Men’s Health article results in outrage
By Mercedes Deutscher, Staff Writer
On October 6, Men’s Health magazine published an article online titled “The Secrets to Talking Sports with Any Woman.” The article, an advice column, spoke about how “she sees the game differently than you [men].” It continued on to mention how “most women don’t care about stats” but instead only care about stories happening within the players lives.
It provoked public outrage from men and women alike, with Twitter users calling the article misogynistic and sexist. In response, Men’s Health issued a public apology and promptly deleted both the article and their tweet promoting it.
While the article may no longer be accessible, its message remains, along with an inaccurate view of female sports fans. It’s common to portray a male sports fan and his friends going wild over touchdowns while eating chicken wings or pizza, but rarely are women seen as similar sports fans, with maybe a few exceptions from How I Met Your Mother and The Big Bang Theory.
Why is this?
My mother and I are avid fans of the BC Lions. We watch the games, discuss the plays, and talk about the stats. Whenever we attend a football game, there are just as many women in the stadium as there are men. And during the last game we attended, we overheard the women sitting next to us talking about incomplete throws. Most women don’t care about stats? I don’t think so.
Not only is this article and media portrayal of women’s relationship with sports insulting to female fans who pledge so much support to their favourite teams, it’s an insult to women who choose careers surrounding sports. Many women here at Douglas College are enrolled in sports science programs. Every country that has sent athletes to the Olympics has sent female athletes, with the United States sending more women than men during the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. Let’s not forget the women who work behind the game, such as sports reporters, coaches, and general managers.
Megan Greenwell, a senior editor who works for ESPN Magazine, was one of many professionals insulted by the Men’s Health article. On Twitter, she criticized Men’s Health, saying: “hi @MensHealthMag, you don’t know me, but I run @ESPNMag’s annual analytics issue. [A]lso, I have a vagina!”
To add insult to injury, the article was written by Teresa Sabga, a woman. I’m fairly sure that she, along with female sports professionals and fans alike, cares about the stats. So why write an article putting down women in relation to sports when Sabga herself is a woman who has sports involved in her everyday life?
It may be true that not all women care for sports, but many of us do. To Sabga and the world, females matter—both on and off of the sidelines.