What would be the equivalent place for girls? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 23 Old 06-28-2005, 05:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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A massive new skate/bike ramp park has been built just next to a nearby playground. I was impressed with the generosity of local funds until I realized the patrons are 95% boys. I was trying to think, what would be the equivalent site to be built for preteen and teenage girls?
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#2 of 23 Old 06-28-2005, 08:07 PM
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Good question!

A dance studio comes to mind, but I don't know how feasible that would be. It couldn't be outdoors... although some skate parks we've lived near have been fenced locked except when an adult monitor is on-duty, to be sure protective equipment is worn. Rain was just saying today how she wishes there was a place she could practice her dance stuff, somewhere big with a good floor and mirrored walls and maybe a barre, but we don't have a big enough space in our house, and wearing dance shoes outdoors destroys them so fast... and dance seems 90% girls, whereas skateboarding is 90% boys.

OTOH, Rain hangs out at our local skate park sometimes... with the boys...

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#3 of 23 Old 06-28-2005, 08:44 PM
 
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Well, in most towns, less than half the boys skate, too, so you might want to think about an option for the-majority-of-kids-who-don't-skate, rather than for girls, who can choose whether or not to skate just as the boys can. A major reason skate parks are built is because business owners don't want skaters in their parking lots!
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#4 of 23 Old 06-28-2005, 09:45 PM
 
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the equivilant for girls is frequently the mall.

i was going to say that it was the mall where i spent most of my time from 12-18, but it wasn't it was actually the dance studio and the coffee shops near by. a public dance space would have been great!
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#5 of 23 Old 06-28-2005, 09:47 PM
 
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What an interesting question! I'd never considered the practical gender bias there. Girls do skateboard, but they make up a minority... hmmmm.

Dunno what the answer is, but thanks for the thought!
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#6 of 23 Old 06-28-2005, 09:50 PM
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I grew up in So Cal in the 1970's and 80's when skating was in its infancy. Everyone skated, girls and boys. Some of the girls roller skated and I guess today they might roller blade. My brother and all his friends skated and they still do. They are all around 35 years old now, the nicest bunch of guys ever, many married with kids and they still skate (and surf). In our day, few girls skated and it was kind of a sexist sport. Surfing too. But that does not mean girls cannot do it. We have a skate park near our house and I see girls there all the time, on their boards. I would encourage the girls to try it. It is a great way to meet people and a lot of fun. I had too many ear infections as a kid and have balance problems now so it was always really hard for me. When I was that age, I was riding my bike to the beach or to the tennis courts and I was playing softball and soccer on teams. I also liked playing basketball and jogging. I never hung out at the mall. There was too much to do outside.

Edited to add: The skatepark near our house also has a ball field, a play area for little ones, and a track for walking and skating. Sounds like your park in general needs more activities for all ages and genders.
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#7 of 23 Old 06-29-2005, 02:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks - it was a theoretical question, just wanted to see what people said. I also thought "dance studio" or something having to do with nature (gardening) or fashion/clothing. Where I live (Eastern Europe) it's so gender-stratified it still reminds me of the 1950s in the States. Most girls would not be caught dead on a skateboard though they do rollerblade. (The skate park is for skateboards & bikes not rollerblades.)
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#8 of 23 Old 06-29-2005, 05:03 AM
 
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Interesting question. There is a relatively new skate park near the high school in our town (a suberb town of a large metro area) and they just added some covered picnic areas and I think maybe a play ground. And they have a rock climbing kind of wall that the kids can climb and write graffiti on.

I've never been there, but there are always kids there. I suppose it's mostly boys. Sometime parents with younger kids (male and female) while the older ones are skating.

I also agree with the PP who said that the local businesses support the building of these parks to keep the skaters off their property.

I am a 40 year old unschooling, belly dancing, artist-mama of one almost 8 year old. I just had brain surgery and blogging.jpg about it a bit because it's just so surreal.
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#9 of 23 Old 06-29-2005, 05:58 AM
 
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good question! i guess much better to be malls or somewhat like a studio..
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#10 of 23 Old 07-01-2005, 07:35 AM
 
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In our town they have advertised "Skate Like a Girl" events where they encourage the girls to get out and skate.
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#11 of 23 Old 07-04-2005, 04:01 AM
 
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Perhaps to encourage girls to skate, two hours a week could be set aside as girls only skating. But, maybe that's not what you're getting at.
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#12 of 23 Old 07-04-2005, 01:24 PM
 
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I would prefer for skating boarding to be marketed more to girls than “gardening” or many of other “girl” activities. Being Physically fit and Physically evolved is a good thing. For the age range most of those kids are the girls are getting sedate and doing less physical stuff. Girls are being “trained/socialized” to be good shoppers/consumers. Boys are getting ran off from the malls (more later). I would ask why aren’t parents buying girls skate boards? Instead of saying why not we open something for mostly girls to visit, because this is more likely to be a less sedate place.

