My friend (and blog designer extraordinaire) Jason McCarty posted this picture on his Facebook page a few days ago, and something about it caught my attention. What’s up with the dude in the suit accosting that innocent woman trying to run a race? I had to read the caption.

It turns out Kathrine Switzer became the first woman to run the Boston marathon in 1967. But it wasn’t until the race had already begun that race organizer Jock Semple realized a woman was running. (That’s him in the suit trying to rip her numbers off.) Reportedly, he chased her down, shouting:

“Get the hell out of my race and give me those numbers.”

However, Switzer’s boyfriend and other male runners provided a protective shield during the entire marathon.

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photo by Shar Halvorsen of Simply S Photography

Things like this snag my attention now that I have two daughters. One of them is in her bunk reading. The other is trying to sneak toys in under her covers. But some day they will make the connection between who they are and what they want to do, and when that day comes I will do everything in my power to help them be whatever it is.

Race a car.

Be a mom.

Run a company.

Lead a church. (Ouch, a lot of you were with me until that last one, eh?)

Whatever.

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I wonder if their race will be hindered by men trying to tear off their numbers in one form or another.

I hope my girls will have the perseverance to keep going.

And, should it prove necessary, I hope that other men and women will form a protective circle around my two little girls and help them run the race they set out to run.

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There are some great discussions going on in the interwebs about this topic. For starters, check out Ed Cyzewski’s series, “Women in Ministry” or Pam Hogeweide’s book, Unladylike: Resisting the Injustice of Inequality in the Church.

Upcoming projects include Tamara Lunardo’s What a Woman is Worth and Rachel Held Evans’ A Year of Biblical Womanhood.