1913 women basketball players vassar You can’t imagine my dismay at Tiger Woods’ Play Like a Girl  stunt at Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles, February 16-19, 2023.


 Tiger outdrove Justin Thomas and, as they walked to the ball, handed Justin a tampon. My interpretation: you’re playing like a girl. I took this as an insult.

 Tiger made a somewhat (in my view) apology. Watch here to see if you really believe him. He said, “It was supposed to be all fun and games and obviously it hasn’t turned out that way. If I offended anybody, it was not the case, it was just friends having fun. As I said, if I offended anybody in any way, shape or form, I’m sorry. It was not intended to be that way. It was just we play pranks on one another all the time and virally I think this did not come across that way, but between us it was — it’s different.”

 My husband played lots of golf and explained that he and his friends would tease each other when they made a bad shot with taunts such as:  

  • Good looking skirt you’re wearing.
  • Do I need to get you a pair of high heels?
  • You’re swinging like Beulah (or any other female name that’s quirky).

Who Knew?


 We play like a girl because society has long viewed women as being too fragile and dainty to mix it up. Take women’s basketball, for instance. Shortly after basketball was created by James Naismith in 1891, Smith College P.E. teacher, Senda Berenson, designed rules for women’s play. She, like society, deemed the men’s game too rough for women. In order to feminize the game and be sure it was not too stressful on the frail female body; she divided the court into three sections.  You had to stay in your section.  You could only dribble three times and only hold the ball three seconds. Stealing the ball wasn’t allowed—too masculine.

 Competition was unladylike so schools didn’t play each other. Only Intramural games were permitted, and the rosters changed so rivalries couldn’t develop.

 And what you had to wear?  Really? I’d like to see the guys try to shoot baskets in those getups.

early women basketball payers

 By the time I got to junior high in the 1960s, we were confined to playing half court only and three dribbles. Eventually they let us dribble five times! WOW! My aunt told me that when she played basketball in South Carolina in the 1930s, she wasn’t allowed to dribble!

 I attended a large high school with a graduating class of over 400. Yet, the only sport open to women at the time was tennis—no basketball, swimming, track and field, or softball.

 No wonder I play like a girl. No one gave me the chance to develop my skills and abilities. The irony is, I could have been a great athlete.

 My brother is eighteen months younger than me, and was, in elementary school, into baseball. Of course, I was not allowed to participate in organized sports—nothing existed for girls.  The situation angered me because, thanks to my dad, I learned to play right alongside him; performing better than many of the boys on his Little League team. My brother threw so hard that none of the guys in the neighborhood wanted to join him in a game of catch. Guess who was forced into that role? You’re right. Moi!


 It’s 2023.  I thought we’d be past the point of being put down and mocked by now. We’ve come so far, but I feel we’re slipping, being forced back into a time when we were not allowed to make our own choices or be who we want to be. And that’s a sad state of affairs.


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