Friday, March 21, 2008

Why don't boys like girls' sports?

Funny question by Ms. McArdle: Why don't boy's watch the girls play?

I left a comment on the site, but it was getting too long for a comment and was better served as an observation:

Ever run a softball league at work? If you work for a big company where you could actually field a team, you almost always end up in a co-ed league for various reasons, most of them to do with gender discrimination. Fine and well, and really I've got no problems with that, but what happens in reality is that you end up in these weird leagues where "co-ed" means like three girls on a team. Really. It's like when you learn about food labeling and that "lite" means x number of fat calories, yet "diet" means something else entirely.

The reason for this, as far as I can tell is so that you can actually field a team. Because it seemed like every week (in at least three organizations) it was a mad scramble to find the girls. We had to have a coed team . . . but we could find no coeds. But we had guys warming the bench.

Now, I agree, there are fairness issues at work. If only the guys are allowed to form the teams I can easily see how it the girls would get excluded.

Essentially, it boils down to the fact guys like sports, not a little more than women, but like on an entirely different level. Like guys like sports, the way women like relationships. I mean, you ask the girls, they will know in the office, who is dating, who is not, etc. Try finding that info from the guys.

Another anecdote that doesn't prove a thing besides my apparent insensitivity. When I started work at my present employer, my department was 10 people, eight guys, two girls. We had fantasy leagues for every sport, the guys went out every day for lunch, talked sports cars, computers, etc.

Fast forward: Same department, three guys, five girls: no more guy lunches (not enough critical mass) no one is running the fantasy football leagues and the march madness pool has gone away. (Note, I'm not complaining, I don't like organized sports enough to care, just pointing some things out.)

And now when we go to lunch, the places are less "beer wings pizza" and more "salad". (Really, one time we were all standing about casting for some lunch ideas and the first three the ladies came up with were versions of salad places. :-) )

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