because they could not use non-logic skills tied to emotion or empathy in their STEM environment.
However, all is not lost. There are older women who are on the job as coaches for younger women. Oh, they are not that hard to find…IF a young woman wants to take the time to look for them. There are still older women in schools, in the church, in the neighborhood, and in the extended family in the home who can teach the skills needed to build a home, strengthen a marriage, and raise children. These older sisters don’t get much in the way of visibility or even credibility. But on the job, they are. And, they get my ‘tip of the hat’ for being great coaches!
Here’s another observation and thought for this social media age. The numbers of these older women are GROWING and not slowing down. Why? Well, just like young people are ‘discovering’ the typewriter, the vinyl record, and the need to read books, there are more and more young women who are discovering that they need something that you can’t find on a video screen. They need an older woman to show them the righteous road to go.
If you happen to be an older woman reading this, you may soon hear a knock at your door from a younger woman. Don’t look at her as an interruption as she comes into your world; look at her as an opportunity. For, you were as young as she, at one time in your life. Who helped you to grow, mature, and make a difference in YOUR home?
That’s right. An older, righteous woman. A woman of quality in a sea of copies.
Mike Ramey is a Minister, Book Reviewer, P-School Ranger, Modern Street Gangs Specialist and Syndicated Columnist who lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. Feel free to reach him with your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org. ©2019 Barnstorm Communications.