If they want to, sure

Schools should give boys lessons in zumba and ballet to promote the idea that PE is gender neutral, the head of a leading sports organisation has said as she reveals that girls as young as six are losing interest in exercise.

Offering a full range of activities will help to combat the stereotypes and “cultural norms” that are putting girls off sport before they reach junior school, according to Ruth Holdaway, who is chief executive of Women in Sport.

In addition to giving female pupils the option to play cricket and football, “boys should also be asked what they want, and given the opportunity to do a zumba class or whatever,” she said.

But this rather fails Chesterton’s Fence. Why do we have organised sports for the little testosterone factories? Because the little testosterone factories are hugely physically competitive.

So, we organise it rather than having them doing a Piggy on one of their number.

Complaining about sport being physically competitive is to miss the point entirely.

54 comments on “If they want to, sure

  1. “In addition to giving female pupils the option to play cricket and football, “boys should also be asked what they want, and given the opportunity to do a zumba class or whatever,” she said.”

    And if they don’t say that’s what they want, they’ll be asked again and again until they GET IT RIGHT, the little swines..!

  2. Time for punishment to be handed out to all CM tools. This Holdaway woman needs to be purged double-quick.

    And while I support absolute free speech it would not be a bad idea for a quick reversal for the next 10 years during which CM PC cant becomes defined as criminal “hatespeech”.

  3. Actually you’re wrong there. Boys don’t want to play sports any more. They may (or may not who knows) still have lots of testosterone, but they aren’t interested in sports as a competitive activity.

    My friend is a PE teacher, secondary comprehensive, about 150 pupils per year group. He can’t get 11 volunteers of one sex per age group to form teams to play against other schools. The lads just don’t want to know beyond what they have to do in school time. ‘Not doing that after school Sir, borin’ innit?’

    Similarly anyone with a knowledge of amateur sport in the UK will tell you that interest from the young is falling off a cliff. In my sport, cricket, teams are folding left right and centre. My old club used to have 2 Saturday league teams, a Sunday friendly XI and age group teams from U13 to U17, as recently as 2009. Today it has one Saturday league side, half of whom are old men. If it wasn’t for the Asian interest in amateur cricket I think it would disappear.

    Young boys just want nothing to do with sports any more, I’m not sure if its because the social element of sports is no longer needed, as you can socialise with all you mates via Xbox live from your bedroom, or that their attention spans are so small now they cannot apply themselves for long enough to gain any proficiency. The snowflake generation doesn’t do character building losses that spur it forward to succeed, if it fails, it gives up. And cricket particularly is a sport that doesn’t come naturally to most. A youngster will have his bowling plastered around the park before he learns how to do it better, or develops physically, and will get cleaned up for a duck plenty of times too before he learns the forward defensive stroke.

  4. Girls are losing interest in exercise so the answer is to make boys take up ballet?

    There’s a line or two of the working missing here.

    In this third wave of liberated feminism can this woman really be saying that girls only want to be doing things that boys are doing so one should make boys do girly things that girls used to like doing but don’t any more because they only want to ape boys?

  5. Schools should give boys lessons in zumba and ballet

    because…

    girls as young as six are losing interest in exercise.

    Not sure how boys doing that is going to solve the problem of girls not wanting to exercise. Can you show how you worked that out?

    “boys should also be asked what they want and given the opportunity to do a zumba class regardless

    Probably more accurate.

  6. Actually Jim the number of kids at cricket clubs has never been higher. It’s between the ages of 16 and 19 or so that they disappear.

  7. “cultural norms” that are putting girls off sport before they reach junior school

    Hmm, I wonder whose “cultural norms” she might be referring to? The idea that British society in general these days is hostile to female participation in sport then she is delusional.

  8. ” the number of kids at cricket clubs has never been higher. It’s between the ages of 16 and 19 or so that they disappear.”

    Well they certainly have given up on playing sports once they get much past the age of puberty.

