Oh, To Be a Female Football Fan

Brittany BakerContributor IOctober 11, 2009

SAN DIEGO - JANUARY 26:  Four female Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans pose for a picture outside the stadium in the sunshine before the start of Super Bowl XXXVII between the Oakland Raiders and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on January 26, 2003 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. The Buccaneers defeated the Raiders 48-21. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

As a female football fan, I feel the pressure to perform; every conversation at the office or in a sports bar, every comment or observation I make has to be right. 

If I'm wrong, I'm a stereotype. Some stupid bimbo, trying to be "one of the guys" for some reason or another. Either that or a slightly more sympathetic generalization, "how cute, she tries to understand the game!" Or worst of all, I get dismissed before I open my mouth because I look "hot" in my jersey.

Now I'm not a hardcore feminist. I don't feel the need to "fight the good fight" and I know the world doesn't consider us women inferior anymore. But, it's pretty hard to ignore the glaring instances that illustrate to me, as a female sports fan, that I'm under constant judgement.

One of the worst situations I have found myself in recently, is when I make an observation known—perhaps in an article on this site or just a mention in conversation— only to have credit stolen by a man who (although he's my buddy, friend, or even boyfriend) thinks he knows more than me. 

If I say something and he agreed with me and then my observation is proved to hold weight, he deserves credit for nodding in agreement when I made the observation in the first place? That's absurd.

I'm sure this happens to sports fans of both genders, and I shouldn't play the "woe is me, I'm a girl" card, but I'm not stupid.

I know when I'm in the company of someone who thinks they have superior knowledge, and I can't see any other reason why these men would have this attitude towards me specifically.

Being accused as a "parrot" that repeats sports knowledge she "must have heard from a man" is beyond infuriating, and I won't stand for it. 

You know who you are, and I'm speaking to every guilty man out there.

Whether you're the one who ignores the woman sports fan, ogles her, takes credit from her, or just holds a stereotype in the back of his mind: you're guilty.

Get with the times and give credit when it's due. Please, prove me wrong and make me paranoid.