I’ve seen a few of posts on my Facebook feed featuring women in action sports. A couple of them even tie into a “Feminism in Action (Sports)” post I am planning to write. It’s really heart-warming to see female action sports athletes get exposure and my friends championing it.
One that particularly tugged at my heartstrings was a BuzzFeed Canada story that a friend shared. Jeanean Thomas posted a letter on Twitter to the young man who helped teach her daughter how to skate.
This is a perfect example of what feminism is. Jeanean get mega props for letting her daughter know that she has equal right to be at the skatepark. The young man was a wonderful ally by going above and beyond to help out this beginner skater even though he was made fun of. We need to be commending guys like him, not teasing him. This is how a girl or a boy will develop skills and a new love for skateboarding. When I was her daughter’s age, I had the same reservations about going to the skate park and thus never went due to lack of support. As a result, I never went and grew frustrated with learning how to skate. Maybe others aren’t as easily discouraged, but Jeanean’s daughter got a confidence boost through a kind individual extending a helping hand and not discriminating against her age, skill, and gender.
It’s a non-profit that uses skateboarding to empower youth in Afghanistan, Cambodia, and South Africa. It has particularly reached out to Afghani girls who cannot ride bikes or participate in sports. I’ll be going in depth into Skateistan in a later post, but I had to share this photo along with my co-worker’s comment that it’s evidence that “people are the same all over the world”. It’s a message of particular importance in these recent trying times.
Finally, another friend shared a “Women in the World” feature on Iranian motocross rider Behnaz Shafiei. I’ll be writing more about her and Noora Moghaddas in a later post too, but they’re badasses for essentially breaking the law to do what they love. Feminism often involves taking risks, and women like Behanz certainly are with the hopes that there will be more equality in the future.
Photo from The New York Times