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Thread: Should I have been offended?

  1. #26
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    Thanks, DUDeb. Just an addendum: Although I've never held a cricket ball or swung (if that's the right word for it) a cricket bat, I was required at one point in my working life to learn how to read a cricket line score -- lbw, and all that. One night a story went by my desk with a cricket line in it, and I spotted an apparent error. As etiquette required, I sent off a very gentle query to Oz asking whether the line shouldn't read differently. What I got back was an astonished note that read: "But I thought you were a YANK!" A few minutes later there followed a corrected line score. I had a grin on my face for days. I wish now that I'd saved those notes for framing.

    The last Ashes, btw, were fantastic.

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by DownUnderDodger
    Great post Sandlot!! When I first took an interest in baseball....as I previously mentioned, in 1978......I learnt everything I could from the newspaper and TV as I knew no-one in USA I could talk to. Forums such as this are fantastic for foreigners like me to continue to learn about the game.
    I hope some Americans can learn something here also. The ignorance of many Americans, especially those involved with youth programs, is appalling.

    A little advice my Aussie friend, if you watch games on TV, DO NOT believe anything Joe Morgan and/or Tim McCarver have to say about baseball rules.

    Bob

  3. #28
    NotAboutEgo--
    I've enjoyed reading your posts (and everyone else's, too!). I have a question for you. If a man turned and said "It's really refreshing to hear a women who's knowledgeable about baseball," would you feel offended by that? Truthfully, I haven't known many women who have been crazy about the sport, aside from those here at BBF. I'm afraid I may blurt something along those lines someday, and the last thing I would ever want is to be offensive to anyone. If I said this, it would be out of a sense of joy, if that makes sense.

    So...whaddya think?

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by NotAboutEgo
    I agree, Mattingly. But this guy did say he was impressed with us because we are women who know a lot about baseball. He did mention that, so I didn't know how to respond because he was very polite and nice, but it seemed sexist even if he didn't mean it that way.

    It's funny. My friend and I have often gotten into conversations with guys at the games, when they think we don't know anything, and we pretty much show them up so they end up shutting up. Don't mess with a woman who knows baseball!!! LOL
    To me, it's a two-headed coin. I've known guys who were mystified when a woman knew her baseball. I've known women who did who weren't interested in being known as female (since many guys presumed that all the people who knew baseball were male).

    I've known one person who called herself "Joe", but was really a Josephine. She could give great analysis, say why it was great that the ace was pitching the next day, why the setup guy was brought in too early. All kinds of stuff like that.

    Since at a game, unlike when online, you can't hide your gender very easily, I wouldn't worry about "shutting anyone up". To me, baseball is a thing t be shared. If someone knows mroe than myself, I'll accept that. I've known a Yankee fan whose father watched Ruth play in the Bambino's later years. People pass things on, and they in turn pass things onto others.

    I'll get into a little trivia, but even with that, such as Mickey Mantle trivia, that's not my questioning whether or not the person really knows the game. What if I'd asked you some trivia to test your knowledge? Does that mean I'm saying you don't know the game? As it turns out, yesterday, a big fan of the game (he's the History Mod on another board) was asked all kinds of trivia, and we'd surprised him, just to see if we could stump him. He's always looking into his books, notes and online. This time, we caught him.

    If someone told me they were a fan of a team for 30 years, I'd ask them questions. If someone believes I'm only asking because of the gender, I feel that may not be what I'm looking for. Trivia at a game is either good fun or to see if you can stump the person who's knowledgeable. Kind of like asking trivia to Alex Trebek.

    I think that if we get into the "take that!" type of replies ... quite frankly, I think that would make the women as bad as some of the guys I've tried to avoid at ballgames. Just my thought.
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  5. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by SoxSon
    If a man turned and said "It's really refreshing to hear a women who's knowledgeable about baseball," would you feel offended by that?
    I can't speak for NotAboutEgo....but personally, I'd much rather hear "Finally! I've found someone who knows as much (or "more") about baseball than I do."...or..."Finally, someone I can relate to!"....or...just something along those lines. Even, going with that line, "It's really refreshing to hear someone who knows what they're talking about." I know finding female fans (other than here) is still somewhat rare, especially in certain areas, but to me, it's like pointing out the obvious.

