Happy New Year and all other pleasantries. Like a grumpy groundhog I am poking my head out to look around and I am not liking what I see. Well, that’s not entirely true. What I’m seeing is articles where Women Ultimate players (note: Women Ultimate player, not Women’s Ultimate players) write about their experiences and then, this is the part I don’t like, are derided by men. Seriously, this is how we’re starting 2014? Guys, you realize that this is now the topic of the year? I’m glad that the detractors have come out because now we can spend the whole year and the next, and the next, and let’s just say the next decade ensuring that we can keep Women’s Ultimate at top priority sharing the spot with Youth Girls development.
Do you know why we need that? It’s because of us guys thinking of ourselves as hot shit because of that one time we laid out and caught the disc or we toed the line. Time and time again I have to explain to people about the intricacies of the Women’s game. Time and time again I have to explain to them that the Women’s game requires far more skill than the Open game. I said it: Far More Skill. You can quote me on that and I’ll say that to anybody that wants to hear me say it to their face, especially all the bros that think superiority is something that can be measured. To them I ask: What exactly makes you superior? Ultimate is a mix of skill and athleticism. Like any game that involves a mix of those two if you change the mix in either you change the game. As Emily wrote in her article: “Women’s sports are an entity in their own right.” and we sure as heck don’t understand that.
The above paragraph has been my understanding not only of Women’s Ultimate but of Ultimate. My understanding may be flawed but where I believe I have clarity is that there is no superior form of Ultimate. I don’t know what to say other than the response to Emily’s articles highlights some serious problems that we have. Very serious problems that cannot be hidden nor should they. I’m not putting up with it anymore and I’m calling out everybody on their shit. Heck, if I ever seem like I am in any ways falling into complacency then call me out.
And another thing, don’t you dare try to create divisions or sides on this. I am absolutely furious about this. When I see phrases like “biological disadvantage” being used it leaves me utterly dumbfounded. What exactly are we measuring? You know what we’ve measured? The level of ignorance within the Ultimate community is far too high for my liking. So what can you do? Change it, in a positive way. My reaction here is excessively negative for my taste but it should spur a few into action. Engage in conversation, understand perspective, and then continue the conversation. Change will not come overnight but will come bit by bit one conversation at a time.