I was brought up to believe loving football was a good thing. And I did – I loved football- but it was not until after I left high school that I realized that females who watched football had to PROVE their love. I would go to a sports bar in my jersey to watch a game and would get hit on. If I spurned the advances, I would be called a bitch, phony or poser! The other responses would be either to laugh and scorn or to ask me questions about the game, assuming I didn’t know the answers. When I was able to answer their basic trivia, I became a novelty. “She knows football – WOW!”. Every once in awhile, my favorite assumption, that I was not interested in men–just women. It was such a foreign idea that a woman could be brought up to love the game of football. Sadly, so many assumptions were made by such a simple act – wanting to go to a sports bar and watch my team play a game. It became sad to me because in the best cases, I was called “cute”, in the worst – I was looking for a husband.
The gender assignments by society made any meaningful conversations I might have found marred in stereotypical superficialities. I just wish that first meetings could be rid of these barriers because if they were gone, I think I would have even more friends. Why? Because they would see the whole person, not just the girl. We would immediately have something that gives us common ground, instead of something that divides us. We would just be people in a room, sharing a common passion.