Last night I had the distinct pleasure of watching my Dallas Mavericks polish off the San Antonio Spurs in Round One of the Western Conference playoffs. The Mavs won the best-of-seven series pretty decisively, this last game on the strength of the performance of their star player, Dirk Nowitzki.
Most people, regardless of gender, are born with 206 bones. Experts say human beings have between 640 and 850 muscles (they’re so difficult to count, a precise tally is impossible). Boy, girl, and in-between, we all share the same number of eyes, appendages, nerve endings. We have the same instincts—if we touch a hot stove, we pull away; if something is thrown unexpectedly at us, we duck.
Hi there, sports fans. My name is Jonanna Widner, and for the next couple months I'm going to be doing the guest-blogging about the nexus of sports and feminism. Said guest blog will fall under the name "Jock Bitch."
To start, I thought I'd just sort of spell out my relationship to/with sports, which hopefully will explain why I think sports are a feminist subject, and serve as an introduction to the philosophy behind this Jock Bitch.
First off, I am a huge sports fan. I do not qualify as a sports nut, mind you, as that would entail endless hours of trolling web sites for obscure statistics about how many strikes C.C. Sabathia throws per inning when pitching at dusk when the wind is coming from the south, but let's just say ESPN is often the first TV station I turn to when the TV comes on. Let's also say I've been known to Tivo basketball games to save for later, and that I cry regularly due to some sports-related catharsis or other. Last minute heroics are always good: Show me a walk-off home run and say good-bye to the Kleenex. And that's only during the regular season.....
I am not a biker by any stretch of the imagination, but I love biking anyway. You can find me and my family firmly in front of the television watching The Tour de France every July, and one of my big dreams to be able to someday follow the Tour in person.
But because biking is not a mainstream sport, whenever it is shown on television or broadcast anywhere, it's usually the men that are highlighted. Why further marginalize a sport by highlighting (gasp!) women?
So, rather than watch the Super Bowl, I ate food and slept. In spite of my attempts to avoid the whole damn mess, however, I still wound up being forced to deal with the requisite oohs and aaaahs over the commercials. I'm not a big fan of commercials period--but Super Bowl ads are often especially problematic to me because they are well aware that they are appealing to the most base instinct of the macho drunk male getting it on with his macho drunk male friends (I read somewhere that more partner abuse happens during Super Bowl than any other time of the year).