Just yesterday I came across an article on Buzzfeed called “11 Things You Should Understand About Female Sports Fans” and opened it almost immediately. The title appealed to me for two pretty simple reasons: 1) Sports are very important to me, and 2) I’m a female. As a female sports fan, I often find myself being held to entirely different standards than men in order to “prove” I’m even a “real fan.”
And understandably so, when considering the incredibly fragile egos men tend to have. I think men often feel threatened when encountering a female sports fan because they view sports as an activity designated for men. So their response instead of accepting it is to go on the defensive, constantly trying to expose women as phony for not being able to recall inane facts.
I’ve experienced this even within my own family and it’s always shocking to me. I was brought up in a family with two brothers whose entire lives practically revolved around baseball, basketball, football, and wrestling (and still do) and a father who actively participated in and coached said sports. It should not come as any surprise to them that I’ve grown to love and have at least a basic understanding of how most games are played, yet to this day when I express any interest in sports I get quizzed. “Oh yeah, if the Panthers are your favorite team, name me 3 players. Just three.” For the record, I can name well over three of Carolina’s football players but the point is I shouldn’t have to in order to just enjoy something I love.
Buzzfeed’s article about female sports fans was pretty spot on, in my opinion. It pointed out many of the struggles women who are simply trying to enjoy a game face regularly. I think it’s important for men to take note of these and start treating women the same way they would treat their guy friends when talking about sports.
What do you think? For the lady sports fans, what are some of the most ridiculous things men have said to you while watching ESPN or a game?