    It's kind of like saying..."That male bartender over there in the red hat..." if ALL the rest of the bartenders are women or even if all the rest of bartenders are males, but none of the others are wearing a hat. "The bartender in the hat" is pretty descriptive alone...there's really no need to point out the gender.

    I'm not saying, personally, that I would take offense...but in certain situations, pointing out gender isn't really a "necessity".

    Does that make sense?
    "There is no logical reason why girls shouldn't play baseball. It's not that tough. Not as tough as radio and TV announcers make it out to be ... Some can play better than a lot of guys who've been on that field." ~ Hank Aaron

    "Hitting is timing. Pitching is upsetting timing." ~ Warren Spahn

  6. #31
    NotAboutEgo Guest
    It's late and I have to work tomorrow. There are so many great posts here. I will put my two cents in sometime tomorrow, as this thread has become even more interesting with even more angles to it. Thanks, all!

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5LilPlayers
    ...it's like pointing out the obvious.

    It's kind of like saying..."That male bartender over there in the red hat..." if ALL the rest of the bartenders are women or even if all the rest of bartenders are males, but none of the others are wearing a hat. "The bartender in the hat" is pretty descriptive alone...there's really no need to point out the gender.

    I'm not saying, personally, that I would take offense...but in certain situations, pointing out gender isn't really a "necessity".

    Does that make sense?
    Honestly, to me, yes and no. It really varies by context. There's a difference, to my little mind, between the obvious and the gratuitous. If there are five bartenders, all male, and one wears a hat, I would probably refer to him saying.. "the guy with the hat." Even though they are all male, and "guy" is a redundancy ("guy" is also turning into a genderless word). If there were four hatless women and one guy wearing a bowler, I might ask, "Who's the bloke in the hat?" If there were five bartenders, four male and all wearing hats, and one woman with no hat, I am far more likely to say "the female bartender" than to say "the one who's not wearing a hat." The latter would sound forced and intentionally PC. But gratuitous, and open to negative reaction because it could be taken either way, might be, "That woman bartender pours a good drink," especially if more than one bartender is female. Sexist for sure would be, "She's not a bad bartender, for a woman."

    But I have to say that living in this part of Asia has had a big effect on de-politicizing many things for me. People here are generally very polite, and exquisitely sensitive to questions of "face," but many of them have little hesitation pointing at someone (for example, me) and saying, "You're getting too fat!" or, ""Wah! You look like your pregnant! Stop eating oily food!" The basic thinking seems to be, if something's already obvious, why not mention it? In fact, if people feel free enough to say something like that, it means they also feel emotionally close enough to you to be able to say it -- and you should immediately understand when you hear it that they are expressing that warmth. A very different way of looking at things. (The example I gave was about fat, but believe me, it doesn't stop there!)

  8. #33
    Okay, the bartender thing probably wasn't a good example....LOL It was late and I was getting tired, it was just the first thing that popped into my head. Context has a lot to do with it, too, of course. But there are certain situations where pointing out gender isn't necessary...or when mentioning gender could get you in trouble with the extremely PC crowd, or when someone could just plain take offense to it....like with baseball.

    Solely speaking of baseball, as stated, I'd much rather hear "Finally, someone I can relate to!"....or if the male thinks the female in question is pretty...and again, this depends on the female but, I'd even take a joking comment of: "You know as much as I do about baseball...I've finally found my soul mate....Will you marry me?" (granted, that would only work if neither of you are wearing a wedding ring, of course LOL) but it's much preferable (IMO) to the "Wow, you know a lot about baseball for a woman." or any other flat-out comment coming from a man's surprise about a woman knowing the game.

