Men’s Health magazine learned the hard way that they are coming to men about women and sports from the wrong century.
The publication posted a teaser to an advice column meant to help men talk sports with women. That is, MOST women because if the reader “hadn’t noticed”, women typically aren’t into sports:
Not all women share your passion for sports, in case you hadn’t noticed. The reason? They need story lines.
It’s hard to believe an article can go so wrong this fast, but there it is. You can read the rest of the cringe-worthiness here. That’s the cached version; the offending preview has since been removed.
The preview paragraphs shared by Men’s Health practically encouraged men to approach the topic of professional athletes as if the players had just stepped off the set of Steel Magnolias.
Needless to say the backlash was fast and furious.
1. Every time you think women have made some advancements in society, something like that Men's Health article happens. (not linking)
— Ken Tremendous (@KenTremendous) October 7, 2014
— Megan Greenwell (@megreenwell) October 6, 2014
For those gentlemen genuinely seeking advice for how to talk sports with women, please refer to the following in order to avoid coming across as an obnoxious misogynist:
1.) NEVER assume that a woman hates sports because of her gender and gender alone
— Lyndsay Petruny (@LPetruny) October 7, 2014
This is no longer a safe bet in the 21st century as women sports fans are a huge untapped market.
It could be your girlfriend loves the San Francisco 49ers, but can’t be bothered to care about the Giants. Therefore, her eyes glaze over because she’s not a baseball fan.
She may have trophies tucked away from competitive sports that were earned long ago that you’ve never seen.
Rather than presume, actually let her be the one to tell you how she feels about sports!
2.) She may not be a sports fan at the moment, but that doesn’t mean she’s incapable of becoming one.
It may not be that a woman can’t get into sports…it could be that it never occurred to her to care.
When given the chance, she may find she enjoys the game as much as you do.
Believe it or not, it may be for reasons which have nothing to do with how “cute” the athletes are.
Sometimes it’s as simple as being caught up in the electric atmosphere and watching a series of outstanding displays of athleticism under pressure.
Forget “story lines”; few things are as dramatic as the final seconds of a “must-win” game:
3.) Do NOT treat every discussion about sports as an opportunity to impress her with how knowledgeable you are while condescending her.
Some men make this mistake and then assume the rolled eyes are all about her not liking sports.
Such persons really need to consider their attitude and whether or not it’s offensive. Approaching a woman in such a way is both sexist and annoying
If you have any respect for your significant other, you’ll stop behaving in this manner.
Do you sincerely want her to become a sports fan? Engage her like the human being she is, one capable of learning and comprehending new things. Do NOT treat her like a fangirl bimbo who is incapable of stringing together information unless a man is around to explain it to her.
— Hartford Courant (@hartfordcourant) October 7, 2014
4.) If she’s not a sports fan and never will be, accept it.
Some women really do hate sports and there’s no way to reverse their opinion.
It could be they don’t like the games themselves. Or it could be that sports culture is historically misogynistic and exclusive towards women fans and athletes.
Don’t think of it as a defect; think of it as a capability to have likes and dislikes just like any other person. If you want her to express an increased tolerance for your love of sports, be willing to reciprocate.
If you demonstrate respect for her opinion on topics you aren’t personally enthusiastic about, this may result in her expressing the same level of respect when you rattle off sports stats and gush about your team’s league standings.