Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Girls Play Here and Other Bike Ride Shots

As you can see, the sky's blue again and the sun's back.  And it was T-shirt and shorts weather on the bike.  When I pass this sign I think of my friend Thomás in Spain.

I stopped at the Venice skate plaza briefly to watch the skaters.  Yes, it's one at a time now, and just one loop.

Here's the Gehry house in sunshine.  The placement of the light pole is unfortunate.

I wandered down to the breakwater again and through the Ballona Lagoon area.

And when I was almost home, I saw this poster at Penmar - a playground built when I was a kid here.

It's nice the poster is here, it's sad that it needs to be.

UPDATE:  Anon asked what this "Girls Play Here" sign meant.  My response was too long for the comment so I'll put it here:

Anon, reasonable question. I'm guessing it has to do with social and other barriers to girls participating in sports.

I found a sociology article about an LA program called Girls Play Los Angeles, that resulted from a discrimination lawsuit. Here's a bit from “GIRLS JUST AREN’T INTERESTED”: THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF INTEREST IN GIRLS’ SPORT by CHERYL COOKY, Purdue University

In 1998, five years prior to the start of my fieldwork, the California Women’s Law Center worked with the American Civil Liberties Union to represent the West Valley Girls’ Softball League in a case against the City of Los Angeles, Baca v. City of Los Angeles. The plaintiffs sued the City of Los Angeles contending the city did not comply with California’s Equal Protection Clause and had violated the civil rights of girls by denying the team equal access to the city-owned ball fields, which were dominated by male teams. Baca v. City of Los Angeles was set- tled out of court in 1999. As part of this settlement, the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks was required to implement a girls-only sports league. This league was called “Girls Play Los Angeles” (GPLA), a year-round, gender- specific sports league program for “at-risk” girls, ages thirteen to fifteen. Accord- ing to the Director of Gender Equity for the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks (a position also required as part of the settlement), the department defined “at-risk” girls as those from low-income families who live in particular
“Girls Just aren’t Interested”: The Social Construction of Interest in Girls’ Sport 265
residential communities in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. Although it was never explicitly stated what girls were “at-risk” for, based on conversations with staff, coaches, and participants, girls were understood to be “at-risk” for teen sex, pregnancy, and gang involvement. Another factor girls were “at-risk” for was early drop-out from sport. While boys’ and girls’ sport and physical activity par- ticipation decreases once they reach adolescence (Dwyer et al. 2006), the drop-out rate for girls is almost six times that of boys (Garrett 2004). Girls in this age group (thirteen to fifteen), particularly Latina girls (Denner and Dunbar 2004; Jamieson 2005), struggle with the pressure to conform to dominant notions of femininity that often conflict with sport participation (Malcolm 2003). The GPLA program addressed these risk factors by targeting the program to girls transitioning into adolescence.
Sport and physical activity have been, and continue to be, viewed as a pana- cea for girls’ physical and psychosocial problems. Research has found positive correlations between (some) girls’ sport participation and academic performance (Miller et al. 2005; Videon 2002), self-esteem (Tracy and Erkut 2002), and body image (Crissey and Honea 2006). Research has also found a negative correlation between sport participation and the risk of teen pregnancy (Miller et al. 1999). This body of research provided empirical support for women’s sport advocates, who vociferously fought for Title IX and for continued support of girls’ sport programs. During the 1990s, many school and recreation sport programs were developed to increase opportunities for girls to play sport, given the correlation between sport participation and pro-social outcomes.

From a 2004 women's sports foundation web article:

A bill prohibiting gender discrimination in youth athletics programs run by cities and counties passed the state legislature in late August, and Schwarzenegger has until September 30 to sign it. He has not taken a position on the bill, his spokesperson said.

Advocates for youth sports and fitness programs say that most local parks departments don't provide girls nearly as many activities as boys, and that boys are more likely to get better equipment and playing fields. .  .

I'm sure that's more than you wanted to know.


  1. I don't understand the final picture. What does it mean that girls play there?

  2. Anon, I've responded to your question in an update in the post. (Blogspot told me my response was too long for a comment. So after I put it in the post, the comment appeared anyway. But rather than have it twice, I deleted the comment. I put this up as data for bloggers trying to figure out the quirks in Blogspot.)

  3. So is the name supposed to be the possessive form of Thoma (strange) or is it misspelled (Thomas' or Thomas's)? Sorry, I'm a bit OCD about grammar. It's a sickness my family tells me. LOL Feels like fingernails on the chalkboard.

  4. OCD - lol, my assumption is the place is named after someone named Thoma. Google shows a few listings of the last name Thoma, but it seems to bother Google too. They really want to give me Thomas. Maybe I can stop by and ask them in the next couple of days.

  5. Ha, ha... Thanks for thinking of me. Really this apostrophe looks like my name´s accent...


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