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Dear CBC: Women Don’t Need a Dumbed Down Sports Show. Love, The Women

No. No no no no no no no. no.


So, Canada’s CBC decided that with all the menfolk watching the sports on all the teevees, the women needed their own period-pillow-chocolate-gossip party to make up for it. So they started up a partnership with While the Men Watch, a sports commentary web series hosted by women who don’t know anything about sports, because women don’t know anything about sports! Isn’t that adorable? Yeah, as a girl who was indescribably excited to find out that George R. R. Martin was a NY Giants fan last week, I am not effing amused. And neither are the rest of us women who actually like sports and know how they work.

Okay, so, here’s the deal: I am a gigantic football fan. Football is my sport. I can’t play it, I can’t play any sports. But I live for football season. I know the rules, and I can tell you what’s going on during a game. And if the Giants are playing, don’t try to talk to me, you don’t exist. That said, there are sports I’m not terribly familiar with, but still enjoy watching, like basketball and hockey. Baseball is boring. I was shocked to find out that games only lasted three hours as opposed to the six they felt like. As a result, I can really only talk about football.

But if I am watching a show — on TV or online — I don’t need humans who share the XX-chromosome situation with me watching a game and pretending to be funny while not knowing what they’re watching. That is a celebration of ignorance. But further, it is a celebration of sexism: it is celebrating the myth that women “don’t get” sports. Some women don’t get sports. But some of us do. And watching people spend money and time producing something that reinforces any kind of “dumb” stereotypes — whether they be men or women — is a horrible waste. Anne T. Donahue at AV Club goes into more detail about the gender stereotypes this show is perpetuating (and doing nothing to stop). I’m going to talk about why, on its face, this is just a dumb idea.

While the Men Watch is supposed to be (according to Deadspin) “MST3K with ‘Math Class Is Hard’ Barbie instead of robots.” The difference is that the robots on MST3K were incredibly informed about not just what they were watching, but about every reference they made while mocking it. So, actually, While the Men Watch is not even close to MST3K, and Deadspin should really take that back, because I’m kind of offended as a MSTie. Because the hosts, Lena Sutherland and Jules Mancuso (who are currently providing commentary for the Stanley Cup Finals) are providing commentary “that women want to hear,” and for them (and the people who employ them, and the CBC), that means commentary that has nothing to do with the game. Nothing. They are not even talking about the Stanley Cup Finals. They are barely talking about hockey.

Thanks guys, but if we really wanted to, we could probably figure out how to analyze a five-on-four situation. In all seriousness, there is no shortage of talented female sportscasters out there who we respect. We just think it’s more fun to talk about why so many gorgeous players come from Welland Ontario and why they all skate around with scotch tape holding up their socks.

Thanks guys, but if I wanted to listen to things that are not about the game while watching the game, I don’t have to tune in to While the Men Watch. I own an iPod. But also, if you’re watching the game, why do you want to listen to people talk during the game if they’re not talking about the game? Especially if it’s the freaking Stanley Cup Finals??? It’s the Stanley Cup Finals!! If you’re not interested in the Stanley Cup Finals, why are you watching the Stanley Cup Finals and then volunteering to listen to people who are not even talking about the Stanley Cup FInals? I find this logic deeply flawed.

As you can imagine, actual sportscasters — female and male — are rightly annoyed about this. Like Shannon Proudfoot of Sportsnet, who tweeted:

I just Googled “rage stroke” to explain it to non-30 Rock fans and discovered it’s a real thing. So now I’m at risk for death. Thanks, CBC!

Look, we are not asking that all women become interested in sports for the sake of ending the stupid stereotype that we know nothing about sports. Some of us don’t, and that’s fine. Heck, there are plenty of men who know little to nothing about sports. That’s also fine. But this is just gross, and practically, it’s a waste of bandwidth and money and time. It’s a stupid idea, and it’s stupid that a major Canadian broadcaster thought it would be cool to do this. By signing on to this partnership, the CBC is telling its non-sports fan female viewers that they are insipid, uninformed, and shallow.

Way to go.

By the way, the LA Kings lead the NJ Devils in the finals 2-0 after another game that went into overtime last night (score was 2-1). Game 3 is tomorrow night at 8:00 on NBC here in the states.

(Deadspin via AV Club)

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