I believe a lot of men agree with what Cam Newton said. I also think a lot of women do too. I believe a lot of women think it's funny or weird when other women talk about sports. I know because I hear those responses at varying degrees quite often, the worst of which is when friends advise me not to talk about sports on a date. They have said, "Men don't like it when women talk about sports." to which I can only respond, "so you're telling me to talk about something I really care about. I can't do that." Assuming good will, they have probably met men that feel this way! Newton's offensive comment has allowed women who love sports to share similar experiences. However, just as a society should not judge a woman who wants to talk about pass protection, the I-formation on the field and physicality, so too should we not shun a man who doesn't. If a man doesn't like sports, and I know plenty of them, I hope others would not find that "funny" either.
We all carry presumptions—to say otherwise is misguided. I don't think all assumptions are meant to be mean-spirited, sexist or inappropriate. For example, if you were to look at the principal of the school where I teach, you would never guess he speaks Mandarin. When he joined my class on our Urban Plunge to St. Anthony's in the Tenderloin a number of my students heard for themselves what Mr. Ruff studied in college. As they were giving out canned goods to seniors, he greeted a number of these patrons in their native tongue. All parties were nourished in the giving....and I dare say, surprised too. Yes, we ought to be cautious and consider what we assume to be true about anyone. When we do, we must share our thoughts with discretion, kindness, and respect. At our best, perhaps we can seek to open ourselves to the unique gifts and abilities of each individual person.
|49ers WR coach Katie Sowers|