Target: Strong Rock Christian Academy CEO Patrick W. Stuart
Goal: Let 12-year-old Madison Baxter play on her school’s football team.
Madison Baxter just wants to play football, but her school won’t let her. Why? Because she’s a girl. According to her school administrator, girls can’t play with boys, because girls inspire “impure thoughts” and are too much of a distraction for male players. Madison is being told that she can’t play ball because of something she can’t possibly control — the thoughts and actions of her male teammates. This is unacceptable, and deeply unfair.
Madison has always wanted to play football, ever since she was a little girl. According to Madison, “football is in her blood” and she has a “serious obsession with the sport.” She loves to analyze plays off the field, but would much prefer to make the plays herself. She has the full backing of her family, who has set up a Facebook page to draw attention to Madison’s struggle. Playing with the boys’ team is Madison’s only option, as her school (like most schools) does not have a girls’ football team. Without the opportunity to play with the boys, Madison will not be able to play football in any capacity.
This incident strikes at a larger issue of sexism and discrimination against female athletes in this country. Banning Madison from playing football goes against the spirit of Title IX, which insists upon equal educational opportunities for students, regardless of gender. While the Strong Rock Christian Academy is a private institution and is not bound by Title IX, the school should not be reinforcing gender inequality. Furthermore, telling a girl that she is responsible for a boy’s “impure thoughts” and subsequent actions is victim-blaming; it is a viciously sexist strategy used to absolve men of any wrongdoing and to place the responsibility for sexual assault and rape firmly on the woman.
By signing this petition, you will show that you are standing with Madison against the sexist actions of her school, and are standing against sexism and sexist thinking where ever it might occur.
Dear Patrick W. Stuart,
Telling a twelve-year-old girl that she isn’t allowed to play football is deeply wrong. Madison Baxter has wanted to play football for her entire life and has a deep devotion to the sport. Banning her from playing with boys simply because she is a girl is unfair and shouldn’t be allowed.
One of the reasons given for kicking Madison off the team is that girls can inspire “impure thoughts” in a boy’s head, and are therefore too much of a distraction for male athletes. This reasoning blames Madison for something she can’t possibly control, and makes her responsible for the things that boys think about her. No woman should have to carry this burden.
Please reconsider your decision to kick Madison off the team.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: “Let Her Play” Facebook Page