In a San Jose State University Spartan Daily piece, Angela Marino writes of having overheard a male student complain about women’s sports. He doesn’t think that women can play sports. Fine. But why complain? Surely he’s not being forced to watch women’s sports, so why is he troubled by them?
I was asked about this strange phenomenon-this vehement aversion some men have for women’s sports and female athletes-recently, not for the first time either, and I couldn’t offer a concrete answer. Such behavior is to my mind perverse and incomprehensible.
Not that I haven’t tried to understand it. And I perhaps can when it comes from a male athlete, since he may feel female athletes pose a threat; they could someday steal the spotlight away from him. But what of the ordinary male sports fan? So much of this hateful nonsense comes from him. He dotes on male athletes yet finds female athletes unworthy of his attention-or worse. Odd, isn’t it?
It is fitting that Angela’s piece should appear in something with Spartan in the title. Some time ago I wrote a piece in which I told of the lesson Sparta, 2,500 years hence, still holds out for us. Where men among the bravest, sturdiest this world has ever known held strong, athletic women in highest esteem.
I end here with Angela’s trenchant conclusion:
Female athletes have the ability to be as influential as male athletes if given the same opportunities that male athletes have been given. In the 21st century, it is time to open our minds and get over the primal idea that men are the dominate source of physical strength.