Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Lucia Girls playing rugby

Today's Dominion Post on page 3 has a picture of a girl diving through the air holding a rugby ball, with the story that the St Catherine's rugby team is embarking on a 5 match tour to Lens, France. I can't quite make out what they are actually over there to do. Maybe, watch the World Cup it looks like and be the opening attraction for one of the games by playing as well?

All of the above is not the point. I sit here thinking, what has happened to St Catherine's!!! Back in my day, no girl would be seen dead playing rugby. What are they doing? And why? It just makes no sense.

32 comment(s):

Anonymous said...

What do you think they should be doing instead? You obviously have a problem with the girls playing rugby, why?

Lucia Maria said...

... um, rugby is a boy's game. We all knew that 20 years ago. Now everyone's confused.

Anonymous said...

Why is rugby a boy's game? Didn't voting used to be a boy's game? If girls feel that they want to play rugby then why shouldn't they? I guess if you had answered the first question then I would have an answer.

Lucia Maria said...

Anonymous, answer me this first. Are you man or woman? Because if you are man, I suspect you would also love the idea that young girls also get into jelly-wrestling. And if you are woman, you may consider me to be some sort of girly-woman who thinks women ought to be barefoot and pregnant and incapable of anything men can do. Which is not my position. In my life I have worked in intensely male dominated fields and I've engaged in male-dominated sports (martial arts). However, I still contend that rugby is a boy's game.

Anonymous said...

Lucyna I am a man and that you think I would be into jelly wrestling because I feel woman playing rugby not to be an issue says more about your need to stereotype. Hence your opinion that rugby is a boy's game. If girls get enjoyment and a sense of accomplishment from it then where is the harm. Still trying to get where you got the connection between girls playing rugby and jelly wresting, but anyway there is a lot about your ilk I do not understand. Jeff

Lucia Maria said...

Thankyou Jeff, for identifying yourself.

I consider rugby to be a game of brute force. Having done martial arts myself and experienced the difference between brute force and skill, I can tell you that women are not suited for games involving only brute force.

The nuns of my day would never have stood for a rugby team. They would have been horrified as I am horrified.

There is this idea in society right now that men and women are the same. Rugby for girls is a symptom of that confusion. Just like netball for boys.

We are not the same. Girls are very different. For one thing we have a different centre of gravity. Makes a huge difference when you are trying to do a flying side kick over a chair and wondering why the boys do it with ease.

Then there is the muscular difference. I once got quite badly bruised by a guy because I clueless thought I could defend against his skill-less punches. Except skill-less punches behind a stronger musculature make for more damage than expected.

How old are you? Are you one of these aging hippies who have tried to remake the world? Or one of the younger generation who have been brought up to think of girls as one of the boys?

Seán said...

Oh dear Jeff...I read this as a bit of a lighter post from Lucyna. Don't take it so seriously.

Mike Graham said...

"We are not the same. Girls are very different."
"Then there is the muscular difference."
- but it is girls playing girls, so what is the problem!

"Just like Netball for boys" - so you don't want the boys to be taught "skill". I suggest that you go and watch a rugby team practice as you'll probably be quite surprised at the skills that are taught - if it was just brute force the biggest, ugliest team would always win!

mojo said...

Let me venture to say, the nz womens rugby team has shown considerably greater flair and finesse than the mens team over the last number of years ... & probably had an equal number of knee reconstuctions.
& having been involved in the martial arts for a period and having been subjected to downright physical abuse by some of our (un)fairer sex with good stance, technique, speed and timing ... I fear you demean your kind Lucyna.
& recently, foolishly I thought I would try to reclaim some of my youthful agility and went to a gym ... and was eyeballed by some older, albeit younger than myself, body sculpted sun lamp wizzened lassies who devoured me so completely, like I was some sort of consumer item ... let me tell you Lucyna, I left in fear, I swear they were carnivores and I was going to have nun of that.
'Girls can do anything,' Lucyna, and well.

