Fellas, it’s time to get over it
Over the last few weeks, whenever I see certain types of sports stories online, these are the typical comments I tend to find attached to them.
“Get that chick off the air.”
“I don’t need to hear this.”
“It’s like my girlfriend is watching with me.”
“My ears are hurting now.”
“This is PC run amok.”
“Girl should make me a sandwich.”
These are just a small sampling of things I read from men (I’m assuming) on Facebook whenever a female sports personality is on TV.
These are also similar phrases I’ve heard over the years whenever a woman speaks about sports. It doesn’t matter if she’s doing play-by-play on television, hosting a radio show or even just talking in a bar.
If a woman is talking about sports, she’s not taken seriously.
One time in college in North Dakota, I was just sitting with some friends talking about football and one of my female friends brought up a good point about the Green Bay Packers’ defense.
I tried to get her to expand on her opinion, but all the other guys had tuned her out. She gave a sigh, looked at me and mouthed the words “Thanks anyway” to me.
Later that year, the subject turned to hockey and I suggested that there should and would be a goalie change at North Dakota, even though most of the students backed the starting netminder.
Even though my friends disagreed with me, they at least listened to what I had to say (and I was proven right the next day).
Late the same night, the female friend I mentioned earlier and her roommate came up to me and said they agreed with me.
When I asked why they didn’t say anything, they both said, “What was the point? They wouldn’t listen to us.”
It was then that it finally hit me that there was a problem here. Not just with my friends, but with sports in general.
There are a lot of talented writers, commentators and fans who are immediately disregarded when they have an opinion because of their gender. I find this more pathetic each time I hear it.
It gets even worse when you call these men out on their ignorance. I’ve been told that I shouldn’t care because I’m not a woman, that I’m being too sensitive or that their frustration has nothing to do with being a woman.
This is usually followed by some moron saying, “I’m not sexist but …” which means he’s about to say something particularly sexist. It’s nauseating and tiring at the same time trying to deal with this, so I can only imagine what it’s like for the women in my profession.
So as guys, why do we feel that way?
It’s been wired into us since we were little. Sports is our zone and we don’t want that to change. If a woman enters that zone, it threatens that bizarre sense of stability in our heads.
So when ESPN commentators like Beth Mowins, Sarah Spain, Jemele Hill or Mina Kimes share their thoughts, they are dismissed by many guys.
Not only that, but they’re usually hit with creepy insults and other slurs on social media. It’s disgusting and it’s hard to believe that we still think this way as a society.
It’s time we get over it. Guess what, guys? Women love sports, too, and they know a lot about them. They can call games as well as men, write as well and share opinions as well as men.
Sometimes even better than us, so instead of getting annoyed by having women involved in sports, accept it.
It’s going to happen more and more, and being politically correct has nothing to do with it. They work just as hard as men and sometimes even more just to get the respect they deserve.
The women I listed earlier are some of the most popular and talented journalists in the field and there are many others like them.
They can say what they want to say and they aren’t going to go away. So maybe watch a game with your girlfriend, she might like that.
If your ears hurt listening to these women, deal with it. If you don’t want to watch them, turn the channel. It’s that easy.
Oh, and go make your own sandwich.
Ryan Stieg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 252. His email address is rstieg@miningjournal. net.