Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Sexism In The Boxing Gym

Coach James, who runs the football, basketball, and baseball programs at the field house, told me he had to defend my honor earlier yesterday.  A man who discovered that the boxing coach is a woman appeared to take offense at that.  "I applied for that job awhile ago!  That job should have been mine!  How they gonna give it to a woman?" the guy said.  Coach James told him that from what he could see, I was doing a good job.  "How can a woman teach men how to box?" the guy told him.

The guy showed up in the gym sometime later, giving me a long skeptical look.  When I told him I had been boxing since 2001, the guy seemed to fumble for a comeback.  Then he did what too many guys do, which is brag about what boxing experience he's had.  Uh-huh.  I learned a long time ago that many confuse briefly taking a few boxing classes before giving up with having a lot of fight experience.  Other people think the amount of street fights and schoolyard rumbles they've had constitute knowing how to box.

I'm used to the sexism in this sport to an extent.  But it irritates me all the same.  The guy offered to send some younger guys over to check out the gym and perhaps sign up for the program.  I appreciated the gesture, but he said, "I plan to volunteer, too."  Based on the guy's earlier comments to Coach James, I'm not so sure I want the guy as a volunteer.

Unfortunately, some men are always looking to undermine a woman's authority everywhere and at all times.  If the guy actually applies to be a park district volunteer and successfully passes the background check, I have a feeling I will have to keep reminding him who is the boss of the gym.  I already have my hands full dealing the kids.  I don't need to also have to explain manners and having respect for others to an adult.

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