There are countless ways in which women experience the subtle sexism that is incorporated throughout everyday life. Here’s another one: The woman who serves as the head coach of a boys soccer team in Maine apparently is frequently mistaken for an athletic trainer or assistant coach by the men and women who referee her own matches.
That detail comes buried in this otherwise encouraging profile of female coaches taking control of boys high school sports teams in Maine. As relayed by the Portland Press Herald, Erskine Academy boys soccer coach Carrie Larrabee said she’s frequently mistaken by referees, though she isn’t insulted by the incidental malapropism. Here’s the Press Herald on Larrabee’s impression in front of referees:
Referees who don’t know her often approach her male assistant, assuming he is the head coach. Occasionally, they mistake her for the team’s trainer.
“That doesn’t bother me at all,” Larrabee said. “Outsiders may look at it differently, but at this point in my coaching career, I don’t feel like there’s anything I need to prove in terms of my coaching ability.”
Naturally, that’s a troubling turn. Not that Larrabee is fine with her role and impressions of them, but that the referees approached sidelines with the clear assumption that she couldn’t be the boys head coach because she’s a woman. Whether that bothers her or not, it doesn’t speak well to the level of progressive thought in the Maine boys soccer community.
That should change, and the sooner the better. As Larrabee and Julie Johnson of York (Me.) High are proving, a boys soccer team can be just as successful helmed by a woman as it can led by a man. Everyone should accept and recognize that, from here out.