I am a woman and I happen to be a sports fan. A “Gal For All Seasons,” as you can see. I spend most of my year following sports, and living and dying by what my teams do.
Yes, Virginia, women CAN be sports fans. Sports nuts, if you will. Yet, it’s clear that sports networks, agencies and leagues haven’t the first clue about how to market, treat or respect female fans.
I don’t begrudge women who don’t like sports. As a post-feminist era, erm, feminist, I would be a hypocrite if I thought women who didn’t like sports were some sort of aberration. But I hate when women act the “shrew” if their husbands like sports. Like Stacey Tavor Merwin, who famously wrote for Huffington Post on how she voted that her first wedding anniversary took precedence over the Super Bowl. When her husband works in sports photography for his livelihood. After he brought up that there may be conflicts with the date in the future with the day SHE chose they get married.
As Metschick mentioned on Twitter, this is the same type of person who would purposely get pregnant in three months from now exactly and schedule a C-section for Super Bowl weekend JUST so her husband would not be able to watch it. It’s fine if they agreed they wanted to make their anniversary special. Yet, when you blast it on Huffington Post and talk about sacrifices you make over the year, like walking the dog (something you’re supposed to do) and giving your husband a massage (really? I bet that only happened once), sorry if I find this a little insincere and emasculating for your husband.
Look, women (or men) have every right to either vote their anniversary a higher precedence…if perhaps BOTH parties don’t care about football (especially if you’ve married Frasier Crane). But it’s women like her that make every single woman who chooses not to like or watch sports look bad. You don’t like the Super Bowl? Fine. But don’t be a shrew who makes her husband, who enjoys the contest, miss it simply because you’re threatened by a FOOTBALL GAME.
Yet, just when I think feminism can’t be set back any further, it gets worse. Much worse.
CBS Sports, in their infinite wisdom, announces their big launch of a new app called…
Womp, womp, womp.
Just to make sure that women ONLY watch sports because the players are hot or hoping that some day they too can become a Baseball Wife (or Baseball Ex-Wife), CBS Sports puts up this insulting website for women to create female-friendly “Fantasy teams.” Items of note include: hottest player, and then you can “dump” him. I mean, how cool is that?? /sarcasm
One of the fringe benefits of being a female sports fan, I can attest to, is being able to watch the games and WATCH THE GAMES, if you know what I mean. My friend @hildachester and I talk about Chris Capuano now that he’ll be on the Dodgers next year. I drool over Henrik Lundqvist. The women I know who also do that are second to none in their hockey knowledge. I have dubbed catcher Brian Schneider as “Two Scoops,” in deference to his two scoops of butter pecan butt. But ask people like me and Hilda about baseball and we’ll keep up with the best of them. Women like us could teach some men a thing or two about baseball.
But sites like these clearly miss the mark in essentially thinking that ALL women are ONLY into these sports because men are hot. I mean, I guess Baseball Boyfriend is way catchier than say, “Baseball Guys I Want To Boink.”
The irony is that women like myself and Hilda, as examples, is that we LOVE the game. We may joke about “fantasy teams,” but the reality is, women like us keep up with the best of them by actually having real fantasy teams that we agonize over starting certain players or pitchers over one another.
Please don’t insult our intelligence AND tastes.
I get that it’s supposed to be a fantasy baseball primer for women…but this is seriously offensive to any woman who has ever rooted for a team. Especially for someone like me, since I’ve been a baseball fan since I was seven and know nothing else.
Just when I thought it couldn’t get worse…I find out something else. Just when I think that women’s standing in sports are growing by leaps and bounds (after all, we do represent 45% of the fan population)…ESPN launches a place to complain about female commentators. Yes, you read that right. JUST FEMALE COMMENTATORS.
My response? I take it they’ve never listened to Tim McCarver. Perhaps they were unfamiliar with the old site FireJoeMorgan too. And maybe they haven’t heard Jon Miller say “Bel-TRAN” or “Bel-TRAY” one too many times on a Sunday. **SMH** in the parlance of our times.
Here I thought that maybe things were getting better for female fans or women who work in sports media just slightly. With the advent of sites like Aerys Sports and espnW (yes I see the irony in ESPN starting a female commentator blasting forum), I thought that maybe showcasing women in a positive sports light would essentially go mainstream. Guess not.
I can’t even say that I am angry. I am sad. Sad that women still get delegated to the cleanup work and still get the most abuse on sports forums when they’re knowledgeable and fascinating and are just as passionate, if not more, than most male fans. What’s worse? The major sports media owners (CBS Sports is, well, CBS and ESPN is Disney, for crying out loud) actually AGREES and PROMOTES this behavior! Sickening.
As Julie DiCaro from Aerys Sports and League of Her Own said succinctly, “Not a good day for women in sports today.” No, my dear. Not good at all.
They may not know how to promote to us, but I’ll tell you what: you’re going about it all wrong. Try treating women sports fans like SPORTS FANS, and not people who need a “female-friendly” option or dumbing down. It’s not becoming nor is it necessary.
I’m sure at the root of it all is a hope that women just don’t want to be fans anymore. You’re not getting off that easy, bucko. I’m not going anywhere. You can still hear me bitch about this on my podcast tomorrow night and probably in future times.