You wonder for the thousandth time: Why doesn’t this woman care about sports?
Well, there’s help for you out there. Men’s Health just published — and then said it deleted — an article called “The Secret to Talking Sports with Any Woman.” It’s only 99 words, but it’s got the germ of a good idea — right? Here’s the article in full, in case the magazine actually gets around to taking it down:
Not all women share your passion for sports, in case you hadn’t noticed. The reason? They need story lines.“Most women don’t care about stats,” says Andrei Markovits, Ph.D., coauthor of Sportista: Female Fandom in the United States. So while you’re enthusing about Dominic Moore’s scoring record, she’d rather hear about how he supported his wife’s battle with cancer—and even took a season off from the NHL at the height of his career. Treat your heroes as people and not just players on a field, and you’ll suck her in.Just don’t expect her to wear the foam finger.
Andrei Markovits, co-author of “Sportista: Female Fandom in the United States,” is a University of Michigan professor with a pretty hefty resume — he probably knows something about women, too. In fact, in “Sportista,” he and Emily K. Albertson decried the sad fate of the female “outlier” interested in athletics:
Even though she, like her male teammates, has been more than likely to experience disappointments by not making it to the next level of the competitive scale, she will have internalized the idea that it’s okay to play with the boys. She will perceive the value in sport and in her own ability to play it. Hopefully, she will be able to hold on to this. Still, what will this acquisition of skill and immersion in passion — this process of becoming conversant with a culture whose main protagonists remain, if not openly hostile, then most decidedly suspicious of her — mean for her future in the world of sports, their production and consumption?
It goes without saying — readers reacted pretty poorly to Sabga’s 99 words.
In fact, the feedback was so negative that Men’s Health apologized — though, at press time, the piece was still
Apologies for our “talk sports with her” story. It missed the mark and the negative feedback is justified. We've deleted it. [part 1]— Men's Health Mag (@MensHealthMag) October 7, 2014
It wasn’t meant to suggest that women are in any way inferior to men, in sports, or anything else. But … we’re sorry that it did. [part 2]— Men's Health Mag (@MensHealthMag) October 7, 2014