Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Olympic Disappointment

I have Olympic fever. When the boys get settled, I turn on my laptop and the television, switching between the NBC channels and the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Channel).

I prefer the CBC for two reasons. First, NBC claims to broadcast some events "live," but they don't happen to mention that it's live only on the East coast. They still think they can get away with that when anyone can look up the "live" results three hours before they're broadcast by surfing the web or flipping channels. Second, I prefer Canada's coverage. High on sports, low on interviews and heart-warming bios of underdog Americans.

Wendy and I were holding hands on the couch when the following conversation took place:

Wendy: "Oh, you're turning the channel."

Me: "Yeah, I don't like watching women play basketball. The players look clumsy and frumpy."

Wendy: [Releases my hand and slides away from me.]

Me: "Did something I say upset you?"

Wendy: "Yes. Blah blah blah patriarchal society blah blah blah hegemony blah blah blah disenfranchisment blah blah blah marginalization of blah blah blah." (I'm paraphrasing here.)

Me: "For me it's a matter of preference. Men look good playing basketball or football or rugby. Women look good when doing gymnastics or diving or doing anything that brings our their grace. Both men and women look great playing volleyball. Neither look good playing field hockey. I don't want to see women play basketball, and I don't want to see men figure skating. But I'll watch anything if the USA has a chance at gold."

Wendy: "Blah blah blah sexist blah."

Me: "It's possible that I need to reevaluate my preferences and undo sexist programming. I'll work on that during football season, which is only three weeks away!"

Note: It's possible that I have not captured the nuanced nature of Wendy's arguments. And I may have embellished some of my own.


  1. she released your hand? the kiss of death. perhaps this is something wendy feels strongly about?

    perhaps it's something you might have known about BEFORE YOU OPENED YOUR STUPID SEXIST MOUTH.

    seriously, what's wrong with you? is your filter getting thin as you age?

  2. With the sexist argument and the hand release I wouldn't be so worried about the KISS of death as the GROIN PUNCH of death.

    But I can't join dug in railing on Bob - my filter goes out some times too.

  3. Bob has (had) a filter?

  4. And anyway, what's wrong with being sexy? I've never understood why feminists are so against that.

  5. Bob...I would add that part about the ball being a different size and STILL they shoot their jump shots from their hip.

    For more on how women should be insulted read this:

    Three Dunks and Counting

  6. Bob, does Wendy read your blog? Cuz it's not making your case any better....

  7. dude...i'm with you. i don't mind watching female sports where a team of dudes would absolutely annihilate them.

    women's basketball. yawn. my brother can dunk. virtually none of the female pros can. i don't watch single A baseball and i don't watch the WNBA.

    women's gymnastics? for sure! it's different and better than the men's sport.

    softball? maybe. it's interesting but i can't understand how some of the world's best players can be so obese.

    women's track? i like it. cool personalities.

    snowboarding? this is the worst. ever watch the dude's 1/2pipe and then the women's? it's like watching a video of xgames 2008 and then xgames 1987.

    golf. gag.

    i think the problem is that the sports i watch to see the amazing skills or extreme performance, and the contests is basically the same as the men's version, i don't like the women's sports. golf. bball. snowboarding.

    but sports that are different or where the competition is just as important as the individual skill, i like it.

    does that make sense? i guess i'm saying that if the sport is basically the same as the men's version, i don't generally like it.

  8. I don't have any good arguments about not liking certain women's sports. I don't want to watch women play basketball, but I genuinely like watching women play volleyball, even though the men are better. I'd rather watch Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh than any men's team -- and it has nothing to do with the bikinis. Walsh in particular is a fierce competitor.

    I understand that residual (abiding?) sexism contributes to my attitudes, but I'm not particularly interested in reshaping my outlook by watching the L.A. Sparxxx hook horns with the Idaho Snailzzz.

    I should just shut up. I know that. Don't you think I know that?

  9. I can't watch women's basketball either. Comared to the men, it's slow and just not exciting. This has nothing to do with gender, it just is what it is.

    Here's an example to prove that sexism doesn't have much to do with what sports I watch: 3 football games are on, which to watch? Sometimes I choose to watch a game because one of the teams is a favorite. But most times I surf the 3 games and pick the one I think will be most exciting. You know, the teams are evenly matched, or the competition level is higher, etc. It's just entertainment.

    I'm a volleyball fan and I agree that I prefer to watch women play. They don't hit as hard so they must be better at placing the ball and setting up clever plays. The game is deeper and more fun to watch. The men are often just a spike fest. Beach volleyball has the cool factor, but indoor is a much better game when played well.

  10. I'm sorry dear, did you say something? I was busy looking at the ass of a 15 year old girl wearing a semi-thong while doing the splits."


  11. Bob, I thought this interview was interesting and thought you might like it. MY favorite part was his opinions about how Bush thinks (or doesn't).


    I tried to e-mail you, but bounced back with an "unknown user" error.