  9. I fucking hated PE at school. Always found rugby, cricket and bastard bastard bastard football unbearably tedious. I would have loved to have done some boxing, or martial arts. Or weightlifting.

    But I guess the chance of this happening today is zero point nothing.

  10. “Also I just had to google to see what zumba is. It’s dancing btw.”

    And, hey, it originates in the third world, so it must be a good thing…

  11. “Actually Jim the number of kids at cricket clubs has never been higher. It’s between the ages of 16 and 19 or so that they disappear.”

    That’s the problem we had when I was runnng a team in the early ‘90s. Same problem for golf clubs.

  12. That’s the problem we had when I was runnng a team in the early ‘90s.

    And the other dreaded drain on players – the man who Gets Married And Has a Kid. You’ll never see him again, except the odd time when he takes the kid for a walk down to the ground.

    Some of the less resolute ones cave in the moment they are married or even engaged – other half doesn’t want her bloke enjoying himself for half a day with other blokes, he might get up to no good, such as enjoying himself.

  13. Trying to persuade girls to take up boys’ sports in large numbers by allowing boys to take up girls’ PE doesn’t seem likely to work.
    The Americans got it right a couple of decades back – gymnastic cheerleading – something that girls might actually want to do.

  14. Son #2 had to do dancing in PE a few years ago here in Sweden. He was 14 or 15. Him & his mates ran riot over the teacher (a woman). The head complained to me & was most upset when I refused to punish my lad because their teacher was being fecking stupid.

    I have in-laws here in Sweden involved in teaching (including PE). He thought boys dancing was a great idea! I couldn’t get my opinion through to him.

    Schools here are pretty small because of the system of choice we have. It means that there’s only numbers/teachers for one option in PE classes.

  15. Trying to persuade girls to take up boys’ sports in large numbers

    This is something the Government has been doing for fucking years and has obviously had fuck all effect. Yet still the cry is “more! more!”.

  16. Son #2 had to do dancing in PE a few years ago here in Sweden. He was 14 or 15. Him & his mates ran riot over the teacher (a woman).

    Good. A swift dose of reality.

  17. “And the other dreaded drain on players – the man who Gets Married And Has a Kid. You’ll never see him again, except the odd time when he takes the kid for a walk down to the ground.”

    But that was always the case – you got youngsters full attention in their 20s, by 30 they were married off with kids and disappeared. Which was fine as long as you had a supply of teens constantly coming through. But suddenly around 2011/12 the supply of late teens just dried up. From having more around than you could find team places for to none at all.

    For me it has to be some effect of the internet generation. If you were 16 in 2013 you would never have known anything other than the internet, it would have been ever present throughout your upbringing. And it will have affected your social development as a person. Social networks, online gaming, shorter attention spans. All are going to work against anything that required some serious commitment in hours put in to get a return back.

  18. Trying to persuade girls to take up boys’ sports in large numbers by allowing boys to take up girls’ PE doesn’t seem likely to work.

    It’s an article of faith in progressive circles that enforcing diversity will breakdown allegedly harmful stereotypes and so usher in a non-discriminatory utopia of equality.

    So the theory is that if girls see boys doing girly activities, girls will be more inclined to join in boys’ activities.

    Likewise, if blacks see more black police officers, blacks will cooperate more with the police. And so on…

  19. “Some of the less resolute ones cave in the moment they are married or even engaged – other half doesn’t want her bloke enjoying himself for half a day with other blokes, he might get up to no good, such as enjoying himself.”

    I recognise the scenario. The average lad ends up working all hours to further his career and earn money to pay the rent, then when he has five minutes off he disappears with his mates to play footy or whatever (gym during evenings and TA at weekends). No recipe for a great marriage, eventually the lady wins out.

  20. We did Scottish country dancing in my final year at juniors school instead of PE. This was a school on the outskirts of Dewsbury and the teacher wasn’t Scottish.

    Needles to say it wasn’t popular with the boys.

