Stacey May Fowles takes on the lazy, general assumption that the default sports fan is a man, and that women are drawn to watch sports for other reasons, like ogling cute guys, pleasing their boyfriends, and drinking. Sports writers and ad creators consistently fail to imagine that actual women exist who actually attend games because they actually like to watch sports.
"I certainly don’t deny that some people go to games simply to drink and people watch, nor do I deny that some of those people are women (or think anything is wrong with that). What is important here is the emphasis we put on female ignorance and disinterest when we talk about female baseball fandom, and the way we exclude women from the larger conversation as a result. There is vast diversity to the common fan’s personal experience of the game, regardless of gender, and like anything, any stereotypes that we reinforce only harm the overall community. It surely couldn’t have been hard for Maloney to find a quotable female fan who could talk complex stats with him, or who even had more than a passing interest in the game, but instead he chose to focus solely on expectations already supported by the status quo.
Men come to the ballpark with an assumed knowledge and interest, whereas women need to be constantly demonstrating how much they know and care."I've written before on my ambivalent relationship with men's professional sports.
I certainly don't have favorite teams that Must Win! or else I'll get a big sad, and I don't even understand what compels people to so identify with teams they aren't on that they say things like, "We won!" No judgments there, I just really don't get it. And, I've been on lots of sports teams in my life, so it's not like I don't understand the concept of Team Sports.
Anyway, there is lots to criticize about men's sports at both the professional and collegiate levels (and I've done so here many times), but when looking solely at the games themselves in terms of strategy and athletics, I enjoy watching baseball and football (but not hockey or basketball). And, I also enjoy watching women's softball and football (but not hockey or basketball).
I've also been playing fantasy sports for the past 5 years or so, either rounding up friends to be in my leagues, or joining leagues with complete strangers. One time, I created a public league, somewhat nervous about hostile, anonymous strangers possibly joining it, but it filled up in last than half a day with the majority of team owners being other women.
It's been entertaining, mostly from the standpoint of looking at statistics and making managerial decisions.
Readers, are you sports fans? I'm gauging interest in people who might be interested in playing fantasy (NFL) football. If you are, leave a comment or send me an email, with your email address and I'll send you an invite to a feminist, friendly league!
In other news, here's a recent picture of Geena Davis doing archery in her uniform from A League of Their Own. You know, like she does.