    The only way I wouldn't take even slight offense when mentioning gender is if it was a situation calling on one of those little known/hardly used rules. Even the most die hard fans don't know all 13 ways a pitcher can commit a balk with runners on base. But even then, I think...for ME to make that comment...it would come out more of "Wow, I didn't think anyone knew them all" rather than "I didn't think any men/women knew all of them".

    There is a point when "PC" should be banned, but there some people who are just overly sensitive and will take offense at anything said to them, or in their general direction, so we all can't constantly watch every little thing we say. I guess it comes down more to "go with your gut"....if you think the person may be hurt or take offense, be careful. If you know the person really well and joke like that often...it won't matter.
    "There is no logical reason why girls shouldn't play baseball. It's not that tough. Not as tough as radio and TV announcers make it out to be ... Some can play better than a lot of guys who've been on that field." ~ Hank Aaron

    "Hitting is timing. Pitching is upsetting timing." ~ Warren Spahn

  9. #34
    NotAboutEgo Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by SoxSon
    NotAboutEgo--
    I've enjoyed reading your posts (and everyone else's, too!). I have a question for you. If a man turned and said "It's really refreshing to hear a women who's knowledgeable about baseball," would you feel offended by that? Truthfully, I haven't known many women who have been crazy about the sport, aside from those here at BBF. I'm afraid I may blurt something along those lines someday, and the last thing I would ever want is to be offensive to anyone. If I said this, it would be out of a sense of joy, if that makes sense.

    So...whaddya think?
    SoxSon, I guess I would feel the same way as I did when the guy at the Tigers game made the same type of comment. Even if I knew the PERSON wasn't trying to be sexist and put me down and was polite as can be, it would still irritate me for the simple fact of the PERSON saying it's refreshing to hear a woman who is knowledgeable about baseball. It's not so much about the PERSON just saying that, but it's about the fact that their expectations of my knowledge of baseball are low and it's because I am a female. I think that's the part that pisses me off more than anything when people treat me like I can't do something just because I'm a woman.

    Like I have said in other threads, I have been into sports, especially baseball and hockey (began watching both at such a young age, I don't really remember when it was... I think I started watching hockey at age 5 when my parents started taking my sister and I to IHL games in Grand Rapids, Michigan and other Midwest cities [Grand Rapids Blades, Owls, Grizzlies] and have absolutely loved it since... went to my first Tigers game when I was 4 but I'm sure I saw games on TV and listened to games on the radio before that, as my dad and other relatives were always into the team). So, for me, to know a lot about baseball and hockey and to be into them so much is completely normal and is part of who I am. That is why I get pissed when people undermine my intelligence for the things I love.

    When someone says something like they are surprised I know so much because I am a woman, it's based on pure ignorance, whether it's handed down from the status quo of society or it's a personal ignorance on the part of the person making the comment or both. It irritates me just as much if a woman says she is surprised about my knowledge of the game because I am a woman. To me, it is like saying she has low expectations for women in general and is adding the to sexism thing because of that. It doesn't matter to me whether she knows a lot about baseball or not. I would "assume" she is just not into that much, but I wouldn't think that just because she is a woman. I don't expect everyone to be as much of a baseball junkie as I am.

    So, I guess it's more about undermining someone's knowledge and intelligence of something and then adding the component of sex in there just adds fuel to the fire. To assume women don't know much about baseball is just plain ignorant, just as much as ignorance plays a part of the situations that others have described in this particular thread.
    Last edited by NotAboutEgo; 07-17-2006 at 10:33 AM.

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoxSon
    NotAboutEgo--
    I've enjoyed reading your posts (and everyone else's, too!). I have a question for you. If a man turned and said "It's really refreshing to hear a women who's knowledgeable about baseball," would you feel offended by that? Truthfully, I haven't known many women who have been crazy about the sport, aside from those here at BBF. I'm afraid I may blurt something along those lines someday, and the last thing I would ever want is to be offensive to anyone. If I said this, it would be out of a sense of joy, if that makes sense.

