Boys are suppose to grow up to be a policeman, construction worker or an NBA coach even. Girls should stick to opening a beauty salon or a nurse perhaps? So what about those limitations within your mind, makeup or size even – does it truly matter?
And what happens to those kids who are taught that they have no limitations, that they can do anything they want to do? Are they being misled? Co-hosts Linda Martinelli, Missy Crutchfield and Jennifer Breedon breakdown the stereotype implications of a societal shift. The inspiration for this talk comes from Pau Gasol, his open letter is below:
An Open Letter From Pau Gasol, San Antonio Spurs
I want to tell you a little something about my parents. I grew up just outside of Barcelona, a child of two highly successful professionals. My father was a nurse and my mother was a doctor. Naturally, I took to studying science — and after high school I even did one year of med school, before eventually devoting my time fully to basketball. I sometimes think about what would have happened if I had stuck with medicine and followed in my parents’ footsteps.
I remember how people would often mistake my father as the doctor and my mom as the nurse — it happened more often than it should have, in my mind. To me, that my mother was a successful doctor … this was just the norm. And don’t get me wrong: I admired my dad’s hard work and job as well. But I grew up knowing that my mom got into a more rigorous school and program, and thus she had the more prominent job. That wasn’t weird, or a judgment in any direction. It was just the truth. And we never really thought twice about it.
Growing up, my brothers and I always admired this standard set by our parents.
And now that I’m an adult, and looking forward to being a parent in the near future myself, I realize even more how lucky I am to have been raised to that standard. It’s a standard by which the only question worth asking — it isn’t about if you’re the right “kind” of person for your job. Rather, it’s about how well equipped you are for the job.
In 37 years, I can honestly say, I’ve never once thought of my mom as a “female” doctor.
To me, she has always just been … a doctor.
And a great one, too…
…But I also think it goes to something deeper than that, when people will make this argument — in a way that really bothers me. It goes to this idea that … as we’re making all of these amazing strides in society, in terms of increasing our social awareness, and making efforts toward ideas like diversity and equality, and just sort of creating this more inclusive world … somehow sports should be an exception. It’s this idea, for some people, that sports should almost be this haven, where it’s O.K. to be closed-minded — like a bubble for all of our worst ignorance. And that as athletes, if we have any problems with the way things are, we should (as the saying goes) “stick to sports.”
So when I see arguments — or even jokes — that we shouldn’t have female head coaches in the NBA because of “locker room” situations or whatever … I guess it just reminds me that, for as much progress as we’ve made as a league over these last few years … we still have a ways to go. Because let’s be real: There are pushes now for increased gender diversity in the workplace of pretty much every industry in the world. It’s what’s expected. More importantly — it’s what’s right. And yet the NBA should get a pass because some fans are willing to take it easy on us … because we’re “sports”?
I really hope not.
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