A. J. Chesswas said...

anybody who understands aesthetics, design and the essence of femininity will know it is a sad day indeed when the romantic ideals of yesteryear are this far gone...

This is just wrong:

Anonymous said...

When I went to convent school back in the 1950s the one who could kick the rugby ball the highest was Sister Lucia, but she was getting a bit long in the tooth as she taught my mother.

Nope, us blokes reserved most admiration for a younger sister (can't remember her name) who could kick long like Bob Scott.

And we had a tough rugby coach who wasn't a sister, that was er, Mother Alban. She reckoned I was a bit of a pansy out on the wing so she played me at hooker to toughen me up.

Back then, in the hills behind Greenmeadows was the Marist Brothers Seminary. They had a winery better known these days as the Mission Vineyards. It was run by Brother Ben, and my chief memory is he always had a cigarette in the centre of his mouth.. a bit like a feather in a chooks bum. When he talked, and that was a lot, the ciggie bobbed up and down and deposited ash on his gown.. I never saw him take it out of his mouth.

Down closer to Greenmeadows was St Josephs Maori Girls College, and it was from there that nuns used to walk down to the Greenmeadows Convent to run the school. I lived a drive and a four iron away, and I earned a bob or two taking money from the girls and buying sweets for them down at the local corner shop.

Down at the convent we used to get the odd visit from old Father Riordan who spoke perfect Maori. He'd tell us stories about things Maori and cannibalism and recipes for such. After he'd gone, the nuns would tell us he was exaggerating and that Maoris used to tell them that Pakeha were too salty to make a steady diet.

Back then, my mother was a good Catholic and my old man a belligerent Atheist.. yet every so often the phone would go and the Mother Superior at St Josephs would be on the line..

"Charlie, we have a problem"

(Charlie) "What!, another priest causing a problem?"

(MS). "Charles, stop that!"

(Charles) "Orright.. woderyerwant?"

In short, the Catholic experience in NZ didn't start 20 years ago, but many decades earlier, the priests and nuns did what they had to do to survive and prosper, dealt with Maori and rugby and Atheists and sin and the world and fuckups and plonk and drunkenness and you name it. Rugby? I never saw a nun back then who couldn't tuck up her robes and boot a ball or play rounders. If they don't do that now, then they need a boot in the arse and told to get out with the boys and girls at sport.


dad4justice said...

Way back I played in the school first 15 Saint Bedes, as a number 7 with great pride. Now my local rugby club has more women players than men and it is easy to chat up a lady in the club rooms after a game , even for a golden oldie. Thanks Auntie Helen!

Anonymous said...


Lucyna is quite correct in her intuitive response to women playing Rugby. There is something fundamentally wrong with a culture espousing women as front-line soldiers, and by association, front-line physically brutal sports, like boxing and Rugby.

We are to protect woman - the child-bearer, the life-bearer, even the memory of her life as life-bearing. We are to treasure her "muscular weakness" as a sacrifice to her raising children.

So, woman have put children out of their lives and the special gentleness required. So do not complain at our world's end when we are all replaced by others who would force another culture on us.

Lucia Maria said...

JC, back when you were in convent school, the nuns most likely weren't charged with ensuring that you would grow up to be a well rounded young woman. St Catherine's is a college for teenage girls. Teenage girls, not so long ago, did not want to play rugby. At all. Period.

Now St Catherine's is not run by nuns and the teenage girls play rugby. It's like an alternate universe.

Anonymous said...

Anon2 (MikePh is back) The sisters have gone .. following Sr Chichester's flag. "Take the red pill", Lucyna.
Join the "traddies", join a Trad Mass parish, and read the "trad" blogs. There is no way ahead for us except by renouncing totally the "progressism" and the "conciliarism" of the past. I am afraid it is "Tears before bedtime" for the post-modern world.
Few will see the connexion between the post-fem Rugby-playing women, population implosion, looming economic decline and the rise of rampant paganism and Islam.

Anonymous said...


I'm a bloke. The nuns coached rugby and took us to the interschool competitions, they coached the girls in netball and at playtime and lunch they made sure all girls and boys from 5 to 15 played bullrush.