    So...whaddya think?
    I think it's depends on the tone of voice and the way it's said to me also. Sometimes when someone says "It's really refreshing to hear a women who's knowledgeable about baseball" in a matter-of-fact tone...I guess I would be flattered. But if it was more of a "Wow" shock...awe. I think I would take it a bit different.

    It depends on the moment. If you said it with a sense of joy...I'm sure it would be inturpreted as such...once baseball fan to another.
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  11. #36
    WonderMonkey Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by NotAboutEgo
    I would like to hear people's opinions on something. I was at a Tiger game last season sitting with a female friend who has season tickets and who knows baseball inside out like myself and others (she doesn't play but is a die-hard fan like me). A really nice guy was sitting in front of us, and he overheard us talking about the game throughout the day. We were analyzing plays, players, the team, etc. He eventually turned around and said he was impressed with our indepth knowledge of baseball. He was a complete gentleman and was in no way trying to patronize us. However, I wasn't sure how to feel about it. The reason I wasn't sure how to feel about it was because I get sick and tired of a case being made everytime someone hears a female talking about baseball and knowing what she is talking about.

    I know how I feel about it now. Even though he was not making fun of us, I didn't feel it was necessary to have to point out how one thinks it's something when a woman knows a little about baseball. It's basically indirectly saying, "I didn't expect you to know anything about baseball because you are women, but you know a lot and therefore, I am impressed." He did mention the fact that he was impressed that a couple of women know so much about baseball. Even though he was not coming from a sexist, stereotypical angle (not consciously, anyway), it was a sexist comment, influenced by the overall ignorance of our society.

    When you are in situations similar to these, you get sick and tired of feeling like you are part of a "freak show." I have other examples similar to this, by the way. What I'm trying to say is, I am put off by the ignorance and close-mindedness of our society.
    I 100% see your point. And I agree. At times a compliment can be more of a slap. I think, to sum it up, that anytime you are doing something that is outside of the accepted "norm" then a compliment for doing it can be potentially hurtful. The difference, to me, is the intentions and presentation of the complimenter. If he would have said "You broads aren't as dumb as most chicks!" then that would have been uncool. The way that guy presented it and it's seemingly sincerity would make allow me to appreciate and accept the compliment.

  12. #37
    NotAboutEgo Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Chelle
    I think it's depends on the tone of voice and the way it's said to me also. Sometimes when someone says "It's really refreshing to hear a women who's knowledgeable about baseball" in a matter-of-fact tone...I guess I would be flattered. But if it was more of a "Wow" shock...awe. I think I would take it a bit different.

    It depends on the moment. If you said it with a sense of joy...I'm sure it would be inturpreted as such...once baseball fan to another.
    For me, I would have the same reaction that I mentioned, regardless of tone of voice, because it is still saying that the person didn't expect me to know much or anything at all about baseball just because I am a woman. To me, no matter what way you peel the orange, it's still a sexist comment. It's not that I will go crazy and will want to beat someone up if they say it, but it still gets on my nerves. It's like they are putting me down as a person, so it's about the sexist comments and also about me as a person.

  13. #38
    WonderMonkey Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by NotAboutEgo
    For me, I would have the same reaction that I mentioned, regardless of tone of voice, because it is still saying that the person didn't expect me to know much or anything at all about baseball just because I am a woman. To me, no matter what way you peel the orange, it's still a sexist comment. It's not that I will go crazy and will want to beat someone up if they say it, but it still gets on my nerves. It's like they are putting me down as a person, so it's about the sexist comments and also about me as a person.
    It's sexist at it's core, but not it's intent. I think that should be considered.

    I used to be a single dad and constently females were shocked that I could care for my child or would assume I couldn't, etc. I did not get offended by it except in certain cases because I know that for the most part it was well meaning people that were saying it. Usually I would say "I can take care of my son just fine, thanks..." and then they would realize what they said and usually apologise profusely.

    Again, I think the intent is the key.

