By Brandon Brown
ESN Director of Content
Do you know where the most disgusting place on earth is, a place so toxic and disturbing that it makes you question humanity as a whole? A place that you may live in and not even notice, or do know and gladly add to the filth? It is called the comment section. More specifically, the comment section of any post promoting female athletes. A place where people spill out their deepest feelings and prejudices towards those who they don’t even know, but clearly don’t respect. It is a place that I get sucked into at times and shiver at the thought that a fellow person can feel and comment in such a way.
And yes, I understand all comment sections can get pretty damn bad. But we are talking specifically about those centered around female athletes, so do not “All Comments Matter” me right now.
“Get back in the kitchen,” has become the official catchphrase of the ‘strong women intimidate me’ club. They patrol the comment sections of posts promoting successful women waiting to bring them down a peg because they are insecure about the accomplishments of these women. How dare a woman spend her life perfecting a craft that she is passionate about, while you sit on the couch with Cheeto residue on your face. Who do they think they are demanding respect like a man, they can’t even dunk the ball.
The comments go on and on. Some more vulgar than others but all of them showing the true colors of the majority of the sports community. Even when credit is given to them and it is acknowledged that she can play the game better than most, it is accompanied by comments questioning her sexuality. You know because that in some way affects how good a woman is at a sport. The comments are disturbing, but they are a gateway into the mind of how people really feel. The comment section is where people feel comfortable behind their keyboard in their mom’s basement, so they have no reservations on typing their true feelings. It may be a joke to some, but it is clear and obvious that this is how people feel.
They get upset when female athletes ask for higher pay. Saying they should not be equal to a man if they cannot beat a man. Diminishing accomplishments, they themselves could never achieve. The pay difference is due to revenue that they bring in. With the men bringing in a much more significant amount. They bring in more because more people tune in to men. More people go to games of men and talk about men’s sports. How are women supposed to ever close the revenue gap when they are constantly put on the back burner. We need to stop the comparisons and enjoy the athletes for their performances.
The problem is that it has been ingrained into the culture to feel that way about female athletes. When watching tv, we constantly see commercials promoting the men’s leagues of the country while you rarely if ever see anything promoting the women. Even us in sports media are guilty of this, we speak about men’s sports day and night. Diving deep into every stat line and promote male athletes like they are gods for their athletic ability. Yet, we spend extraordinarily little on the female athletes who put in the same exact work.
It is something that needs to change and change now. It should not be too much to ask for people to show respect or just keep their negative opinions to themselves. And while you’re at it, why not go check out one of their games. Turn on the NWSL or WNBA and watch how they play and see how much effort they put into their game. Watch the College Softball World Series or any female Olympic event. It’s 2020 and being a misogynist just isn’t in style anymore.
I owe a lot to women’s sports. When I was a little kid, I hated the game of basketball and thought it was boring. That was until my mother took me to the 2004 WNBA Finals in Seattle. Seeing how they played and seeing how intense the game was made me fall in love with the sport. Since that day basketball became my biggest passion and it was a sport that I wanted to invest all my time with. All because I saw how women played it. Just show them some damn respect, but then again, I am biased.