  21. Surprise!

    Another chapter in the continuing saga of the centuries-old women’s crusade to make little boys behave like little girls and men behave like women.

  22. @BIND
    To quote the Four Yorkshiremen “You’re lucky!” We had Scottish country dancing every year at junior school (as well as footy, gym, etc.).

    BTW, does anyone else remember ‘Music and Movement ‘?

  23. This is also another illustration of the truism that when you create a government agency to ‘oversee’ something, it will be captured by the most politically motivated.

  24. Mr Womby–I remember that load of shite from the early 60s. I remember have to jump from side to side over upturned benches in the school hall. They were less than a foot high–but the H&S clowns likely wouldn’t allow that nowadays.

    The other caper was running about and stopping when the music stops. This was one of Gurdjieff’s esoteric exercises I believe but I’m not sure if there was an actual connection. The M&M, looking back on it as far as I can remember 50+ years ago, did seem vaguely Rudolf Steinerish so who knows?

  25. @Mr Ecks
    Yes, looking back it was a touch ‘Hitlerjugend’, not least because it was done as a nationwide broadcast (IIRC).

  26. Bloke in North Dorset said:
    “We did Scottish country dancing in my final year at juniors school instead of PE.”

    We had a term of English country dancing in the 70s. Even worse; at least Scottish dancing might be socially vaguely useful if someone you know marries a Jock and you are expected to dance at the wedding.

    I managed to “forget” my kit every week for the whole term.

  27. Rob said:
    “other half doesn’t want her bloke enjoying himself for half a day with other blokes, he might get up to no good, such as enjoying himself”

    Enjoying himself without her, I think is the problem. Many women can’t cope with the idea that we don’t continually need them.

  28. ‘Offering a full range of activities will help to combat the stereotypes and “cultural norms”’

    Combat the culture.

  29. I loathed gym and athletics at school. It was rugby, football, and cricket I wanted to play.

    I did find myself selected for my house sprint relay side. It took me a little while to work out why.

  30. BTW, does anyone else remember ‘Music and Movement ‘?

    Yup! At my pre-prep convent school. It was surreal even then with instructions emanating from the wireless while the group of tinies was supervised by ‘Sarge’ – presumably an ex serviceman brought in to save the nuns’ modesty.

  31. There’s also a problem for clubs with ~50% of teenagers going to university; that’s a lot of people in the critical age range buggering off and losing the inertia effect of going to the club being the default Saturday activity.

  32. Gamecock, we call it ‘shooting’. But yes, agreed.

    Before he became a nancy boy, Harry actually did some proper shooting, too. At the enemy. Albeit I gather surrounded by a posse of swimmer-canoiests.

  33. “There’s also a problem for clubs with ~50% of teenagers going to university; that’s a lot of people in the critical age range buggering off and losing the inertia effect of going to the club being the default Saturday activity.”

    That is an issue – the few that are interested do tend to disappear to uni once they finish 6th form.

    But its not as if there’s loads of 16,17 and 18 year olds, then nothing thereafter. It starts about 15/16, its as Rob says – they’re keen as young lads, but something switches in mid teens and they’re gone.

  34. Incidentally – thinking about it, one wonders if all the years of non-competitive sports etc in primary schools have had an effect, it is done on a quite ‘inclusive’ manner – ie everyone gets a go, there’s no real losing/winning. Maybe when kids brought up on such an ethos hit the adult games they just can’t cope with the competitive element, the fact they’re not going to be spoon fed easy achievements. And can’t cope with the failure that suddenly comes. It rather fits in with the snowflake generation – todays uni students would have been born in the late 90s, so are the same generation of kids that interest in sports has nosedived in.

  35. “ie everyone gets a go, there’s no real losing/winning.”

    In fact, the kids know. They see who does what. The kids’ culture will triumph, regardless of what the dumbass adults try to impose on them.

  36. When I was at prep school it was decided that our level of hooliganism was excessive so a dread punishment was handed down: compulsory ballroom dancing lessons. Of course we all hated it. But! the story has a denouement: when I fetched up in Costa Rica as a young lad of 29, I found that my ability to dance got me so laid.

