In the past few weeks, I've read the following sports-related articles:
1) An investigative report at Penn State:
"...[F]aulted the 'culture of reverence' surrounding Penn State’s football program for leading to the Sandusky scandal. The school’s athletic department in the past several decades was perceived as an 'island' allowed to operate by its own rules, according to the report."To recap, a man was able to hurt boys because (mostly) other men looked the other way so as to not harm the reputation of a Very Important all-male sports team and administrative staff.
2) Former NFL star Junior Seau's brain is going to be studied. Seau recently committed suicide, an act some speculate is partly due to the severe hits and concussions he received during his football career. His death is one of several high-profile suicides of former NFL players.
3) A teenage boy was paralyzed after another boy checked him during a hockey game. Checking is allowed in the boys' game but not the girls' game. From the article, the mother of a male, teenage hockey player writes:
"For 10 years [the violence] has set my nerves on edge. It is generated by parents who bang their hands on the glass and yell at their sons to Take him out! and by coaches who scream at their players to Take the body! and by everyone who shouts at the refs to Let them play the game! It is generated by refs who are so fed up with the madness that they lose control of the game, allowing teenage boys pumped up with adrenaline to get away with what they can: slashing, throwing elbows, taking runs from behind. The first time I heard a dad scream, 'Kill that kid!' in reference to Cade, he was a Mite. Six years old. I turned to look at the man and said to him, 'That kid's my son.' He rolled his eyes and walked away.
The message was clear: You don't get it."I haven't had much to say this week, but these stories I've read have made me think, again, about the way so many know-nothings and ignorers of feminism claim that it's primarily feminists who the Big Bad Man-Haters of the world.
To such people, I say no.
It's patriarchy, defined as those who enforce and celebrate gender binary roles, who hate men.
Anti-feminists, especially those of the Title-9-Hating-Phyllis-Schlafly ilk, further claim that because feminists hate men we therefore hate sports like football because these sports are very "male" or "masculine."
Again, I say no.
You will also notice that it is often anti-feminists who are the biggest cheerleaders of the toxic model of alleged Real Manhood demonstrated by the above stories. The scripts the men and boys in these stories are acting out are models of "masculinity" representing how a society conflates physical and sexual aggression with masculinity, men, and manhood and then entitles, condones, and celebrates men and boys for engaging in these behaviors.
Make no mistake.
What many feminists hate about "macho" sports is the way the accoutrements of that culture encourage and teach men to violate the boundaries of women and other men, and how the acceptance of those violations often leak into other areas of society.
It's the rare feminist you will hear yelling, "Yeah, KILL HIM!" at a pee-wee football game.
That honor is usually reserved for the anti-feminist in the crowd who, out of the other side of hir mouth, is telling everyone how much feminists hate men.
Sadly, they don't get it.
The way feminism is so widely maligned, discredited, and loathed, I don't think they ever will.