  14. #39
    NotAboutEgo Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by WonderMonkey
    It's sexist at it's core, but not it's intent. I think that should be considered.

    I used to be a single dad and constently females were shocked that I could care for my child or would assume I couldn't, etc. I did not get offended by it except in certain cases because I know that for the most part it was well meaning people that were saying it. Usually I would say "I can take care of my son just fine, thanks..." and then they would realize what they said and usually apologise profusely.

    Again, I think the intent is the key.
    I think so, too, for the most part. People often don't really think too much about what they are saying until someone points out to them what they said.

  15. #40
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    I think this all goes back to the sterotypical world we live in, and in line with what wondermonkey said
    that anytime you are doing something that is outside of the accepted "norm" then a compliment for doing it can be potentially hurtful
    it is all about how we react to someone who genuinely admires someone who is able behave/react/speak outside the "norm". Some people will accept that it was a compliment because they understand the sterotypical world we live in, while others reject such comments as complimentary because they expect everyone else to live outside the 'norm'. We really have to face it - we live in a sterotypical world, and we have to just accept that, and plug away at trying to change it - not by being offended and getting upset, but by proving ourselves. As I stated previously, we have all stereotyped someone else at some stage during our lives. Perhaps the fact that NotAboutEgo was able to show this guy that some women do know as much about baseball as him may just change his apparent stereotyping of women and baseball, and he will now respect that women are capable of being part of what was probably once seen as a male's domain (and probably will always be to those who chose not to move out of the 'norm'). Hope I make sense here.

    I will now be on the lookout for bartenders wearing a red hat!!
    Last edited by DownUnderDodger; 07-17-2006 at 08:01 PM.
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  16. #41
    WonderMonkey Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by DownUnderDodger
    I think this all goes back to the sterotypical world we live in, and in line with what wondermonkey said it is all about how we react to someone who genuinely admires someone who is able behave/react/speak outside the "norm". Some people will accept that it was a compliment because they understand the sterotypical world we live in, while others reject such comments as complimentary because they expect everyone else to live outside the 'norm'. We really have to face it - we live in a sterotypical world, and we have to just accept that, and plug away at trying to change it - not by being offended and getting upset, but by proving ourselves. As I stated previously, we have all stereotyped someone else at some stage during our lives. Perhaps the fact that NotAboutEgo was able to show this guy that some women do know as much about baseball as him may just change his apparent stereotyping of women and baseball, and he will now respect that women are capable of being part of what was probably once seen as a male's domain (and probably will always be to those who chose not to move out of the 'norm'). Hope I make sense here.

    I will now be on the lookout for bartenders wearing a red hat!!
    Agreed. The more someone goes outside the norm the more it has a chance to become "normal" and potentially accepted. Take a look at how female atheletes have been treated in the last 25 years. Though it still sucks, females are being paid attention to as atheletes at the youth level like never before. Title X (is that the one, or was it 9) forced it upon the colleges and slowly it trickled down. Great examples like the WNBA and the great softball Team USA has thrust upon the USA has really done a ton of good towards those efforts. Etc. etc.

    And heck, the fact this forum exists is a small part of that as well. I'm glad it has activity and I don't get run off on the occasion I participate.

  17. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by DownUnderDodger
    I will now be on the lookout for bartenders wearing a red hat!!
    No fair. I said I was tired when I typed that! LOL
    "There is no logical reason why girls shouldn't play baseball. It's not that tough. Not as tough as radio and TV announcers make it out to be ... Some can play better than a lot of guys who've been on that field." ~ Hank Aaron

    "Hitting is timing. Pitching is upsetting timing." ~ Warren Spahn

  18. #43
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    The really grating thing is that most of the people who are impressed by your knowledge of the game, are ironically, probably not even as knowledgable as you are. Listen to sports-talk radio for 10 minutes and it becomes painfully obvious that being interested in sports doesn't automatically translate to understanding the game, the business, the rules or knowing what you are talking about in any way. If I have to hear another moron talking about how he thinks the Yankees can get Miguel Cabrera for a package of Scott Proctor, Melky Cabrera and Andy Phillips, I might actually kill somebody.

