Thursday, May 13, 2010

Is it 2010? Really?

What you are about to read is a more serious post by the Coop. A few weeks ago, I wrote a piece inspired by a dear friend Rainiedazze on the fact that while a good baseball piece can be written by a female of the species, there will always be some idiot of a guy who tries to take her down a notch by making a comment about "You're a chick, you don't know what you are talking about."

As Metsgrrl and I like to say, baseball chicks are 45% of the baseball fan population. We not only rock, but we are knowledgeable, passionate and most of all can do what the big boys can do and possibly better and less misogynistic (the latter I know for a FACT we are capable of).

I'll be honest with you folks. My Summer Family has been a labor of love for me since 2007, yet there have been times that I have thought about shutting it down simply because I wasn't loving it 100% anymore. In the last few months, my world was turned upside down and writing became an outlet for me. In fact, I started writing for other sites as well and was recently invited to read some my Coop Originals at Amazin Tuesday next week, hosted by two Mets guys I admire. It was not only keeping me occupied but giving me an opportunity to combine my two loves: Mets baseball and writing.

However, one of my side project leaders was sending some joking emails around, and one of which was how he was going to "replace" me with Alyssa Milano. At first, I was like - whatever. I thought it was a bit unclever, but I went along with it, saying - Hey, Alyssa knows her baseball, I'd replace me too with her.

Now, unless you live under a rock, Alyssa is a household name, and she's known for not exactly being the best actress ever but she's incredibly beautiful. What I respect her for is not just her business acumen and her name brand but the fact that's she a passionate baseball fan and knows her stuff.

What I wasn't aware of was that said blogger was going to post said suggestion on the site, with my name in full view for every one to see. And as Metsgrrl pointed out to him later, basically saying, "Women are not invited to this party."

I didn't know whether to embarrassed or infuriated but I am probably somewhere in the middle. However, I am not sure if I should feel like Alyssa was insulted too -- she is possibly more successful than any of us schmoes could possibly imagine, and she is still judged by her beauty and whether or not she passes the test of "Hey, I'd do her."

I consider myself a feminist, but I have a great sense of humor, which may be construed sometimes that I don't respect the good fight women have had to endure to be at least equal with men, let alone successful without that whole gender thing getting in the way. Between the behavior of some men in baseball forums, and someone I had respect for and actually wrote for his site hoping to increase my visibility, I am saddened and discouraged by it. I have never once used my gender to my benefit or detriment while trying to make a baseball argument. OK, maybe there was one time I was bored and wrote about the Mets Divas Fantasy Team, but it was mostly inspired wite. And yes, that's one thing as a girl I can get away while watching baseball - I can enjoy the view.

Of course, I had no idea we still lived in a world, especially in baseball blogging, where men still ranked women on whether or not they are considered "bangable." Heh, silly moi.

I am so discouraged by this, and this is not a thinly veiled threat but close to a damn promise that I may shut down My Summer Family for good. If I am living in a world where I can think people actually respect my writing and my thoughts on the New York Mets, which by the way I have followed since I was seven freaking years old, and actually I am still being judged whether or not a guy would do me, then I no longer want to do this gig at all.

I am going fishing for a few days. Check ya later.


Caryn said...

The worst trend lately is what's now being called "mansplaining". I wrote a post about Oliver Perez being booed, in which I explicitly say that I know that what's being booed is Scott Boras and the $36m.

I get THREE comments that say, "But you do not understand! People are upset with him because his manager is Scott Boras and because we paid him $36m!"

This happens every goddamn post.

I'm done and I'm calling them out on their bullshit now.

We're doing a call in show on Throwing Like A Girl on Sunday, call in, babe.

Matt said...

I have played baseball at all amateur levels .. watched it all my life .. been "tutored" by my Father - who would, when we went to Europe, sneak out and buy the Paris Times to find out the Met scores .. and I have spoken to Coop about baseball many times and there are very few who know the game as well as her .. a more passionate fan I have yet to meet .. and she knows her hockey too by the way ..

its too bad some of my gender cannot recognize or feel threatened by it .. PLEASE continue writing .. please keep giving serious yet humorous commentary .. I enjoy reading it each and every time ..

Only the prehistoric members of my gender think all women are objects to be used .. don't give them the satisfaction of stopping this site ..

Cliff (ZEKE) said...

As a man, I would love to have you on my "Baseball Memories" podcast!
Let me know.

MatthewA said...

I had no idea we still lived in a world, especially in baseball blogging, where men still ranked women on whether or not they are considered "bangable."

Hi. I'm the internet. Have we met?

All kidding aside, sorry to hear you went through this experience. There's unquestionably a double standard, largely because so much of the blogosphere is driven by snark and the stereotype still exists that snark is a man's world.

