Sunday, May 8, 2011

Off-Topic: Boys' Track Coach Fired After Some Members of the Team Train Shirtless, Because it Made the Girls' Team 'Uncomfortable'

Tom Davis was fired as the boys’ track and field coach at Westwood High School in Massachusetts because some members of his team trained shirtless and it made the girls' team unhappy.

A couple of weeks ago, Westwood High athletic director Karl Fogel told Mr. Davis that several members of Westwood’s girls’ track team were "uncomfortable" with boys running shirtless in practice on the same track. Davis warned his team about possible punishment for not wearing a shirt.

Nevertheless, a few days ago, on a 75-degree day, a member of the boys' team unilaterally decided to run without his shirt, and Fogel became irate.  He fired Mr. Davis in front of his team, and had him escorted off the property.

The reason for firing Mr. Davis, and the manner in which it was accomplished, are inexcusable, and if Mr. Fogel is being made to look like a jackass in the court of public opinion, all the better.

But the underlying issue -- about the girls feeling "uncomfortable" being around the bare chests of their male classmates -- is troubling. 

Why did the overt display of male flesh offend the girls?  Surely they couldn't be complaining because the boys were flabby and visually unappealing -- the way the girls' mothers talk about their fathers and other middle-aged men who dare to go shirtless in public -- could they?

My guess is that the girls felt "uncomfortable" because girls have to cover up and boys can go shirtless without causing a stir, and it's that simple. My guess is that the girls believe the world is stacked in the boys' favor -- after all, they've been hearing that all their lives -- and that if the girls have to sweat in shirts, so should the boys. 

My guess is that if the girls ever stopped to think how convenient urinals are, they'd want them banned, too.  Oh, wait. They already tried that in Sweden, remember?