"Any woman who chooses to behave like a full human being should be warned that the armies of the status quo will treat her as something of a dirty joke. That's their natural and first weapon." ~ Gloria Steinem

Saturday, March 20, 2010

March MADNESS is right

Ah, March Madness. This is always an interesting time of year for a basketball fanatic such as myself.

Note that I used the phrase "basketball fanatic" -- a phrase sans the [usually elided] modifier of "men's". Most guys who describe themselves as basketball fanatics leave out the very important fact that they are not, as they say, fans of basketball in general, but fans of male-played basketball -- which is very, very specific.

Men's basketball fanatics are in heaven right now; you can't turn on the tv or glance at a paper without getting basketball -- men's basketball. Don't get me wrong; I freaking love basketball -- men's and women's. I love March Madness because there's always a basketball game on, and I love watching basketball. But it's different for me, and in a variety of ways.

1) One of the reasons I love March Madness is because it's the one time of year when it's relatively easy to find a women's game on ESPN[2/U].

What men's fans don't realize is that as far as television coverage is concerned, every single day of the regular season is the equivalent of women's March Madness -- it's not too difficult to see the games you want to see. I haven't seen my [women] Boilers at all this year, and since they're not in the NCAAt, March Madness won't change that a bit. I have seen my [men] Boilers several times, despite not getting the Big Ten Network (there are times when I think I'd punch myself in the face repeatedly over a period of 72 hours for the Big Ten Network).

2) One of the reasons I hate March Madness is because the statistical probability of my getting into an argument over the inherent value of women's sports increases exponentially.

Inevitably, when discussing MM, the women's tournament comes up, because it is, shockingly enough, also on my mind in March. This invariably leads to at least one male voicing disbelief that anyone in this country actually watches women's sports, or bursting into hysterical laughter at the suggestion that a game was enjoyable to watch.

About that last; the conversation usually goes something like this:

Me: Why don't you like women's sports?
Him: Women's sports are fucking boring.
Me: Have you ever watched a women's game, in any sport?
Him: ...

Alternatively, it might go something like this:

Me: Why don't you like women's sports?
Him: Women's sports are fucking boring.
Me: Have you ever watched a women's game, in any sport?
Him: Yeah, I saw like 4 minutes of one once; it was really boring.

I actually get this quite a lot. Like, a lot. And I've just thought of a killer retort, that I, unfortunately, have never thought to use before.

What if I told you I'd watched Super Bowl XLI and that was enough to conclude that all men's sports are boring?

This would test

  1. his knowledge of football (what happened in Super Bowl XLI?), and
  2. his logic.
I'm not really holding my breath over #2, considering that the guys who give me this sort of bullshit are all pretty much the same.

Anyway, it's stressful. It's stressful to be faced with the choice of either

  1. getting into a heated debate and winding up with the ANGRY FEMINIST label (I thought you were one of the guys because we were just hanging out and talking basketball but now you're all up in my grill why can't you just be the laidback cool chick I thought you were before you got all crazy on me), or
  2. stop talking about women's sports, which includes both not bringing up conversation topics I want to talk about and pretending it doesn't bother me when people slam the women's tournament (so I wanted to watch the Butler game and CBS was stuck on St. Mary's-Villanova so I tried ESPN but they had some goddamn women's game on. it was bullshit.).

I love March Madness. But for me, it's inherently stressful.

Don't even get me started on the bullshit I get when I try to explain why I don't fill out a bracket. I can't even figure out if that crap is sexist or just dumb.

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