    My girlfriend and I both work for MLB.com in the Stats Department. Our overarching responsibility to make sure that the stats recorded by the teams and the rulings made by official scorers are accurate and within the rules. These people are often not too cordial about being corrected, it is worse for my girlfriend than I. Try having to convince a Triple A pitching coach that he doesn't really know an esoteric rule that is going to make the runs his pitcher just gave up earned, even though he wants them to be unearned. Try doing it as a woman, I don't envy her. Many people within the game do not want to be corrected by a woman, even one who is quoting Rule 10.8(b) off the top of her head...
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  19. #44
    NotAboutEgo Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by digglahhh
    The really grating thing is that most of the people who are impressed by your knowledge of the game, are ironically, probably not even as knowledgable as you are. Listen to sports-talk radio for 10 minutes and it becomes painfully obvious that being interested in sports doesn't automatically translate to understanding the game, the business, the rules or knowing what you are talking about in any way. If I have to hear another moron talking about how he thinks the Yankees can get Miguel Cabrera for a package of Scott Proctor, Melky Cabrera and Andy Phillips, I might actually kill somebody.

    My girlfriend and I both work for MLB.com in the Stats Department. Our overarching responsibility to make sure that the stats recorded by the teams and the rulings made by official scorers are accurate and within the rules. These people are often not too cordial about being corrected, it is worse for my girlfriend than I. Try having to convince a Triple A pitching coach that he doesn't really know an esoteric rule that is going to make the runs his pitcher just gave up earned, even though he wants them to be unearned. Try doing it as a woman, I don't envy her. Many people within the game do not want to be corrected by a woman, even one who is quoting Rule 10.8(b) off the top of her head...
    Exactly!!! They are like the guy I talked about in an earlier post, who sits in his seat yelling at players and calling them names and all that, but yet he's one of those who's sitting in his seat acting a fool instead of being on the field playing the game in ANY way, shape, or form.

    I can just imagine how it must be to have that sort of job, whether being male or female. I know females get even more sarcasm from others. I used to teach hitting lessons with Barbaro Garbey, a former MLB player. He was the manager and all-around baseball coach for my women's team for a while. I was teaching both girls and boys, and I could clearly see differences in how our society has "shaped" each one (read Leslie Heaphy on how our society has created the "idea" of how a woman should be and how it affects her performance in sports).

    For example, when I worked with the girls, they were always really shy at first and were hesitant about trying what I was teaching them. Once they got used to it and became comfortable with being instructed, they were fine and did great. They improved greatly from hitting lessons.

    When I worked with the boys, most of them (not all) gave me these looks as if they were saying (they probably were, mentally), "What's this woman doing teaching me about baseball?" I remember Barbaro telling them that I know what I'm doing, I've played for a long time, and to listen to me and repsect me. Funny how he mentioned that right off the bat to the boys before we even got started. He never said anything to the girls about it. Some of them seemed to not want to listen but didn't make any comments. Others were respectful and were thankful of the help. This type of thing is a product of our society.

    I have also had good experiences with teaching boys about baseball. A guy I know from the Tigers fantasy camps asked me to do a catching clinic for his son's team (11-12 year olds), so of course I accepted the offer. He told the boys the same type of thing in the beginning that Barbaro did. ALL of the boys listened and worked hard and gave me respect, so it was very fun and fulfilling.
    Last edited by NotAboutEgo; 07-18-2006 at 08:23 AM.

  20. #45
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    It's very hard to affect, much less control, the behavior of others. But I believe that we can do a lot to control ourselves. For one thing, we can try to stop ourselves from having automatic reactions to circumstances and people; we can choose not to blame; we can pause to remember that we are dealing with flesh-and-blood individuals, not analytical specimens; we can react in ways that don't reinforce sterotypes; we can choose to determine the value we place on an opinion based on how it is expressed, not on the age/race/gender/whatever of the author.

