Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Sh*t, I Read The Comments: On Sexism in Sports

It's 1:30 in the morning on a Tuesday. And I'm furious.

Twice in the last week Bleacher Report has posted stories of two female coaches breaking through barriers in men's professional sports via Instagram:

1) Becky Hammon coaching the San Antonio Spurs to win the Las Vegas Summer League title; and

2) Jen Welter getting hired as the NFL's first female coach.

Awesome, awesome stuff.

San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon on the sidelines with
her players. Photo Credit: mysanantonio.com

Dr. Jen Welter, former pro football player for the Texas
Revolution of the Indoor Football League and newly
hired coach/intern for the Arizona Cardinals. Photo
Credit: ftw.usatoday.com

Sexist comments on any social medium are nothing new. Jokes about getting back in the kitchen, making sandwiches, fetching beers for supposedly deserving possessors of penises--I've seen it all. Mostly I just roll my eyes at these and move along.

But there is another, more insidious, more alarming type of comment I'm noticing on these threads, which is where sorry-ass excuses for men are positing that these trailblazers in women's sports either will be or deserve to be sexually assaulted, made into a sex object for the players, or even raped. I give you a sampling of the crap I saw tonight on these Instagram posts:

"Pussy belong on my dick not in sports"

"She gonna get gangbanged in the locker room lolol"

"Bet within a week shes slept with every team member"

Photo Credit: knowyourmeme.com 
There is one important thing to note about these comments: they are not coming from old, crotchety geezers stuck in the past. This filth and vitriol is spewing from the fingertips of young people. Social media-savvy young Americans who unfortunately will grow up to go to college and have jobs. With such attitudes towards women--not just women in sports--, I fear for both their future fellow students of the female persuasion and their eventual co-workers.

Which brings me to articulate the viewpoint I've always had concerning misogynistic BS directed towards female athletes and coaches:

Don't like women's sports?

Don't watch them.

Don't pay them any mind.


Photo Credit: properlyridiculous.com
Because you see, dear readers, if this really were just about women in sports for the haters, we wouldn't be reading these comments. We wouldn't hear about how the WNBA is a joke or that women's soccer isn't worth watching. There would be blessed, blessed silence on the topic.

Instead what you have is a clear-cut case of insecurity. For whatever reason, these men's sports fans apparently feel threatened by the presence of female athletes. Why else would they need to so loudly denounce the very existence of sporting activities undertaken by those with two X chromosomes? Why can't they simply carry on getting drunk on the couch while watching every second of the NBA Draft?

Photo Credit: ultimateclassicrock.com
This engulfs my heart in flames even more because just this past Saturday, I played my beloved sport alongside the five of the six other women who represent Oregon teams within the Cascade Hurling League. One of them, whom I am proud to call my teammate, dove in front of the goal to try and stop an utter rocket of a shot. Just laid out completely with no thought of holding back.

These women--my colleagues--my friends--are tough. They are determined. Each has the same competitive blood running through their veins as any male athlete.

They, as well as women at any level of sports, deserve respect.

1 comment:

  1. nuthin but love...LOVE the "laid out completely..."