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A Matter of Respect – Derogatory Comments in Sport

June 7, 2013

I was going to make my next post a happier one about the progress of my garden, but a little event occurred today that drove me to change the direction of this post.  I am not a touchy person by nature, at least I don’t think I am. But like all people, I have hot buttons. This fellow pushed one of mine.

Recently I have been following a movement called the EveryDay Sexism Project. It is raising awareness of the small acts that people have come to accept as ‘the norm,’ but which are subtle and sometimes not so subtle ways of deriding women. Often waved off as ‘it’s just a joke’ or ‘ lighten up, its a compliment,’ these statements are exactly why such comments/articles/posters etc. are damaging.  Women are more than their appearance and sexuality.

How does this relate to sports? It has always related to sports. As a sport-loving, athletic female, I have encountered such remarks all my life. Not so much towards the sexuality, but towards the fact that women are somehow less than men. It starts out with “you throw like a girl” and “girls don’t play ‘insert sport here.'” Well, hey, I am a girl (woman now) and yeah, I throw like a girl because I am one.  And hey, girls and women can and do play pretty much every sport that boys and men play.

Back to tonight’s hot button.

Gent (used loosely here): “Hey morons, Cindy Crosby is NOT the best player in the league. A girl can grow a better playoff beard.

Me: “Uh… who is? And please, stop with the Cindy stuff.”

Gent: “A great player can play with ANYONE and make them great. Cindy #Crosby needs a line custom made for him.”

Me: “Goodbye. I don’t need to listen to people who insult by gender. Not cool.”

Gent (used REALLY loosely here): “Not a gender insult. Unless you’re insulted by you being a better hockey player than Cindy #Crosby Other than that. #FuckOff

So I unfollowed after tweeting back (I know, I know, stop feeding the troll): “you’re perpetuating a stereotype by using ‘Cindy’ in a derogatory fashion. Oh and swearing at me is very ‘classy’. Ta ta.”

Getting better: “Want to know something? I don’t give a flying fuck.”

This is why movements like the Everyday Sexism Project exist. This is not new and not everyone will agree that it is insulting to women (obviously this fellow did not and probably will not). And there is the problem. How is this NOT a gender insult? This is just another version of ‘you play like a girl.’ Until the rest of the ‘gents’ out there understand this? We’re not getting very far society-wise.

It’s really a matter of respect. Have it. Own it. Be respectful of everyone. It works.

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