Our last post about an Iowa girl wanting to play flag football, but initially wasn’t allowed, drew up some core issues. Incase you missed it, a 4- year old Iowa girl’s father attempted to enroll her in the Mason City Park and Recreation Department’s Tiny Tot Flag Football program, but was denied because the Director said this program was for boys only.
After the girls father’s relentless fight, including contacting the city’s Human Rights Director, she was allowed to participate in this season’s program. Following the first news story the Director of the Mason City Park and Recreation Department told a local news paper this:
The question of allowing girls to play flag football came up at least once before, Brown said. “A few years ago, we had a little older girl that wanted to play and we let her play.”
He said the Recreation Department is considering offering a Powder Puff program – flag football for girls.
The gaining popularity of girls flag football nationally has brought up a good question:
Is the name “Powderpuff” derogatory?
WIkipedia describes powderpuff- “Some female participants of a sport deem the term “powder puff” as derogatory since the name connoted frivolity of the division, that it is at best an auxiliary and should not be taken seriously.”
In Bicycle Motocross (BMX) the term powder puff referred to the female class of racers up until approximately 1982 when pressure from the girls class influenced the sport’s sanctioning bodies to drop the term. As this quote from one of the sport’s leading magazine illustrates:
“…We don’t say “powderpuff” anymore because it has male Chauvinist pig connotations. And we sure don’t want to get all them moon babes mad at us.” –Bicycle Motocross Action September 1981.
In last years’ IWFFA Forward Pass featured a story about The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. The recreation department’s Women’s flag football program named “powderpuff” but some students and professors, demanded change.
Donna M. Bickford, Ph.D., Director of Carolina Women’s Center Program Advisory Council was alarmed when she
became aware of the program’s name. “Surely the players are strong and committed athletes. Referring to their intramural sport as ‘powderpuff ‘ however, would lead to the opposite conclusion.” said Bickford in her letter addressed to the Director of the Carolina Campus Recreation Program.
A short time later, UNC at Chapel Hill re-named the program to “Women’s Flag Football”
We will feature an in-depth article on this subject in the Summer Forward Pass