Friday, May 02, 2008

Please don't listen to this woman

Not too long ago I mentioned Yahoo's new women-focused website and claimed that the lack of sports coverage on the site indicated a lack of insight on Yahoo's part. But I certainly hope they don't go listening to this woman who claims to be a sports fan.
Brenda Scisson, a former sports reporter, has a column describing what she believes all women sports fans want.
While this assessment represents only one woman's view, I feel confident that fellow female sports fans will agree at least in part, if not in whole, with my list.
I wholly disagree with her whole list. It's a ridiculous accumulation of what women allegedly get out of sports that are uniquely feminine. Because sports themselves aren't gendered enough apparently. Because society has not gone to the greatest lengths possible to perpetuate the differences between men's and women's sports (and in the process inferiorize women's sports) already. Now we are gendered fandom. Okay, sure, fandom was already gendered to some extent. There were the football widows which implied that only men were fans. And now there are pink jerseys and hats and other apparel and accessories. But Scisson's column, probably intended to be playful, only makes female fans seem like ditzes. And she also puts forth a version of female fandom that DOES NOT apply to all--and I would hope very few--female fans. It also dabbles--not just dabbles, reifies unequivocally, essentialist notions of gender.
Here are some excerpts:
The nurturing side of women comes out in sports. We love entertaining before and after games. A tailgate party to a female fanatic is more treasured than a candlelit gourmet dinner and dancing.
Most women pray for good weather for outdoor sporting events. Our greatest opponents are heat, humidity and rain. Our makeup beads with perspiration, our hairstyles go flat or frizzy, and worst of all, our mascara and eyeliner often run.
We enjoy – actually, we require – a good cry or two during each sports season.

3 comments:

Gender Blank said...

Man, I totally missed the point of sports. Like, so much that I forgot to put on the makeup in the first place! Thank goddess for Brenda Scisson! I need to track her down and ask her about a good brand of mascara. I've got a very feminine track meet to attend tomorrow.

Scamp said...

I registered, logged in and left this comment:

This column ought to be titled "Woman's View: What One Woman Wants in Sports," since it's the personal opinions of one woman: Brenda Scisson.

I, too, am a woman. I'm a two-decades long fan of women's basketball. I have my own pre and postgame rituals, wear what's comfortable, don't worry about my hair, never wear makeup, and always hope that the opposing teams' uniforms have players' names on them. I love tight games and applaud good sportsmanship, by players and by fans.

As for what men think of my interest in sports, I really don't care.

Diane said...

Is this serious, or is it a reprint of a "Ladies' Guide to Attending Sports Events" pamphlet from the 50s?!

Good thing Brenda wasn't in Charleston with me. I had wet towels smacked on my face because of my heat allergy, I stuck my feet up on the railing, my clothes were sticky with sweat and sunscreen, and I didn't cry when Patty Schnyder lost in the quarterfinals--I cursed instead.