Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Sexism in rugby

I've been playing rugby for nearly 10 years now and I've always known that women weren't respected by the men as equals, but it never directly affected me until I began refereeing. And now that I blatantly see that the men are getting more assignments than me simply because I'm female, I'm getting really pissed off.

I love refereeing. I'm not that good at it and it stresses me out sometimes, but it's really fun. Part of me believes that the scheduler won't give me more assignments because I'm new and I suck. But the only way to get better is to do more games, which I can't do if I'm not assigned to them. It's kind of like the chicken or the egg scenario. Can't do one without the other. It really sucks.

Mostly, I'm mad because having game assignments has pushed me to go running more than I normally would. It put the fear of God into me with regards to my run fitness and not having any games for a couple of weeks makes me more likely to sit around and get fat. And I need that motivation to get moving otherwise my weight-loss will stall, and I don't want that.

I know that I need to lose weight for myself and not rely on being scared into it for refereeing. I think I'm also being discriminated against because of my weight and perceived lack of fitness so the thinner I get the better my chances of getting assignments. So that's some more incentive to work out.

In that respect, it's getting much warmer outside and, more importantly, drier (meaning no snowfall hopefully) so I'll get on my bike a lot more. Biking is usually how I lose the most weight so not having the need to run all the time gives me the time to get more rides in, which is good. And much more enjoyable since I like to bike much more than I like to run. Like, WAY more.

Considering that, I don't always want to go for a bike ride, but I should be exercising 5-6 times a week. So for those times when my bike seems unfun which doesn't happen often, I can go on a run instead. I stopped doing Couch to 10k after week 5 because it was getting boring and really awful mentally, but I've started running hills and intervals, which give me more bang for my buck. I get exhausted quickly but it only lasts for 30 minutes or so and supposedly those types of runs are the best way to increase speed, which is what I really need to work on, more so than endurance, for reffing.

Back to refereeing complaints, I've noticed that I get nearly all the girls' game assignments so hopefully when the high school girls season rolls around in the fall I'll get more stuff. And this scheduler is much better than the last one in that he has been giving me some games when the last guy didn't give me any. So I guess there's improvement.

And I have been getting a game a week, even though most of my mine have been snowed out (others' haven't because it's dependent on the fields and not the weather) so I haven't actually done all that many games. Most other people get 2-3 games a week, which I think might be too much for me and I'd get burned out. So I'm somewhat happy to be getting one a week but I also wish I was able to do them and they would stop getting canceled. Ay ay ay!

There's only one other girl/woman in the referee society and she's really good so she gets lots of assignments. I asked her how I can get more matches and she said just to be patient. There's nothing else I can do (I've already asked the scheduler for more matches) so I should just wait it out and do well with what I'm given. She said that she gets lots of games despite the scheduler being sexist because other people notice her talent and recognize her skill level. I've gotten really good reviews from both of my evaluators on the two games I've done (yeah, the season is almost over and I've only done TWO games...bullshit!). So I'm hoping that this gets noticed by someone else and they put pressure on the scheduler to give me more matches. That's my pipe dream.

My other main concern is that there's a developmental committee that identifies up-and-coming refs and gives them additional guidance. It's like a fast-track for awesomeness and I'd like to get on it. But if I can't get matches and I can't get respect from one of the main guys in the society then how the hell am I supposed to get noticed by these other old white dudes?! It's so incredibly frustrating.

I think the moral of this whiny post is to focus on my weight-loss and get to an acceptable/normal weight so the referee society has no reason to discriminate against me...except for my gender, but there's nothing I can do about that. At least that's what I'll keep telling myself so the anger subsides a little bit.

Lastly, here's a photo of me in action from my last game:

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