It was pretty difficult (OK, impossible) not to know that there was a “big game” going on yesterday afternoon for anyone who is plugged in to social media (or who left their home)
Over the course of the day (well, the short amount of time I was either at home or plugged in on my smart phone) I saw many internet memes regarding it…
While I don’t care to waste my time/energy by acknowledging things I have no interest in and actually have disdain for, I did think a couple similar to this were cute and posted one (cute owls and a play on words, what’s not to love)…
I was tempted to post this one, but didn’t feel like expending all that much negative energy since several football fan friends of mine were getting quite upset at the “posers/intellectuals/pretentious folks” posting anti-football rhetoric online.
But to be honest, it’s pretty much the way I felt.
I wasn’t going to speak of said spectacle because I’d prefer to spend my time and energy thinking/talking about other things, but I’ve been seeing a lot of interesting things online today.
In addition to the advertising (much of it extremely sexist if not downright misogynistic) I discovered that Super Bowl Sunday is the number day for sex trafficking; I’m not talking about prostitution here between consenting adults making a business transaction, I’m talking about the sex slave trade including minors. You can read about sex trafficking and the superbowl here
While that sort of horrific thing is going on, I’m reading posts from people who want to boycott GoDaddy.com and have their ads banned because the are “offensive”.
Really? Are those ads as offensive as selling 12 and 14 year old girls as sex slaves?
Even if some of the ads are so offensive as to make banning them and boycotting advertisers something worth doing, the issue runs much deeper than that.
The problem my friends, is not any one advertiser; it’s the culture that surrounds this event.
This is a primitive, testosterone laden ritual where badly behaved “men” are paid obscene amounts of money to play a game and held up as heroes.
Hey, here’s an idea, lets pay/hold up as heroes those who are actually deserving of such praise such as teachers, emergency workers, etc…).
This stuff starts in college, when boys are given scholarships to colleges, don’t do the work and instead get passing grades handed to them because they can throw a football.
What does that tell the kid who is working hard to get an education and be a contributing member of society whose place/scholarships if they need it are being used on someone who could care less about an education?
Even worse, those who engage in criminal activity are often excused from having to pay the price because it’s so much more important to throw that ball around and make the team owners big bucks.
What on earth kind of message does this send to our next generation? Crime pays? You can harm anyone anything you want as long as you can throw a ball?
Not only are these guys paid obscene amounts of money to play a game and often be a bad example, but have you seen the price of advertising? 3.8 million dollars for a 30-second spot.
Imagine if all that money was put towards job creation or social structure…
Women of course, are relegated to prancing around in costumes that are barely there for the pleasure of the men both on the field and in the advertising. (great message to send to your daughters guys… “go fetch daddy another beer sweetie and don’t worry about picking up your dignity or self esteem on your way to the kitchen.”
Did you know that due to the combination of testosterone, aggression and alcohol, this day has one of the highest rates for domestic violence calls to local EMS agencies?
I cringed when some acquaintances tried to get me to join their “Women Who Love Football” group (which was pretty much just an excuse to drink) I had to explain to them (and the multitude of friends who invite me to Super Bowl parties every year) that not only do I not “love football” that being in a room full of alcohol fueled fanatics with a too loud big screen TV, eating crap food, glorifying these guys is kind of my idea of hell. I’ve been told by this specific “the women who love football” group, it’s not about loving football, it’s about meeting men and looking at cute butts. (which I can better find on any given day on a man who is out running, cycling, hiking, etc…)
I am perhaps most amused/perplexed by “the women who love football” group in order to “be cool and meet men” than the rest of the fans because what they are supporting in an effort to attract men/get men to like them is so incredibly sexist. (and really, I’d rather attract a man who is out doing something healthy instead of one whose idea of a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon is sitting on his butt getting fat and drunk watching a game)
With that said, those who are on my side of the fence in thinking this is ridiculous and who have better things to do (and who have the audacity to defy social convention and say so), are also regularly accused of thinking we are “too cool” and being called “judgmental” (among other things). [edit-I have received more passionate/angry responses to a blog about not liking football, than I have to all the blogs I've posted about religion, politics, war, drugs, abuse, gun control and other hot topics, which pretty much makes my point about priorities in our culture]
As a woman, my disdain for the event can be written off as “Oh, the poor little girl just doesn’t understand the game (now go bring me another beer sweetie).”
It’s even harder for the men who don’t care for it, because face it. In this football crazed culture if you don’t want to get all testosteroney and root for your team, you are not considered a “real man”.
It does make me wonder how many people feel the same way I do, but are afraid to speak out, lest they be labeled “un-American”, “not a real man”, etc…
At the risk of sounding “pretentious”, I chose to spend my day with my trail running group (actually participating in a sport rather than watching), then working with youth on a community project and finally enjoying dinner and good conversation with a friend.
I refuse to pretend to like something that I actually hold in such disdain because it is primitive, sexist, misogynistic and sending all of the wrong messages to our youth.
If it’s your thing, enjoy… just please leave me out it, and don’t talk to me as if there is something wrong with me for refusing to waste my valuable time and energy on it when I have so much else I could be doing.
If you don’t like any one aspect of it, perhaps it’s time that you take a look at the entire culture surrounding it and decide if your support is part of a larger problem.