There were two school rooms, one for the primers through to Standard Two and the other Std 3 to Std 6. The farm kids didn't leave when they finished Std 6 but stayed until they were 15.. that way the parents didn't have to pay for new uniforms, bus fairs to Napier and the kids could get home quickly to work on the farm.

What I'm getting at was the nuns did whatever had to be done to produce well rounded young men and women at their only shot at an education, and some of those 15 year old farm girls were pretty well rounded..

Implicit in this is if the girls or their parents wanted rugby the nuns would have supplied it. As it was, those girls knew they were going straight from school to work followed closely enough by motherhood.. and they and their parents tended to want an education that fitted them for the role.

Now girls aren't constricted and fitted to the wife/mother role as much and so they play the sports that they want, take the education they want and play rugby. It's a very New Zealand thing to do and a far cry from that little two room school where two nuns and a Mother Superior taught everything to ten classes and then waved them off to the farm and early marriage.


Anonymous said...

All in favour of some elegant violence say 'Aye'

If you want to knock your bods around, go for your life. Busted noses, broken fingers, knee problems, chipped teeth and ears like bacon rashers should make you a real starter.

Jelly wrestling, mud wrestling, who cares?

Guys will always be attracted to feminine women. If you think you can play rugby and not end up looking like a train wreck, it's a free world, do it for your own enjoyment.


IO don't mind the rugby.
And if girls want to play it, good luck top them.
It's the haka i cannot stand.
Primitive war dance.

Anonymous said...

"Guys will always be attracted to feminine women. If you think you can play rugby and not end up looking like a train wreck,"

Yeah, right


Anonymous said...

Lucyna, from your comments above I'm unsure whether you have now denounced martial arts as unbecoming for a woman, or permissible due to an apparent privilege of skill over brute force.

As a guy who up until recently enjoyed both sports (now chucked in rugby and concentrating on Muay Thai) I'm not sure exactly how you make the distinction (ie martial arts requires more skill than rugby) but I find the idea of 'condoning' one and sneering at the other to be logically inconsistent at the very least.

And the previously articulated view (Anonymous above) that as sacred child-bearing vessels possessed of a 'special gentleness', they should be wrapped in cotton wool and restricted in what activities they can partake in.

I must say, almost every infrequent foray to this site brings a bemused smile to my face! Last time it was the clear link between gays and Nazism, now the argument is which physical activities women should and shouldn't engage in to preserve their sacred feminine aspects.

21st century anyone?


Lucia Maria said...

Hi DenMT,

I haven't denounced martial arts for women - this post is specifically about rugby. Rugby is a sport, something people do for "fun". It doesn't look in the slightest bit fun to me, but I'm willing to concede that all that running around and crashing into people is fun for some. However, as a sport for women, it's just plain wrong.

Martial arts is different. There is a point to it. It is possible to learn with very little physical contact, though that doesn't make a person a particularly fighter if they do a non-contact style. The point for me was being able to defend myself. I thought that is what it would teach me. What I learned instead is that unless you are very, very good, someone bigger and stronger always has the advantage.

So, for women, learning martial arts as a physical art form is very useful. As a sport? No. Self-defence ... not really either. The best self-defence is not getting yourself in bad situations in the first place and then the next level is getting yourself out of them, ie running away.

I don't see rugby as an art form. It's a way that men can play out their aggression in a non-violent way. Women don't have, or shouldn't have the same level of aggression, so there's no need for rugby.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lucyna, and thanks for the lengthy response.

If you were to define rugby, at it's base level, as simply a mechanism by which men can release pent up aggression, then I might agree. However, I think that is a very simplistic and simply wrong view of the sport.

Sport's function as a whole might be seen to provide some sort of physical release of tension, but actually it's just a fun activity. I played rugby from ages 5 until 27 because it is bloody fun, not because I need an outlet for any aggression.

