When Cam Newton responded to female sports journalist Jourdan Rodrigue’s question saying, “It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes like — it’s funny,” women everywhere rolled their eyes.
Jourdan then tweeted:
She’s absolutely right. There’s nothing funny, or cute, about a woman knowing about things- particularly things that it is her job to know about. It feels ridiculous to have to write about it- but men everywhere need a reminder that it is not impressive to both have a variety of interests and have female reproductive organs, the two characteristics are not mutually exclusive.
This type of sexism comes in so many different ways- and it stems from a much larger issue: men have claimed so many industries, products and hobbies that should be genderless. If it’s marketed to women, it has to be explicitly verbalized as such. We separate things that are supposed to be for men from things that are considered palatable for women, and it doesn’t make sense because most of them are totally accessible, understandable, relatable and enjoyable to either gender.
I once went on a first (and only) date with a guy who could not wrap his head around the idea that I really like classic rock music. He asked me what some of my favorite albums were, and I responded, and he actually said, in disbelief:
“Wow, that’s just so crazy, like…you’re really different.”
Why is it crazy that I like classic rock music? Why are you shocked that we can have a conversation and share mutual knowledge about something we both find interesting? What about that makes me different from other girls? Misogyny is forever propelled by this antiquated idea that all women are quiet, play the flute, enjoy soft acoustic music and never pass gas. If you defy any of those, you have become the coveted “not like other girls,” a.k.a. a dynamic person with a variety of interests.
It isn’t limited to sports. And Cam Newton’s comments were totally unsurprising to any woman who has ever discussed her passions and interests with any man at the bar/library/church/wherever that asked. “It’s so cool to hear a woman talk about ____ like that.”
Stop being shocked that a woman can have a conversation with you about something that you both enjoy. It’s 2017. To quote the fearless Samantha Jones:
“Relationships have been on the decline since women came out of the cave, looked around, and said, ‘This isn’t so hard.’”
It’s not that hard. Stop being so surprised- we left the cave thousands of years ago, we’re just waiting for you to join us.