Monday, September 05, 2016
"I'm Just a Girl in the World"
I don't know much about football. Go ahead, say it. It's because I'm a girl. Pfffffft. I know that I have a team I've rooted for since 1986 that I loyally hold onto, even though they suck. I know that I like to look at football pants. I know enough about the rules to get by, and I know team colors and mascots... Hell, I even like watching it! But what I don't know is the necessary information for competitive play in a fantasy league. Is that because I'm a girl? Maybe. Boys seem to have this innate ability to remember stats and positions and who's injured and who got traded...and I just don't. I could tell you what I remember, but then I'd get sidetracked talking about Odell Beckham's tattoos, and that's just... not productive right now. But I'm not sure if it's due to the male/female brain thing, or if it's about the learned skills that society has drilled into our brains.
So, why, then, did I want to play? Simple. Because I wasn't asked. The guy running the thing invited every dude he ran into to play, and treated me like chopped liver. He said it was because I didn't know anything about football....although he never bothered to ask, and we'd never discussed it. But he didn't ask those guys either...he just assumed they did. Not because of football knowledge...but because of different...equipment. Grrrrrrrrrr.
I don't know why I got my panties in a wad over gender inequality for such a trivial topic. I mean, who really CARES about points in an imaginary league with no real bragging rights for a win? But it seemed like the more I was denied the opportunity, the more I wanted it. And the more I was denied that opportunity, the more I wanted to argue about other instances of gender inequality that got me fired up...all of them stupid, and trivial, but somehow really meaningful at the same time. Like being in a room full of guys and the host asking only the MEN if they'd like a shot of bourbon. I frigging LOVE bourbon, and I'm RIGHT HERE! Somehow my skirt, or my boobs, disqualified me.
I was fired up over dress codes last week, too. Reading articles such as this one and this one and seeing comments from friends who have daughters really made me thankful to have a boy (the responsibility just changes a bit). I remember being fussed at, shamed, for not wearing a bra in my own house frequently in my adolescent years, and how bad that felt, like it was my fault I had boobs. Like I was supposed to remember to stop to put a bra on under my pajamas before I went to eat my Fruity Pebbles and watch The Smurfs. Hell no. Flagrant issues...by all means, I'll address those. But otherwise, kids are doing the work I assigned and not bothering me or each other, so I don't care. If the boys are distracted, give them more to do and whack them over the metaphorical head with a good case of "act like you have some sense." It might seem like it's about spaghetti straps, but it's not.
It's human to look and appreciate. That's not lost on me, as a mere girl. After all, Odell and his ink, and those football pants...well, golly. I do a lot of looking and appreciating, but it stops there. Anyone who says "boys can't help it" is risking a fight with me, though, because boys CAN help it. They can help making girls feel bad because her boobs are bigger than the other girls'. They can help not choosing girls to play on their teams...or in their leagues...because they "don't know shit about football. " They can help assuming that girls don't drink bourbon, and that girls are there to sit and be pretty, but not be distracting, mind you! There's that double effing standard that means that we can NEVER win, no matter what we do. They CAN help it, and they need to be taught to, and so help me, if anyone ever says about MY son, "He can't help it, he's a boy," I'll teach everyone in the room how to help it.
I actually started this post with the idea of writing about how I prefer the company of men to women. About how it's easier for me to be comfortable when I only have to worry about witty banter and not the conversation at a "hen party." About how I'd rather be clueless and at a fantasy draft than on level ground and at a Lularoe party...or Pampered Chef...or any of those other approved "girl" things. About how that comes from being raised with a pack of wolves...I mean, boys...as an only girl, and from watching the men in my family retreat to the dining room to discuss important family issues while the women did the dishes. Clearly, they couldn't be trusted with input, but Saran Wrap? Yeah, we can let them handle that. It's all of the above, and more. And I'm just a girl in the world, giving props to Gwen Stefani for today's soundtrack. (Just press play and turn up your volume, girls.)