As you will know from martial arts training (depending on where you train I guess, there is an alarming prevalence of mystical hand-waving air-punching bollocks going on these days) vigorous sparring, bagwork and padwork give one all the 'aggression release' one might want.

I don't see where the utility is in martial arts if it isn't learned as either effective self-defence (and I heartily concur with your views on MA as self-defence) or sport (which is my vibe). I don't even properly know how a phsyical art-form is useful, unless you mean because it is enjoyable and physically beneficial for the participant. Like *cough* rugby.


Unknown said...

Rugby has become a kicking game now anyway, so the brute force you speak of has been cut dramatically.

Anonymous said...

It's a trend for Aussie women to go to the footie, cheer, skull beer and even play the game. I went to my first Rugby match the other day because someone bought me a ticket. The atmosphere at the stadium was great...quite exciting. There were mostly guys around us. I tried to get into the game but soon got tired of watching the little figures running around the oval below. I didn't have a clue what was going on and the Sydney Swans were getting slammed anyway (according to the board at the top of the oval). As we finally hit half time, we slunk out of the stadium and gratefully went out to the car to go home. I've tried now (unsuccessfully) to like Rugby (boring), beer (disgusting), the speedway (smelly and noisy) and cricket (huge yawn) and concluded that I must be some kind of an unevolved female! Then I found out that science backs up what I've always suspected. Yes Virginia, we do have different brain wiring!

Greg said...

Dissertations of the merits of martial arts in the age of gunpowder aside and the experience of the spectators aside...

Like most sports (such as golf!) rugby is more fun to play than to watch. Girls like fun, rugby is fun, therefore girls might feasibly enjoy playing rugby.

Compare modern netball, there's now more snails and puppy dogs tails in the game mix than sugar and spice and all things nice.

Vicky242 said...

um everyone i play girls rugby and it is so much fun. i have never had a major injury or anything. if the game is played, reffed, and taught right then it is safe just as safe as it is for guys. i also play netball and know that some profesional netballers wear mouth gards.

mzala said...

Vicky, as long as you don't arrive 2 years late for the game. I know traffic.......

ZenTiger said...

This post gets a lot of hits, even after all this time. The Girl Rugby movement must be growing.

I think L.'s point was that girls can do anything and everything, but why would they?

Obviously, for many, it's simply a case of "girls will be boys"

For others, it's about equality by removing all the differences between the sexes. Binge drinking girls is another example perhaps? They could have perhaps opted out of that one.

It's the brave new world, fair enough for the girl rugby players, and it must be good news for all the nerd males who fancy a shot at netball.

The next step is mixed teams. I mean, why not?

Vicky242 said...

Truth be told i would love mixed teams it would give a different edge to the game. Why do we play?? Becasue it is fun, not too be butch or anything

mzala said...

We've been saying for quite a while now, that the AB's need a few women in the team. You know the Auckland type, behind the wheel. Aggro as hell, cutting you off, tail-gating, giving you the (surprise,surprise) finger. Not that it matters that the kids are in the car. Sort of collateral damage.
Anyhow, the all-male AB's haven't won the big one for some time, so a bit of a change might do the trick. Slight problem if they come up against those horrible, massive, (obviously) chauvinist, aggressive, dirty Afrikaans South Effrikuns. I mean, some of those guys still look like voortrekkers eating that dried meat of theirs. Those brutes, I don't think understand PC, much less english. But hey, it's only a game...

Anonymous said...

I am absolutley disgusted that you would say such a thing about females playing Rugby. Im 17 and started playing the sport last septemeber because i wanted a new sport to engage myself in. I have previously played netball, football, cricket, and trained for long jump, high jump and 1500m. Rugby is by far the best sport i have ever participated in and i cannot believe that somebody like you can say they think its a males sport when they havent even tried it for themself! I think before you express your opinions in the future, you should ask the females that are actually playing the sport.
I am not a large girl at all, and the "Brute Force" does not affect my game.
I play in the 2nd row, and most steriotypical people like you wouldnt even place " a girl like me" on a pitch!


Lucia Maria said...


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