I wouldn’t want there to be a girl specific time set aside but a skill level times. That way ALL KIDS have the advantage of getting better minus interference of better (along with girls getting their chance). It also gives the better skaters more room to improve their skills with out having newer/weaker skaters in their way. This skill level separation could also mean a separate areas for skill level verses just weather they have a penis or not. Kind of like at the pool you have to prove yourself before you move up. I have wonder about the safety of the skaters with the mixture of skill levels, I do know there is some skater etiquette but I don’t know it all.

We have a skateboard and bike parks locally. One is an actual for profit private business. It is attached to the mall and it is one of the few stores that is geared to males. Ever notice how 80% of stores/malls are targeting to sale to women of for what women want? Another thing about malls, if there is a group of men or boys they will be broken up. A group of 4 or more boys will be harassed, especially if you are anything other than white. Boys get run off from hanging out of the mall even if they are spending money. If you ask the boys why they are more incline to hang out at this mall they will tell you because of the traditionally boy stuff that they have there. The men like this mall because it has something geared towards them.

Publicly funded skate board parks are actually targeting/marketing to people that have not been marketed to before. Our publicly funded one is making money off of wheels, over priced safety equipment, and concessions to people that previously would not have spent that money. Having this place to skate is not hurting private businesses because these boys would not be spending money were they are skating. It lessens police calls and EMT calls. Our city has actually had a decline in EMT CALLED bike/skate injury for boys age range. They don’t have statistics for girls that age range because there was none. They don't have statitics for parents that take their kids to the hospital on their own. For our municipality our skate board park has been a great source of income, inspite of all the arguing from the old farts about its potential liability. It made a profit the first year built And were did the profit go?? To the other areas of Park services that women, girls, ederly use more.
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#13 of 23 Old 07-04-2005, 07:02 PM
 
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my girls do BMX and skateboarding (not at parkls yet as we are not shellnig for the expensive ger required which for thier size would have to be custom made) and i would pissed as a mother of girls and as someone in the bike and skateboard industry) if someone thought they need to make asperate but equal place for my girls to hang out doing girly things like gardening or dancing.

not to mention most girls I know who don't hang with the boys are hanging at the mall. they could dance anywere but don't. there are already comunity gardens and other things but I am not seeing girls flock to anything in great numbers like the boys do. I think the reasons so many bouys are hanging out at skate/bmx parks (they are shared here - sometimes together sometimes each sport along with inliners get thier own time slots) is because there are diferences in the ways boys and girls socialize. think about women and men. women get together for a cup of coffee, or to sit and chat while thier children play. I rarely see guys do this. they are siting around playing video games, doing an sport or watching the game. thier socializing revolves around an activity (like skateboarding together) and women get together more for the sake of visiting. and I am not trying to be sexist but that is a casual obsevation based mostly on the adults adn teens I have wittnessed.

so I think perhaps the reason that you see mostly boys at the skatepark is that boys are more likely to be hanging out there to not just do the sport but to also do it together. perhaps there are just as many girls who skate but they don't need to do it with the pack or they don't need a meting place. there are also just as many girls socializing but thier reasons and means don't require a special place.

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#14 of 23 Old 07-04-2005, 08:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilyka
i would pissed as a mother of girls and as someone in the bike and skateboard industry) if someone thought they need to make asperate but equal place for my girls to hang out doing girly things like gardening or dancing.<...>
not to mention most girls I know who don't hang with the boys are hanging at the mall. they could dance anywere but don't.
For the record, no, they can't dance "anywhere". I'm not talking about shaking your bootie to the radio, but about real dance. They need a special kind of floor to avoid injuring feet and legs and enough space to run and leap, and mirrors and a barre would be useful, too.

Dance is as athletic as skateboarding, if not (IMO) more so.

I think skateparks are fine things, but there's no need to diss dance.

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#15 of 23 Old 07-05-2005, 01:09 PM
 
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I wasn't dissing dance. i was a dancer growing up and all of my children have put in some time in a dance studio. But really you don't need all those things for dance. only for ballet. Jazz, tap, clogging (hate to admit that I used to swish my skirt and say yee-haw) irish step, hip hop, folk, square, line dancing whatever else can all be done on any smooth surface. Community centers come to mind. and those are free to anyone with the motivation to reserve a space. the thing about classical dance as well as many modern forms is that you need highly skilled, highly paid instructors. girls who have access to these things also have acces to the above facilities. another factor in a dance studio who gets to decide the music? the type of dance getting to be done, who gets to go where on the floor? Dance without a class/group project is more or less an individual activity in my mind.

