'Men's Health' Gives Sexist Advice For Talking to Women About Sports; The Internet Is Not Amused
Ladies, have you ever had the experience where a guy is talking to you about sports and you wish that instead of carrying on a conversation in his usual fashion he instead asked you to hop up on his knee so he can tell you a sports story in baby talk? Yeah, me neither, but that seems to be about how Men's Health thinks men should talk to women about sports. This is almost as bad as ESPN's sexist fantasy football advice. Almost.
I don't know which person over at Men's Health decided it would be a good idea to run an article entitled "The Secret to Talking Sports with Any Woman," but whoever they are, I'd guess they don't spend much time talking to actual human women. The article in question contained gems like "women don’t care about stats," explaining that women instead "need story lines" to enjoy athletic events. So instead of hearing about a player's scoring record, we women-folk would "rather hear about how he supported his wife’s battle with cancer." Because the more you can trick us into thinking that sports are actually just like something you'd see on Lifetime the better.
"Treat your heroes as people and not just players on a field, and you’ll suck her in," the article promises. "Just don't expect her to wear the foam finger."
There is, in fact, so much wrong with this article that it's hard to believe the whole thing is just 100 words long. Click bait at its finest, I guess.
Needless to say, the people of the Internet were not pleased, and wasted no time telling Men's Health what they thought of this condescending post.
In fact, the backlash and mockery got bad enough that Men's Health thought it best to take down the post altogether. They also tweeted an apology.
As nice as it is to see a media outlet — or really anyone — actually apologize instead of giving one of those annoying "Sorry if you were offended"-type responses, there's still the fact that this kind of attitude about women and sports does no one any favors.
So if there are any men reading this who actually want to know how to talk to women about sports, here's everything you actually need to know: You are never talking to Women with a capital W about sports. You will only ever talk to a woman (or a group of individual women) about sports. So talk to that person. Have a conversation based on their level of interest or knowledge on the subject, just as you would with any other person on any other subject. Be engaging. If she wants you to explain something, explain it. If she offers comments, listen to them. If she knows way more about the subject than you do, don't be shocked. If she isn't interested, change the subject. If she's never interested, either stop bringing it up or explain why you want to be able to talk about this with her — and then respect however she feels about that.
The point, though, is that talking to a woman about sports is like talking to a woman about anything else. You are trying to have a conversation with another human being. So talk to them.
It really is that simple. Then again...