Earlier this afternoon, my good friend Jeremy from Section303.com forwarded me the following link from The Province (a Western Canadian news source): Study: Women Not Much Into Pro Sports
Now, if you can't already tell from the title of the article, there was a study conducted by a leading Canadian sociologist in 2008 regarding women and sports. The study concluded that women would be more likely to socialize and "fiddle with their cell phones at a sporting event" over watching the actual game. There were also drastic differences in the percentages of male to female fans who followed any major professional sport at all. It should be noted, however, that the sport with the greatest percentage of female followers was the NHL; where female fans made up roughly 33% of the researched population.
Overall, the research showed that women were far less enthused by professional sports than were men. And guess what? I'm not the least bit surprised. One might assume that I would be incensed by such a claim and would have much to argue against such a case; organizing a rousing sing-a-long of "Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better". But let's be "serious" for a moment...women ARE in the minority when it comes to being fans of sports or having much knowledge about sports in general. This is as much a study of gender bias as it is a study of cultural expectations. Girls who show interest in sports/athletics during their formative years often have to overcome the stigma of appearing masculine and let's face it, lesbian, in the eyes of their peers, male OR female. Androgyny is not something that is viewed as particularly appealing while you're fighting your way through puberty.
Women who like sports, follow sports and are passionate about sports are often seen as the exception to the rule. This discovery either comes as a pleasant surprise or a dumbfounded shock, depending on the recipient of such information. While I'd like to think that my affinity for sports (hockey, most specifically) makes me stand out in a sea of carbon copy women, I'm not offended if, upon learning this news, one might be inclined to recoil slightly in disbelief, finding my passion a hard pill to swallow. Being a sports lover might be the antithesis of some men's fantasies about the ideal woman and I'm okay with that too. Who I am is not for everybody. Women might be the minority contingent in the sporting world (both in number of fans and athletes), yet I think we more than make up for it in our passion for the game.
I may be small but I do have a pretty loud voice.
In this instance, I'm proud to be in the minority.