Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A sexist sports double standard

In my life, I have found that a there is a gender double standard that I keep encountering. I am not always ladylike, but I am undeniably a lady. I am also an obsessive sports fan.

There is hardly a sport I do not like. I have played tennis nearly my entire life, I live for watching football - primarily NFL football, The Olympics take over my life when they are on, March Madness makes me useless for an entire month, I have recently become a fan of MMA and I could go on listing the sports I love to play or watch. Essentially, with all of the sports I love to watch, I could waste away my life doing that and little else. And I would be happy.

It is natural for men and boys to spend Sundays and frankly any other day for that matter in front of the TV, cheering like mad for their favorite teams (or rooting against their mosted hated teams). Women will complain, but in the end, this behavior is accepted as "how it is."

However, when I, as a woman, decide to devote several hours or a day or a weekend to feeding my fandom, I am treated like a freak. My mother (yes, I am temporarily living at home with my mother) yells at me to "get off the couch and do something productive" or she'll say, "Why are you watching this game? Your team isn't even playing!" etc. My little brother is a talented baseball player but he has come to dislike football for the hold it has over my attention on Saturdays and Sundays and Mondays. Forget about my friends - the girls are uninterested and the guys hate my devotion to my hobby, whether they are intimidated or unaccepting of a girl into their sports-watching "boys club," I am unsure, but they want little to do with me when it comes to sports. Even my father, who is a fellow sports fan, doesn't seem to get it.

But that's just it. Do they not get it? Or can they not accept a female being so committed to following her favorite sports?

I am very very far from being a feminist. I hate the "contributions" of the female sports commentators and feel that sports would have been better off had someone not decided to add them into the mix. Quite frankly, I could care less what Eli Manning told his team in the locker room before the game or what he carries as a lucky charm. However, I am bothered by the fact that many guys can devote a significant amount of time to watching sports and following their favorite teams and not much is thought about it. But, when I want to spend my Sundays in a blue and white #10 jersey screaming like a banshee even when the G-Men have a bye week, I shouldn't be made to feel like I am committing a cardinal sin. I wholeheartedly believe I get the reaction I do because I am a girl.

I'm sure I will have more on this later. Should anyone happen to stumble across this post, please comment. I'd love to hear what you think.

1 comment:

testanator said...

Thank God I'm a guy...