You are good at what you do. Alyssa Milano is, too, even if her good looks intertwine with her business acumen and baseball prowess (that happens when you're the face of a fashion line). If you want to start a dialogue about sexism and the divide in the blogosphere, I'm happy to chime in.

In the meantime, keep doing what you do. You'll get that treatment because you're unfortunately in a distinct minority, but you'll stick as more realize that your talent as a writer is undeniable.

[pete] said...

I think the fools that believe gender matters in sports reporting (or in sports in general) are a dying breed.

Please do not be discouraged! I have a bunch of videos on YouTube aimed at kids and every now and then I get an incredibly rude remark... that is the unfortunate truth of the Internet - sometimes people troll.

I am a male Mets fan and have been my entire life. I think that the Mets could very well sign the first female baseball player (Eri Yoshida) and I would stand behind that decision. I also had the awful experience of hearing Keith Hernandez make a huge deal about a woman being in the dugout of an opposing team (which is why I listen to the FAN while watching TV)...

You have to hang in there, despite the naysayers. They'll get theirs. Trust me.

The Punk Librarian said...

Working in a predominantly female profession I have had the pleasure of meeting several female sports fans who are just as knowledgeable as most of the guys I know. Anyone who treats sports like a 'boys only' club are just insecure with their own masculinity.

If I ever have a daughter I will encouage her interest in all the things I love, including sports. Hell, my Aunt taught me all my baseball fundamentals.

- Mets Librarian

section518 said...

I'm in no position to tell you what to feel, but please don't be embarrassed. That post was as poorly written as it was crude and reflects negatively only on the author. It was a cheap shot, an attempt to "make a funny" at the expense of someone else, someone who had done nothing to offend. It's basic bullying, and you did nothing to deserve it. Be angry, be infuriated, but please don't be embarrassed.

You have a unique point of view and you've successfully shared it with other Mets fans. Your voice is important and your blog and tweets are great reads. The Mets' interwebs would be a poorer place without your contributions.

You'll make the best decision for yourself, so you don't need my advice. But for the record, I say "Keep writing." Don't forget what happened, but don't let it stop you. There are plenty of us out there who want to hear from you again.

LadyMet said...

Coop, that post only underscored something I have noticed during my time blogging - that the only women who blog are those who know their team, baseball, and how to write; whereas a man will blog simply because he's male and therefore has a God-given right to blab about sports, regardless of his knowledge level or writing ability. I wish more female fans would write in order to drown out those men who have no business doing so. I really think this is happening, with the new generation of "girls" who are putting themselves out there.

You have inspired so many of us, you simply cannot quit. We will not let you.

Anonymous said...

You cannot let the people whose viewpoints you despise discourage you from doing what you love.

Lisa Swan said...

Maybe it's because I'm very hard-headed, but I can't say I spend a minute of my time worrying about whether somebody will question my bona fides as a Yankee fan because I'm a woman. If they do, then why the heck would I care what they have to say in the first place? Consider the source, as my friend Mike always used to say.

Subway Squawkers

Lisa Swan said...

At any rate, hang in there. Don't let anybody keep you from blogging. You do your thing, and forget about what anybody else thinks.

Fort Greene Met Fan said...

Who cares what these cro-magnon numnuts think? If we quit doing what we do every time some asshole made a sexist crack, we'd be indentured servants, not dominating academia, the job market and plenty of other arenas. Just shake it off in your inimitable badass, Coopanatrix way! You are way tougher than this. Success is the ultimate revenge.

Joe D. said...

I just don't get some people. I see stuff like this so much lately and I find it to be so ignorant. What's worse is after they make a hurtful sexist comment, they expect to be instantly forgiven for saying they were just joking, which to me makes it even worse. Instead of apologizing for realizing it was a terrible thing to say, they think they're making it better by saying it was a poor attempt at humor. Well, I don't want to ramble on and on about my feelings on this, basically because I had to address this with some of my own readers, two of which I ultimately banned.

But I will end this by saying some of the most intelligent and articulate Mets fans I know are women, and Coop is tops on that list. Anyone who follows Coop knows that she is a tremendously passionate Mets fan who lives and dies with the team 356 days a year. Nobody is happier after a win, or feels worse after a loss. She is not a Met fan in name only, but knows more about the history of the Mets than most of the Mets fans I know.

Give em' hell Coop!

Rainiedazze said...

Ive been with MMO for 5+years and until this year there hasn't been a noticeable problem with gender in the Mets blogging community. Its really disappointing and I honestly never imagined history in reverse.

We can try to say, 'I don't care what they think', but we know it still hurts. I know, I've been affected first hand as well.

I love the Mets but I know that I can't compete with the bloggers out there such as yourself, but I do enjoy creating fan art.

Don't give up on something you love with such a passion. You have so many fans and followers that would definitely miss the wonderfulness that is THE COOP!

debmc said...

Like Lisa said, who gives a fuck? Just keep doing what you're doing, and piss on 'em. They're not worth it.