Thursday, June 07, 2007

men are untrustworthy

this weekend is our 4th Girls on the Run 5K race. Girls on the Run is a 12-week after-school program for girls ages 8-11. twice a week they meet to "train" for a 5K, but the program's more about teaching & encouraging self-esteem, healthy eating habits & the benefits of exercise. it's a national program we started here 2 years ago, and enrollment's been climbing logarithmically. 50 girls participated in the inaugural program in the fall of '05; this spring's program supported 240.

so saturday's race-day, and one hat i'll be wearing is that of Running Buddy Coordinator. Running Buddies are grown-ups who sign up to run with a Girl. not everyone loves running (hard to believe i know), and some 8-year-old girls require spirited cajoling to get to the finish line. it's a challenging job being a Running Buddy, but dozens of people sign up during race day; and i match them with needy girls.

what's new this spring is that male Running Buddies cannot be assigned without a female Running Buddy, unless the Buddy is the Girl's father. the national GOTR council's decided that male Running Buddies must be chaperoned, to ensure there're no Improprieties committed during the race.

i guess in theory it's easier to discriminate against one gender in general than try to talk your way around a sketchy creepster who crept out from under the park bench and presented at the Running Buddy table; but i've never encountered the sketchy creepster, and this directive from national seems like it's elevating a fringe possibility over the proven probability.

maybe this wouldn't be such an issue if it weren't my job to explain to the would-be guyBuddy that he must be matched with a galBuddy, that something in his Y-chromosome makes him ultimately untrustworthy. maybe i'm overreacting and the guyBuddies will be totally cool, maybe even understand and applaud national for its proactive stance. maybe.

all's i'm hoping is that i don't get roped into face-painting again.


addon said...

problem i see is that there is no right answer here. with all these things - and a guy got busted by the police on a beach here recently 'cos he had a camera - hell that could've been me - i think hard about what the right thing is and i don't think there is a "right thing" any more. so, 'cos of that, over-reaction is rampant since there is nothing to deny or gainsay (not that i have ever gainsaid anything - there, used it again, wow first time ever and made it twice! i said gainsaid and it's going to me head ... must be the lyrics for sumthing).

are these guybuddies actually alone with the girls in the woods???

finn said...

they're hardly alone as there are hundreds of people running, spectating, marshalling, etc.; and the race takes place in the dead-center of wilmington. no woods.

but you're right -- there is no right answer, esp in an age where people are so hyper-protective of children that bus-stops have become hives of idling SUVs that disgorge a child only when the bus arrives.

Theo said...

[stealthily swipes the Lapple]

finn said...

i can offer three times what D paid you.

fatmammycat said...

It's a sign of the times Finn, nowt you can do about it. Most men will understand.

Theo said...

I think we can do business.