But my point was that they need not spend money on something just because my children are girls. they don't set up skate parks so boys will have somewhere to go. they set them up so people will have somewhere to skate and BMX (and occaisionally inline skate). they have swimming pools for swimmers, trails for runners, walkers and bikers, swings and monkey bars for little kids, fields for baseball, handball, soccar, football, volley ball, tether ball, four square, there are tracks every where. we have community art, community play house community band and orchastra and community ed. . and if there isn't anything in the list that suits your fancy there are community centers where you are free to reserve a rom for freee and get it rolling. I just don't see how skate parks are something special inside of that system. "building" something just for "girls intrest" seems silly and discriminatory. even if they think they are serving us. If my chidlren want something specific they can get a petition going, show there is intrest, whatever and petetion the city parks department for it but I htink it is a shame for a bunch of people to sit around saying "we need to drop a bunch of money on something little delicate girls would like to do since the skate park is for the boys" and then make assumptions about what a lot girls are intrested in enough to do on a regular basis.

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Dancing like you suggested is a skill that requires a teacher. You would also be totally ignoring a group of girls that would never like dancing like that. They like the booty wiggling unsophistacated not real stuff. You would surely exclude a part of female community. When dance is describe as sophisticated and others not "real" is offensive racially/ethnically, and classist (SP).
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#17 of 23 Old 07-05-2005, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilyka
I Jazz, tap, clogging (hate to admit that I used to swish my skirt and say yee-haw) irish step, hip hop, folk, square, line dancing whatever else can all be done on any smooth surface. Community centers come to mind. and those are free to anyone with the motivation to reserve a space.
Everywhere I've lived, reserving a rooom at a community center costs a lot of money, and they're usually pretty booked.

And while you *can* dance on many kinds of surfaces for many kinds of dance, there are certainly surfaces that are preferable Outdoors surfaces will destroy dance shoes within half an hour, and floor without some give are not appropriate for any kind of leaping.

Quote:
the thing about classical dance as well as many modern forms is that you need highly skilled, highly paid instructors. girls who have access to these things also have acces to the above facilities.
During class, they have access. Outside of class they're screwed. Rain really tries to practice dance every dance, even on the days she doesn't have class, but she's very limited by space considerations. I mean, skateboarders could skate up and down their driveways, too, but that's pretty limited. She does plies and tendus in the dining room, but that's about it. And even if people aren't currently in classes, they still might enjoy just dancing...

Quote:
another factor in a dance studio who gets to decide the music? the type of dance getting to be done, who gets to go where on the floor? Dance without a class/group project is more or less an individual activity in my mind.
Skateboarders work it out, right? Those aren't big issues, IMO.


Quote:
I htink it is a shame for a bunch of people to sit around saying "we need to drop a bunch of money on something little delicate girls would like to do since the skate park is for the boys" and then make assumptions about what a lot girls are intrested in enough to do on a regular basis.
So, we're back to girls being "delicate" because they don't (generally) enjoy skateboarding?

Quote:
Originally Posted by marsupialmom
Dancing like you suggested is a skill that requires a teacher. You would also be totally ignoring a group of girls that would never like dancing like that. They like the booty wiggling unsophistacated not real stuff. You would surely exclude a part of female community.
And skate parks ignore the boys who prefer to play Halo II, or baseball, and would never touch a skateboard.

Booty wigglers would be welcome to come, just like skateboard dabblers. They might learn something, or they could hang out. I don't see how they would *need* the place, but they could use it...

Quote:
When dance is describe as sophisticated and others not "real" is offensive racially/ethnically, and classist (SP).
First you say that dancing the way I "suggest" requires a teacher, and then you say that it's "offensive racially/ethnically, and classist" to say that shaking your booty to the radio isn't "real" dance. Which is it, then? 'Cause it doesn't require a teacher for me to dance around my living room. Do you really believe that all dance is equal, that me up there dancing around to the radio is the same as someone in the Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre performing? Sorry, don't buy it. There's a qualitative difference between someone dancing according to a formal system of dance, learning different moves and combinations and strengthening certain muscles, and someone just messing around to the radio.

And how exactly is this "offensive racially/ethnically, and classist"? Unless you are making the (offensive racially/ethnically, and classist) assumption that the only formal systems of dance are euro-centric and upper class? Do you think hip hop is "shaking your booty to the radio"? Or jazz? Not even. *That's* offensive. Both are highly structured combinations of individual moves that require strength and practice to perfect, like ballet, modern, belly dancing... any style of dance. They are also best learned with lots of open space and a clean, smooth floor with decent give.

