Monday, January 11, 2010

Ladies, stop using football as an excuse to collaborate in your own oppression.

So, as happens on many Sundays, there was a football game yesterday. Actually, there were probably several, but I refer specifically to the Ravens-Patriots game. As you may have noticed, you couldn’t pay me enough to care about football. I checked the score only because I work with rabid Ravens fans and needed to know whether they’d be safe to approach this morning. The Ravens won; had they not, I could have reasonably looked forward to a quiet day at work.

Now, we’re all aware that athletic prowess is “masculine” and “macho”; to perform poorly on the field deems a player weak. It feminizes him. “Bitch,” “pussy,” “girl”—these are not terms unfamiliar to members of a losing team. Kelly @ Easy Vegan has explored this far more deeply and eloquently than I can, so I encourage you to visit her blog and learn more about the intersection of oppressions—specifically, the link between misogyny and speciesism.

Obviously, it’s bad enough when men engage in this misogynistic trash-talking. It’s pointless, it’s demeaning to men and women, and it makes you look like an unreconstructed fool who has no interest in getting laid. (“Oooh, baby, your blatant disgust for women gets me soooooo hot.”) (Obvs, I’m privileging the heterosexist paradigm here; I have no doubt that asshole football fans count plenty of gay men among their ranks.)

But what really chapped my ass yesterday were the following Facebook status updates, courtesy of a female friend:

“Can anyone explain to me why no one has told Tom Brady that his tampon has failed him and everyone can see his period stain on his pants?”


And with that, my jaw hit the keyboard and I had to wander to the freezer for some ice to numb the swelling. Disregarding the fact that the Patriots’ loss couldn’t have been entirely Tom Brady’s fault (since when does a game’s success or failure rest solely on the quarterback, BTW?), her responses gutted me with the force of their self-hatred. Unconscious self-hatred, I’m sure, but there it is.

Can she not see that referring to femininity as less-than, as a curse, harms her far more than it does anyone who could possibly give a shit about football or Tom Brady? Wouldn’t it piss her off if someone disregarded her opinions because she’s “just a girl,” or told her that she must be in a bad mood because she’s “on the rag”? Wouldn’t she call that person out for his (or, let’s be honest, her) unthinking misogyny? How can she celebrate everything that makes her the wondrous being that she is, while at the same time using those very attributes to disparage another? How can she, an educated, intelligent woman, merrily engage in the very behaviors that reinforce her status as a second-class citizen?

I don’t have any answers. (For what it’s worth, said friend is omni and told me off for linking to Ari Solomon’s HuffPo piece on “vegangelicals.”) It’s Monday morning, and I have a fuzzy head and heavy heart.

Ladies, woman up and cut that shit out. It’s not cool, it’s not funny, and it sure as hell isn’t empowering.

Fuck yeah, I do. Ripped from Pure Arts Hawaii.

1 comment:

  1. yep, i think the MOST dissapointing aspect of our culture-society today are WOMEN who don't see the need for feminism, or have no conscious awareness of how our patriarchal society has warped their brains.

    language has power. My entire profession is based on that. i hate it when women perpetuate this debasement.

    (i LOVE that poster)