Why Not Bend It Like Brandi?

    As it stands, millions of people will tune in to watch NFL players beat the hell out of each other several times a week and cheer, jeer and generally have a rowdy good time. Some people get upset, resulting in the “no head to head contact” rule but, come on, what do we watch for if not that awesome tackle that almost takes his head off, man?

    When the Lingerie Football League came into existence, it encountered an interesting mix of viewers. Some tuning in and being excited about the sport, others objecting to women playing such a physical sport. Now, a real factor in the debate is the aspect of the scantily clad nature of the league, exemplified by the outrage of the Bible-thumpers as they throw down a six-pack and watch Troy Polamalu go head hunting. However, the real factor is men not wanting to see women get beaten up. There is just something in their minds that makes hitting a girl wrong, regardless if it is a girl hitting a girl. It’s just not what our society views as ladylike behavior on a visceral level.

    My sister played football in Alameda for a couple of seasons. Starting as a kick returner, she encountered confusion and anger from those around her, both from her own teammates and those on the other team. Both camps called her names, made inappropriate slurs and in several cases actually told her that they were going to kill her if she stepped on “their field.” Frankly, it’s because her 5-foot-10 of honed athleticism made more than a few men look foolish as she challenged their masculinity. But truly, it seemed they were confused to go against the societal norm of “hitting” girls. She was not harming them, as confused and testosterone-filled as high school boys can be, but was rather violating their view of right and wrong instilled from a young age.

    The argument can be made that because women are not as athletic as men, the games are not as exciting. Biologically this is true. Testosterone equals muscles while estrogen equals higher fat levels. The sexes are different, and men can make moves most women could only dream of.

    But women’s sports shouldn’t be compared to men’s sports, but appreciated for what it is. And they are just as exciting.

    Just look at the penalty kicks of the Women’s World Cup final, where the U.S. team lost to Japan. Honestly that was the most I’ve bitten my nails since I watched Brett Favre in the Super Bowl. The same can be said for watching Serena and Venus Williams play tennis or Sylvia Fowls play basketball. It is just as fun as watching Federer or Rajon Rondo.

    The number of women who play sports is vastly less than the number of men, which results in fewer numbers of women fighting for the same amount of spots as men on collegiate rosters. Title IX does not take this into account, making it much easier for women to get a scholarship than men. The competition pool is simply smaller for an equivalent number of positions, which is due in part to the societal norms associated with women in athletics.

    People do not watch women play because it makes them uncomfortable to see empowered women getting hurt, and because they have incorrect preconceived biases that if they do watch, it wont be exciting. I encourage you to come to see the nationally ranked No. 18 UCSD women’s volleyball game, or the No. 7 ranked women’s soccer game. Both teams are, quite frankly, better than their male counterparts.

    More to Discover
    Donate to The UCSD Guardian
    $200
    $500
    Contributed
    Our Goal

    Your donation will support the student journalists at University of California, San Diego. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, keep printing our papers, and cover our annual website hosting costs.

    Donate to The UCSD Guardian
    $200
    $500
    Contributed
    Our Goal