    At public school, I hit upon a cunning ruse. You had to sign up for either hockey or rugby during Michaelmas and Lent terms. So I signed up for both, and then went to the respective masters in charge and told them I wanted to switch. Thus I managed to avoid doing either. Instead I could do what I wanted while my classmates were slogging around a freezing muddy field under the eagle eye of some gung-ho sporty fascist: mainly arseing about in the computer lab. I conclude I was right since a) what little rugby I did play landed me with a rotator cuff injury severe enough that it will likely need surgery at some point b) people pay me large sums of money to arse about on computers.

  37. Ahh, BiCR, the System.

    I loved softball. I hated “tumbling.” My last semester of high school, I saw tumbling followed softball in gym class. So I signed up for gym. When softball was done, I dropped the class. Didn’t need it. The school administrators were bewildered by what I was doing.

    I became a systems analyst/computer scientist. Perhaps a metaphysicist, to coin a word. A systems archeologist, trying to figure out what people were thinking years before when they wrote their stupid code.

  38. It starts about 15/16, its as Rob says – they’re keen as young lads, but something switches in mid teens and they’re gone.

    Which, irritatingly, is exactly the point when they become useful.

  39. Just ask the fat kids if they’d rather add some weight to a scrum or be forced to don a tutu and flit around the gym on their twinkletoes.

  40. @Dan, December 31, 2017 at 10:53 am

    I fucking hated PE at school. Always found rugby, cricket and bastard bastard bastard football unbearably tedious. I would have loved to have done some boxing, or martial arts. Or weightlifting.

    You attended a bad school. I also hated rugby and football, cricket was boring unless batting; I like squash (speed), but not available. Chose cross-country running which I did like: beaches, sea, rivers, fences, hills, mud.

    For PE I chose weight-training and was also allowed to use weights room during lunch-break and after school unsupervised.

    Worst rule was having to pass a swimming test before choosing PE option – 25 metres in <=x seconds – I was skinny and sank. I could do 25M under water fast enough, but not acceptable. PE teacher eventually took sympathy and passed me.

  41. @Gamecock, December 31, 2017 at 1:47 pm

    Prince Harry: go hunting. Tell Meghan your are an English prince a Man; you will go hunting if you want to.

    FTFY – bill is in post, cash only.

  42. @Bloke in Costa Rica, December 31, 2017 at 7:59 pm

    At public school, I hit upon a cunning ruse. You had to sign up for either hockey or rugby during Michaelmas and Lent terms. So I signed up for both…Thus I managed to avoid doing either. Instead I could do what I wanted while my classmates were slogging around a freezing muddy field

    LOL, I discovered similar at public school, I too hit upon a cunning ruse (and told no friends). You had to sign up for a sport*; fourth form I wasn’t there that day/period (Dr, Dentist, Sick?). No follow up, signed up for none – would go to Physics labs and study.

    *inc rugby, rowing, golf, skiing, hockey, cc running, curling…. – no football thankfully

  43. Some of the less resolute ones cave in the moment they are married or even engaged – other half doesn’t want her bloke enjoying himself for half a day with other blokes, he might get up to no good, such as enjoying himself.

    I’ve noticed that the friends I get on the best with are those with wives who like to see their husbands enjoying themselves with their friends, e.g. by going for a drink. I have a few mates who I would be much closer to if I didn’t feel I was fighting a constant battle against their wives.

  44. All are going to work against anything that required some serious commitment in hours put in to get a return back.

    Computer games require serious practice and commitment to get good at them. Why do you think they play them for so long?

  45. Gamecock,

    “Prince Harry: go hunting. Tell Meghan your are an English prince; you will go hunting if you want to.”

    I don’t understand this marriage at all. If I was a 33 year old prince, I think I’d be shooting higher than a semi-vegan, divorced, 36 year old TV actress. He’s done better in the past.

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