Not Making A Valid Pointe

| Working | November 6, 2013

(I am a mother of three children, and I go to the local mall to put my younger daughter’s name down for soccer in some Christmas activities there. The person at the registry is a man.)

Me: “Hi, I’d like to put my child down for soccer.”

Registrar: “Sure. Name?”

Me: “[Unisex name].”

Registrar: “Okay, and where are they? I need a picture.”

(I show him my daughter. He frowns and then writes a form after taking a picture. A couple of weeks later, I come back. The same registrar is there, setting up some Halloween banners.)

Me: “Uh, excuse me, I think you made a mistake. I put [Daughter’s Name] down for soccer, but you put her under the ballet registration.”

Registrar: “It’s simple; I just put her down for what she wanted.”

Me: “No. I definitely put her down for soccer. She hates ballet.”

Registrar: *gritted teeth* “Gymnastics then.”

Me: “No! I wanted to put her down for soccer!”

Registrar: “Hey. If you can’t read the sign, don’t register your b****** child.”

(I look. The sign simply says giving children a happy time, and stuff about making sure every child has a fair game.)

Me: “There’s stuff about fair game. How many children have you registered that are playing over the vacation?”

Registrar: “35.”

Me: “How many are girls?”

Registrar: “18.”

Me: “How big are the soccer, football, and hockey teams?”

Registrar: “Nine each.”

Me: “And the ballet and gymnastics, how many girls in each?”

Registrar: “Nine each.”

Me: “How many girls are in the sports teams?”

Registrar: “None. Look, girls can’t handle that s***. They don’t want to get dirty or hurt. If they do, they f****** cry and it’s annoying. Anyway, boys don’t do ballet and gymnastics, so I have to only put the girls down. We got fewer girls than we expected. Otherwise, there’d be too few and we’d have to cancel them.”

Me: “You do know you’re being sexist?”

Registrar: “You want to argue with it, [then] take it up with [Organizer].”

(The organizer is behind the kiosk, signing up another mother with a girl and boy.)

Me: “Excuse me; your employee put my daughter down for ballet when I chose soccer.”

Organizer: “I know he did. We have to put some girls in ballet and gymnastics; otherwise there wouldn’t be much to teach.”

Me: “Not every girl that comes here!”

(The other mother quickly looks at a form for her daughter.)

Mother: “I put [Girl’s Name] down for hockey!”

Organizer: “We just do our best. We need to make sure every class we teach this vacation is equal and fair. Read the sign. We’ve had to divide them into different numbers.”

Me: “I don’t care WHAT you say; you two are being sexist; plus, it’s hardly ‘equal’ if you put EVERY girl in these lessons and not allow them to take part in the sports! My daughter wants to play soccer and you put her down for ballet.”

(The organizer lifts up some plastic packaging; it’s bright pink with a pattern of fairies, stars and cakes.)

Organizer: “Remember to pay $3.50 for this on your way out.”

(The other mother and I immediately leave. We tell our friends’ children and other children from my children’s school about this, and soon, they completely boycott, with only 16 of the original 37 children signed up for sports. They were all boys, I might add. I don’t think they can divide that by five.)

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