It’s easy to forget that there are some firsts that women haven’t achieved yet. I’m not out there burning my bra about it, because God knows I need it, but I really had a “huh?” moment when I heard that for the first time EVER a woman, Kelly Kulick of New Jersey, won the Professional Bowling Association (PBA) championship.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t follow the PBA. I give it a passing glance as my grandfather bowled professionally a wee bit before the fact that he wasn’t making any money and his real life called him back. Still, I’m seriously stunned it took this long for a woman to take the top spot.
I suppose it has a great deal to do with traditions, the “hey meet me in the girls’ gym” sort of traditions that no one ever seems to realize are a very modern version of separate but equal. And thus, wrong.
So when I realized that a woman had won it – finally here in 2010 – I was a bit taken back. There are a lot of sports in which women would and do struggle to compete at the same level as men, given physical differences alone. I am never going to be as tall as Lebron James (but I can thwop a water bottle just as effectively, by God). I am never going to be able to stand head-to-head against any offensive line in the NFL – unless I am prepared to get squished upon the snap.
But bowling is a game of skill rather than strength so it amazes me that it took a woman this long to pick up a championship.
I certainly had never heard of Kelly Kulick, but in watching her ESPN interviews and reading the myriad comments about the tournament one thing is for certain – someone respected as well as a talented bowler won the PBA and that’s a nice thing to see regardless of gender.
Now, who has that list of other championships women are capable of but hasn’t won yet?