Ladies Love Sports
It’s the twenty-first century, and women have more rights than ever, so why can’t guys share the field?
By Kristina Fernandez, Florida State University
There seems to be an issue with women who love watching sports, though the real problem is that some men can’t seem to wrap their heads around the idea of it.
Don’t be shocked that she would rather talk about Julian Edelman’s unbelievable Super Bowl LI catch rather than the fact that he may be dating supermodel Adriana Lima. Do guys really want to have watch parties that are just full-on sausage fests?
This is not an attack, but if you’re a guy who gives a girl a hard time for liking sports, you need to check yourself. Do you really want another Kardashian bobble head who will whine every time the game is on, or would you prefer someone who actually enjoys watching what you do?
If a girl goes out with her friends and strikes up a conversation with a guy, why is he shocked when she knows anything about sports? Also, why do guys have a deep-rooted need to test girls’ knowledge of said sports?
Whenever a guy finds out that someone of the opposite sex is into any sport, they tend to grill them with questions that extend way beyond a superficial level, an extent to which goes way beyond even what the average guy would be expected to know. It’s as if in order to validate her interest, girls have to know twice as much as their masculine counterparts. Depending on the sport, a girl may have to know anything from Tom Brady’s exact stats in college to where Jordan Spieth spent his summers growing up.
She will also get questions like, “If you love football so much, you should have no problem naming all of the NFL teams and their cities. GO!” or “So tell me, since you love basketball so much, what’s Michael Jordan’s blood type?” The point of these inquisitions is not to see if you’re a true fan, but to prove that you could never be one.
Men who engage in these tribunals are not eagerly hoping you’ll answer correctly; they don’t want to welcome you into the fold. No, the point of the inquiry is to trip you up, expose a lacunae in your sports acumen and then take that one mistake and crucify you on it. The worst part is, even if you amuse them and answer all of their questions, they’ll probably still assume you watch for the “hot guys.”
Perhaps the issue stems from gender stereotypes. Pink for girls and blue for boys. Girls will dress up and play with dolls, while boys play sports and be rough. A woman who loves sports is pushing back against the stereotype of what a proper lady should be, as she isn’t going to be making snacks for the boys and refilling the beers; instead, she’s going to be front and center on the couch screaming her face off. Women were raised to believe certain behaviors belong to certain genders, but it’s not necessarily their parents’ fault, because they were raised that way too.
The reality is that likes and dislikes can overlap; no specific color, type of music or television show belongs to any gender more than the other (except urinals, guys can have those). We should celebrate our commonalities and enjoy them together. The identity of who we are supposed to be has been engraved into our minds, and it goes unnoticed most of the time, so when we meet someone who challenges this preconceived idea of what we think they are like, it can be surprising.
Assumed identities should be thrown away. Guys can wear pink and dance to Spice Girls, and ladies can know every line to “The Departed.” There are no laws saying that we can’t like or do certain things.
Before Super Bowl LI, Secret deodorant came out with a commercial, and it gives a fantastic example of how an interaction with a sports-savvy woman should go. She was not questioned about her knowledge when she made a valid point, and she didn’t rub it in the guys’ faces. Instead, they agreed with her and changed their opinion.
If you still don’t believe in the disconnect between men accepting women into sports, another problem that should be tackled (pun very much intended) is the Lingerie football league.
If women are playing full-contact football, why are they doing it in nothing but a sports bra, booty shorts, shoulder pads and helmet? It doesn’t make sense. While the players in the NFL are being taken care of with the latest technology in sports safety, padding, helmets and injury treatment, there is no reason for these women to be smashing into each other in underwear. The women who play in the lingerie football league (LFL) are not even compensated, yet they can suffer serious injuries. They have day jobs and devote their spare time to playing football.
Another example is women’s basketball, where the players have been brutally made fun of as butch and manly, “towering lesbians.” Women’s sporting events have a significantly lower number of fans, and it might just come down to their gender. Women’s sports have the same competitive drive as men’s, but the majority of people care less about them. In general, women’s sports are also less advertised than men’s. If you love basketball, then why does it matter if the women’s team plays it?
The good news is, women who love playing or watching sports don’t let others deter them from their passion. So, ladies, keep running, screaming, tackling, jumping and pushing yourselves. If you love watching sports, then make sure you have your jersey on and snacks ready for the game.
And guys, be grateful next time you meet a girl who loves sports, not offended. Women aren’t lying to you when they say they enjoy a certain sport, and it isn’t an invitation to quiz them. There is more than enough room for everyone.