    If the guy in the row in front says something that hits a nerve, we have choices, and the outcome of the experience will be likely determined not on the original comment, but on how we choose to react to it, and that's within our power to decide. I think that's was the point being raised by the original question: How should I have reacted? Just my two cents, but I believe that if someone comments on our baseball knowledge, dining etiquette or diaper-changing abilities, it's important for us to choose a reaction that doesn't play into the stereotype, and that doesn't inadvertently reinforce some other stereotype. I hope this makes some sense and doesn't seem abstract, as my intention is to be practical. Because if someone's goal is to create change, especially social change, then maybe it's more important to determine outcomes than it is to feel justified, IMHO.

  21. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by NotAboutEgo
    SoxSon, I guess I would feel the same way as I did when the guy at the Tigers game made the same type of comment. Even if I knew the PERSON wasn't trying to be sexist and put me down and was polite as can be, it would still irritate me for the simple fact of the PERSON saying it's refreshing to hear a woman who is knowledgeable about baseball. It's not so much about the PERSON just saying that, but it's about the fact that their expectations of my knowledge of baseball are low and it's because I am a female. I think that's the part that pisses me off more than anything when people treat me like I can't do something just because I'm a woman.

    Like I have said in other threads, I have been into sports, especially baseball and hockey (began watching both at such a young age, I don't really remember when it was... I think I started watching hockey at age 5 when my parents started taking my sister and I to IHL games in Grand Rapids, Michigan and other Midwest cities [Grand Rapids Blades, Owls, Grizzlies] and have absolutely loved it since... went to my first Tigers game when I was 4 but I'm sure I saw games on TV and listened to games on the radio before that, as my dad and other relatives were always into the team). So, for me, to know a lot about baseball and hockey and to be into them so much is completely normal and is part of who I am. That is why I get pissed when people undermine my intelligence for the things I love.

    When someone says something like they are surprised I know so much because I am a woman, it's based on pure ignorance, whether it's handed down from the status quo of society or it's a personal ignorance on the part of the person making the comment or both. It irritates me just as much if a woman says she is surprised about my knowledge of the game because I am a woman. To me, it is like saying she has low expectations for women in general and is adding the to sexism thing because of that. It doesn't matter to me whether she knows a lot about baseball or not. I would "assume" she is just not into that much, but I wouldn't think that just because she is a woman. I don't expect everyone to be as much of a baseball junkie as I am.

    So, I guess it's more about undermining someone's knowledge and intelligence of something and then adding the component of sex in there just adds fuel to the fire. To assume women don't know much about baseball is just plain ignorant, just as much as ignorance plays a part of the situations that others have described in this particular thread.
    Thanks for the response, NotAboutEgo. Language is a tricky vessel. The same words can be both liberating and humiliating, I suppose, to two parties. Personally, I'm glad to hear anyone feel passionate about baseball. It doesn't make a difference to me whether that person is male or female. I just wish I heard it more from women, that's all. I think you're right, though, in that my sense of "joy" with saying this also could possibly add to the stereotype in question, even if I don't mean it that way myself.

  22. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by Chelle
    I think it's depends on the tone of voice and the way it's said to me also. Sometimes when someone says "It's really refreshing to hear a women who's knowledgeable about baseball" in a matter-of-fact tone...I guess I would be flattered. But if it was more of a "Wow" shock...awe. I think I would take it a bit different.

    It depends on the moment. If you said it with a sense of joy...I'm sure it would be inturpreted as such...once baseball fan to another.
    It's interesting, Chelle. For me, it definitely would be matter-of-fact. Not surprise, in the sense that I can't believe it, but rather appreciation for what I myself have unfortunately had little contact with.

    After reading NotAboutEgo's response, though, I think she has a point. Regardless of how I mean it, it would be too easy to take another way, and it may also be part of the problem, on some level.