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#18 of 23 Old 07-06-2005, 01:31 AM
 
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Part of my statement was being sarcastic. Apparently my typing wasn't so clear on that (down falls of the written words)


Quote:
Originally Posted by dar
And skate parks ignore the boys who prefer to play Halo II, or baseball, and would never touch a skateboard.
There are part of parks department that you can play baseball, basket ball, et.


I know our "publicly funded" skate/bike park is not free nor is swimming. Our weight room there is now a fee. You can go play tennis, basket ball, pool, among other things for free. At our community center/park service you can find something for almost everyone. They have really worked hard to provide services. They actually did try to have a game night but you had people complain about the game ratings and kids, so they backed out.

Maybe you need to work on getting some free time in the room you want or an acceptable usage fee. I know our local volley and baseball/hockey/basketball teams does this.

Sometimes we do have to fight to make our public services more user friendly. They need to be aware of the NEED before they can figure out a way to serve the community. Some times you just need to be a persistant booger. Also, is there anyway her dance studio/s can open up for free practice time? I know many Karate schools here locally do have times you can just walk in and practice moves.
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#19 of 23 Old 07-06-2005, 09:19 AM
 
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What's with all the gender stereotypes in this thread? The equivelant for girls is a place for dancing or going to the mall? :
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#20 of 23 Old 07-06-2005, 11:38 AM
 
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thats more or less my pont. there is no equivelent for girls because the very questions suggests that thay are too "whatever" for the ramp-park (they realy do get equal use by all three sports here and they are usually as many girls as boys) or any other rough and tumble activity or any other intellectual activity or any other slack off activitty already offered by the parks department (and maybe my parks department just rocks to have so much free and low cost option - thier activity brochuer is a 150 page catalouge and we are a small town) so we have to create something special and girly. And dancing sounds like a pet hobby which is why it is getting so much focus but with my work with youth girls intrests were pretty narrow - sports (far and away thier biggest hobby and more than taken care of), shopping and two were into drama and one was into art. some wanted to be in a band, not the band but a rock band but none actually were, nor could they sing or play an instrument. and none of these intrest were exclusive to the girls. On the other hand I could list about 20 other hobbies our boys participated in regularly. it is weird. and our boy girl ratio was 1 boy : 2 girls. but there seemed to be a pretty single purpose amoung the girls. there are definitely some difference in how they opperate which I think accounts for the fact that there are more boys using various programs than girls but I don't think it is because we don't have anythignt hat intrest girls. I htink ther eis something in the way boys relate to each other thadraws tohem to these things. it wouyld be intresting to see some studies on how the sexes socialize and how kids play and stuff. to see if tere really is a difference in how they operate.

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#21 of 23 Old 07-06-2005, 06:11 PM
 
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This is interesting. On the one hand, I know girls who skate, and I'm reluctant to characterize an entire activity as 'male,' versus, as I think lilyka put it, appropriately 'girly' activities.

On the other hand, there is something that definitely rings true about masculinized public space, and the messages it sends about who is entitled to take up space, who performs and who watches/stays inside/admires, etc. Skateboarding is loud and noisy and takes up space. When all or most of the boarders are boys, as in the OP's town, and there is no equivalent, visible way that girls 'take up space', what does that mean? Interesting.
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#22 of 23 Old 07-06-2005, 06:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow interesting the turns this thread has taken. Again i'll say *I* was not gender stereotyping, but observing and questioning the reality where I live. I am a feminist, but I do believe there are differences between men and women, which do not render one or the other invalid. Where I live, girls generally do not skatebeoard or BMX. 98% of the skate population is boys. This is visible. I have no problem with girls wanting or not wanting to participate in such an activity.

Many girls are active, but in quieter ways. Leaning to play an instrument, learning a language, dancing, hiking, gardening, biking and rollerblading seem to be popular among teenaged girls. I don’t see too much activity at the malls, but maybe that’s because kids here don’t have the spending money that kids in the States do.

Lilyka, thanks for noting that boys and girls socialize differently. I agree this is true and an important point.. Mammastar, what you said was basically all I meant to do with this thread - just wondering aloud, because I couldn’t possibly identify such an obvious way that girls take up space - and posing the question to others here.
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#23 of 23 Old 07-07-2005, 01:00 AM
 
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Maybe the girls are just taking up more inside public space.

Here was my day…………………….. Had to wait for the inside pool because the girls swim team was practicing.

Had my son “kidnapped” then “volunteered” for a play after a library book club that he was the only boy to attend. He wasn’t ok at first with the idea because he thought it would mean possibly kiss or dancing with a girl, and you know any respectable almost 11 year old cannot do that. :LOL (He is at such and odd age). This means now we have to go to practices and the such at the community center were we are stuck inbetween two different female groups for meeting rooms/stage. I was informed by one of the mothers they did this outside a few years back but decided A/C was much important.
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