My XX chromosomes can be confusing, even vexing, sometimes.
Between preparing anxiously for Aunt Flo to come into town and making sure the men in my life are kept fed, sheltered and nourished emotionally, I barely have time to keep up on news of the day, let alone devote time to understanding sports. There’s something about sweaty men chasing after a ball that makes my estrogen-addled brain shut down completely, reducing me to a potato-chip- and beer-serving meat puppet.
Enough sarcasm; here’s a dumb thing that happened this week. An Alabama reporter named David Holloway opened an article about an event designed to help women “host the perfect game day party” with the sentence, “Football can be a confusing and often vexing concept, especially for women.”
A lot of people laughed at him, because that is a dumb thing to say, but then a lot of people got mad and the newspaper removed the comment because, yeah, it was a really dumb thing to say – tons of women like (and understand) football, obviously. (No one’s confused or vexed about that part.)
I don’t disagree with this jerkface that football can be confusing and definitely annoying – my family never watched football growing up, so I don’t know jack about it, and couldn’t so much as follow the Wikipedia page for the rules of football in order to watch the most recent Super Bowl. But my failure to comprehend football or its allure has nothing to do with my being a woman, and everything to do with my growing up playing tennis. To say that women “especially” have trouble understanding football is insulting to pretty much everyone.
The author later apologized, saying, “[the] event is not geared toward those women who are experts in football, but those who are not but want to learn more. We apologize for offending readers. The story has been edited in response to the feedback we’ve received.” A little context goes a long way – the offending comment could have as easily been the product of a rushed writer and an even more harried editor, but it has its origins in an unacceptably sexist stereotype.
So is this a case of journalistic oversight or of latent sexism coming in for a touchdown? Hopefully, this journalist learned his lesson about making assumptions – they make an ass out of sexist reporters.
Thanks to Think Progress
Photo via Galleon News