  23. #48
    NotAboutEgo Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by sandlot
    It's very hard to affect, much less control, the behavior of others. But I believe that we can do a lot to control ourselves. For one thing, we can try to stop ourselves from having automatic reactions to circumstances and people; we can choose not to blame; we can pause to remember that we are dealing with flesh-and-blood individuals, not analytical specimens; we can react in ways that don't reinforce sterotypes; we can choose to determine the value we place on an opinion based on how it is expressed, not on the age/race/gender/whatever of the author.

    If the guy in the row in front says something that hits a nerve, we have choices, and the outcome of the experience will be likely determined not on the original comment, but on how we choose to react to it, and that's within our power to decide. I think that's was the point being raised by the original question: How should I have reacted? Just my two cents, but I believe that if someone comments on our baseball knowledge, dining etiquette or diaper-changing abilities, it's important for us to choose a reaction that doesn't play into the stereotype, and that doesn't inadvertently reinforce some other stereotype. I hope this makes some sense and doesn't seem abstract, as my intention is to be practical. Because if someone's goal is to create change, especially social change, then maybe it's more important to determine outcomes than it is to feel justified, IMHO.
    For me, it's not about control of others and their behavior, because control is not natural for anyone or for any living being for that matter (it's anti-productive and anti-progressive). But, we can affect others positively just by what you said... choosing our responses and reactions and being positive when all possible. That will, in turn, change people's opinions, actions, behaviors, etc. Ideas, opinions, modes, etc. spread easily, so we can help spread change. It's up to each person to take responsibility for thier own actions and to decide whether they will grow as a person, and by doing it ourselves, it will catch on with a lot of people.

  24. #49
    NotAboutEgo Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by SoxSon
    Thanks for the response, NotAboutEgo. Language is a tricky vessel. The same words can be both liberating and humiliating, I suppose, to two parties. Personally, I'm glad to hear anyone feel passionate about baseball. It doesn't make a difference to me whether that person is male or female. I just wish I heard it more from women, that's all. I think you're right, though, in that my sense of "joy" with saying this also could possibly add to the stereotype in question, even if I don't mean it that way myself.
    I don't think your comment adds to the stereotype, because it is more than likely based on your experiences and perceptions, but I can see what you mean. SOmeone could take it the wrong way. It could be that you haven't known a lot of women who love and know baseball. I think that there are way more women who like baseball and who know about it, at least from a game persepctive... how it is played and the rules... but they may not be so into trades and all the pertinent details of a team.

  25. #50
    NotAboutEgo Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by SoxSon
    It's interesting, Chelle. For me, it definitely would be matter-of-fact. Not surprise, in the sense that I can't believe it, but rather appreciation for what I myself have unfortunately had little contact with.

    After reading NotAboutEgo's response, though, I think she has a point. Regardless of how I mean it, it would be too easy to take another way, and it may also be part of the problem, on some level.
    I guess it's based on experience and perception for everyone... and that does affect one's opinions. What is meant as an innocent compliment can be taken differently by someone like me who has heard so much putting down of women in conjunction with baseball and other stuff. For others, they may not have experienced it the same way or may have never heard a negative comment in conjunction with women and baseball, so to them it wouldn't bother them. I can see there are so many different views of this, and they all are relevant. What isn't relevant is when someone says something like softball is for women and they can't play baseball and shouldn't play with men and all that. And then you have society's generic perception about it that affects the reaction of people. I guess my thought when this guy said this (I didn't say anything out loud to him, but rather, I was contemplating whether I should be happy about the comment or upset with it... at first I smiled but then I thought... "Is there something wrong with what he said?") was more a reaction to how our society thinks as a whole. We all are responsible for that.

    It just aggrevates me to no end when people make comments that are stereotypical in nature and when they have to do with traditional gender roles and women being seen as not being able to do certain things. I can think of so many examples, not just with baseball but also with the coed roller hockey league I play in and in other situations.

    So, for me, I will think before reacting in those situations, and I will do all I can to help educate people and open their minds.

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