I know I'm a slacker blogger whenever Dr. Pants sends me a link to a blogworthy story/article/column.
This one is especially good because it's about female fandom, soccer, and sex objects--and people who say dumb things.
This time is was an employee of Major League Soccer (MLS) who disparaged avid female soccer fans basically by calling them unsexy. A few issues about this statement:
First, as the author of this opinion piece on Bust Magazine's blog notes, women do not exist for the sole purpose of being sexy for men.
Second, can soccer in the US really afford to be disparaging fans? Haven't we heard over and over how unpopular soccer is in this country?
Third, a question: so what's this all about?
I haven't seen or heard of similar critiques of female fans in other sports. And there are some pretty avid fans out there of, for example, various NFL teams. Is it because these avid soccer fans are wearing team or country colors and not pink, deep V-neck, tight-fitting shirts?? The media I have read about female fans of men's professional sports has been positive--well in terms of being supported and even advocated for by league officials and administrators. A "new" fan base that we can make and sell products to? Great--bring em on! Though this guy does speak for MLS in that he said these things about unsexy avid fans on a podcast in his position as a representative of MLS--it does not necessarily mean he speaks for the entire organization. If and how MLS responds to this remains to be seen.
So, then, is this a territory thing? Are only men allowed to be avid fans, painting their faces, buying team gear? Are women as fans a threat somehow? The guy said that it would be a turnoff to guys if a woman got all geared up and listened to podcasts about soccer all the time. Why? Because that's a man's job? It's very curious to me. I thought one of the complaints that heterosexual men had was that their female partners did not understand their obsession with sports. These women seem to understand--and embrace--avid fandom. So why isn't the MLS embracing them?