Sexism Rules as Brent Musberger Drools and Plays The Fool.
During the 15 minutes that I bothered to watch this train wreck of a game, it was my misfortune to witness the slobber fest that Brent Musberger committed over Katerine Webb. If you don’t know, Katherine Webb is the girlfriend of Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron. If you haven’t watched the clip by now, the gist of Brent’s sexist mooning is this: If you become a quarterback, women will have no choice but to want you because of your status. As a feminist, I have a serious problem with this.
I love football. So much so that I would subject myself to watch two teams that I despise duke it out in a national title game. So much so that I would even watch a high school game televised from say, Boise Idaho, and even choose sides to root for a team I’ve never heard of. I’ve played the game and coached the game. I get excited over the NFL draft every spring, and get absolutely giddy when football season is just around the corner. I live and breathe football. I am truly a football geek, as is my partner. I love pretty much everything about it. What I don’t love about football is the sexist, patriarchal, and often misogynistic view and treatment of women through out the sport.
From the scantily clad cheerleaders to the ogling of player’s wives and girlfriends, women around the sport are objectified. Female broadcasters are pigeon holed into little more than providing injury reports and human interest stories from the sideline, while being addressed as “dear” or “honey” or getting hit on by a drunken Joe Namath, as was the case of Suzy Kolber a few years ago. Worse yet are the stories of domestic violence in the sport, such as Chad Johnson head butting his wife, because she dared to confront him over his cheating on her, or the story of Javon Belcher, who killed his partner because she was talking to him harshly during an argument. Sexual abuse and rape scandals are routinely covered up by football programs on the college, and even high school level. The sport I love is a painful glaring example of just how much our still male dominated society treats women as unequal chattel. It saddens me deeply.
Our society is sports dominated. A lot of men and women grow up in an atmosphere of competition, because of their long time participation in sports. Morality and values are shaped in this atmosphere, and as often is the case when it comes to football, patriarchy and misogyny is encouraged in order for boys to be molded into macho, brutal, football machines. I know this first hand: I witnessed this behavior when I played. Girls were objects to be conquered and fucked, rather than equals to share friendships and intimacy with. It was disgusting.
If our society is going to become truly gender equal, than women in football should not be treated as merely eye candy who can’t help themselves but fall high profile athletes. Get rid of the cheerleaders, open up opportunities in the broadcast booth, as well as front office, scouting, and even coaching jobs to women. Hell, it would be amazing to see a woman play in a big time college program, or even the NFL in my life time, not just as a kicker, but in other positions as well.
Football is a brutal game. However, it’s treatment of women is even more brutal. It has to stop. A good start would be Brent and Herbie not macking on player’s wives and girlfriends on national TV. It was juvenile, sexist behavior, and has no place in the sport- or anywhere else for that matter.