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Let Girls Play Football!

By Madeline Holler |

The good news, I suppose, is that there are already 5,000 girls who play organized football — varsity football! — in U.S. schools. The bad news is that they’re almost all in Florida (the rest are in Alaska), meaning girls football is not very widespread.

Also? They’re playing flag football, which I suppose is both good and bad news. The good news there being that these girls might be able to avoid rampant concussions suffered by male football players at all levels. The bad news is that flag football is kind of football lite.

But who cares, right? Another sport for girls to play. Another reason to rethink assumptions about how girls would like to spend their time and energy.

Writing for Salon, Anna Clark gives us all the ins and outs of whether flag football is a good thing and what people are saying about girls playing it. If you’re excited about it, don’t read the comments because they’re ever so degrading to girls and women athletes.

Personally, I loved flag football as a kid and was really pretty good at it. I’d love for my girls to play. They don’t care for soccer but love the idea of football (they’re kind of into the tackling, which would get them DQ’d but whatever). I also really hate attitudes that downplay the fun in watching women’s sports, which I find far more interesting to watch than men’s. Now there’s a Superbowl I’d like to watch for more than just the ads.

So there.

Would you let your daughter go out for football? Would you support your school’s girls’ football team?

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About Madeline Holler


Madeline Holler

Madeline Holler is a writer, journalist, and blogger. She has written for Babble since the site launched in 2006. Her writing has appeared in various other publications both online and in print, including Salon and True/Slant (now Forbes). A native of the Midwest, Madeline lives, writes, and parents in Southern California, where she's raising two daughters and a son. Read bio and latest posts → Read Madeline's latest posts →

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0 thoughts on “Let Girls Play Football!

  1. PlumbLucky says:

    Yes and yes. Touch, flag, OR tackle. (Background: hockey player here. I’ve played on as many teams where I was the only girl as I have on girls’ teams) I’ve always felt that if someone is good enough for a team, let them play. Don’t ask for special considerations due to gender (I never did – by this I mean, don’t grade me on a curve because I’m female. If someone is faster, they’re faster. Don’t prorate it because one is male the other female.) other than what might be required for modesty or similar.

  2. Coach's Daughter says:

    I started as fullback and middle linebacker from age 10-12, and used to paint my fingernails in preparation for the games. As PlumbLucky stated, let the standard be the standard, and let girls play whatever sports they want. In 6th grade I played girls basketball, tackle football, and was a cheerleader for boys basketball. As a young adult I performed in a full length ballet the same year I enlisted in the Marine Corps. At 34 I lift weights and do ballroom dancing. I am grateful that no one told me I couldn’t embrace all aspects of my personality.

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