Tuesday, December 24, 2013
You Don't Need to Like Sports
I've traveled a lot. I've lived in Europe twice, spent months at a time in Africa and India, and have visited dozens of other countries in south and central America, the Middle East and Europe (no, I am not in the military). I don't say this to brag or show off, but to lend a little more weight to the observation inspiring this post. The time I've spent abroad has given me a fairly good grasp on the differences between American women and foreigners. This understanding, in turn, helps me to recognize the characteristics that are universally feminine, as opposed to those that are specific to the women in the United States, or any other culture.
This doesn't really happen outside the United States. I am sure there are some places where women care about sports more than others, but I have yet to go anywhere outside the U.S. and find women out-shouting men at a bar where a "big game" is being shown on TV. In the U.S. it happens regularly, so it is clear that this is a cultural (rather than sexual) phenomenon.
Most sports are inherently masculine. They are physical, aggressive, strategic and competitive. Perhaps more importantly, "scoring" is characterized in most sports by the same kind of build-up and break-through that occurs in the male orgasm (it isn't a coincidence that men use the same term to refer to getting laid), and in other traditionally masculine pursuits, like hunting and scientific investigation. And while this doesn't mean that women can't or shouldn't participate in sports, or even thoroughly enjoy them, it does mean that any pressure a woman feels to watch or participate in them is most likely external and cultural, rather than internal and authentic.
More to the point here, liking sports will not make you more attractive to men. As I have pointed out before, trying to be one of the guys is a bad dating strategy. There is nothing lamer than that girl at the bar on game-day, wearing face-paint and a team jersey, yelling at the players or referees on the screen in an attempt to prove to the guys around her how much she knows about the game. It is almost the definition of trying too hard, and it is a huge turn-off. While taking an interest the things he likes (sports) is a demonstration of good-will, admiration, and maybe even loyalty, being as obsessed about hockey as he is will not make him want to bang you or date you; it will (at most) make him want to be your friend.
I occasionally pick up Cosmopolitan to see what kind of advice they are giving, and I read there once that men said they like a girl who loves sports. I don't doubt that men have said this, but that doesn't mean it is any truer than the female claim to like men who are able to cry during movies. While both are kind of nice ideas in theory, the behaviors of both sexes in choosing partners betray their real preferences. And yes, of course, there are girls who are epic sports fans and still get guys, but I can promise you that this is because they are hot or fun to be around - not because they are sports fans.
So if you are American girl, and feel like you aren't fitting in because you don't know the name of your local basketball team's point guard, or if you find yourself tempted to mimic that one girl you know that has men swarming over her as she spouts football statistics, take a moment to recognize that (a) it isn't her love of sports that is attracting those men, and (b) if it isn't something you genuinely like, you shouldn't be doing it anyway.