Wednesday, January 30, 2013

On Authentic Football Fans

Welp, it's almost the Super Bowl, so what else does a sporty feminist blogger do but write about the commercials?

But seriously, I actually enjoy watching football. It can be difficult for my feminist brain to do so at times, but I also think that knowing the game does give me a little better standing to be able to critique its problematic aspects in an informed manner.

So, as I think about the commercials I've seen about the Super Bowl, I once again ponder how very rare it is for commercials to display women being authentic fans of the game.  What I'm about to say is no Startling Revelation, but women are usually portrayed in Super Bowl commercials as babes for the hetero male gaze or as mommy-wives who spoil the men's football-watching fun.

Indeed, a recent Gallup poll estimate that 53% of American women are fans of professional football.

In the real world on any given Sunday in the Fall, sports bars and stadiums are packed with men and women wearing jerseys and rooting for their favorite teams. I find it difficult to believe that savvy marketers are not aware that, statistically speaking, most women are football fans.

Misogynists love to quip how "women ruin everything," which they deem especially true with respect to sports.

I reckon that marketers know, on some level, that depicting women as authentic jersey-wearing football fans like how men are authentic jersey-wearing football fans will, by power of feminine contamination, rob the state of being an Authentic Football Fan of its manly, superior status.

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