Women, stand up and be counted…just don’t actually stand!

I had the wonderful opportunity to hit Fenway last night with roughly 30 people dear to me (including three of the contributors to this blog!). In spite of the extra-inning loss the Red Sox ended the night with, we had a marvelous time. Lot’s of fun and cheering and catching up with each other on a beautiful summer evening. I can’t wait to do it again.

Alas, all was not perfect. One of the things I am most proud of is being a woman. I don’t have penis-envy. I don’t wish to stand when I pee. I prefer someone hold a damn door for me and I certainly will let you pay for my dinner, sir. I am also quite proud of being a woman BASEBALL fan. That is, until I see the way other women baseball fans tend to act.

Before I get going, the group I was with last night was both men and women, with the women slightly outnumbering the men. Most of those women are extremely knowledgeable baseball fans. I have nothing against woman or woman sports fans in general, and I wholly support Cruiser in her dislike of bandwagon fans gaining the moniker “pink hat fans“.

Having written all that, let me give you a rundown of what I saw last night:

  • Two women (one in a yellow Red Sox hat) standing up in the middle of the game, with their cell phones to their ears, waving to the crowd and wiggling their asses.
  • Three women screaming for the ‘cotton candy guy’ as if he were a rock star and jumping out of their seats to get his attention while the Sox were at bat, and then acting like they didn’t know what to do once he threw the cotton candy to them. “Oh, we have to pay for this?”
  • One woman running across the front of our section, trying to get everyone to do the wave.*
  • A woman in our group blowing up a beach ball and tossing it around the bleachers while the opposing team tied the game…rendering everyone in the area who decided to follow the beach ball instead of the game clueless when the scoreboard read 3-3 at the end of the inning.*
  • A woman behind me talking non-stop with a co-worker who was, seemingly, trying to get in her pants all night. There were 30 of us, and we could hear her and her man over everyone else. Color me stunned when she finally asked, “Who is the ‘big name’ on the Red Sox? Johnny Damon?”
  • I lost count at how many women showed up late to the game and staggered through the row wondering if they were in seat 11 or 12.

I realize some of these, on any given day, can be applied to men as well. Trust me, I’ve seen my share of male idiots at baseball games. But men don’t have a stereotype to fight. Men aren’t scrutinized at sporting events the way women are. They aren’t calling these bandwagon fans “alternative hat style fans”. The major sports love to make the women realize that we are just cute accents to the actual game. Wear a pink hat, drink a wine cooler and squeal when Gabe Kapler gets put into the game. That’s all they want from women. And I know all these women were having fun – and I’m all for that, I have a blast at the games…but not at the expense and/or embarrassment of others.

But the women I know, including myself, are much deeper than that. I sat with a woman last night who kept score during the game (that would be our own Triumphant Red Sox Fan!), one who wore a radio to listen to the game while watching it (our own Sox Cruiser) and a woman who collects books about baseball (Booklady, who is supposed to be here but hasn’t signed in yet!). I own a pink Red Sox hat. One that has a pink ribbon on it and that the proceeds from the sale went to breast cancer research. I also probably know more about baseball than most of the men sitting in the bleachers last night. I was the one who knew which player the Red Sox called up yesterday – and why. I not only pay attention to my team, but to all the teams in MLB. I read baseball-related news stories from all over the country every morning before I head off to work. I am the go-to person in my office of 8 men to 3 women, and I’m the resident baseball ‘expert’.

Then I go to Fenway and am lumped in with the women who only go because their boyfriends got tickets or because their dad gave them tickets and they wanted to try and get Gabe to acknowledge them – or because they want to shake their asses and hopefully get on television.

I have nothing against the women who enjoy baseball because of the eye candy. Along with my genuine love for the game, I am one of those women. I just would like the women I mentioned above to realize that when they act stupid in a crowd of 35,000…they are representing an entire gender of people who do not wish to be lumped in with them. A little self-respect goes a long way. Men get away with it because they are men and they can…as far as women have come, we aren’t there yet.

You don’t need to be annoying to get attention. And if you need that kind of attention so desperately, there are plenty of bars where you can go dance on a table.

It’s slightly unfair to stick these two in the list. I know more people do these things than don’t. The thing is, more than anything (at a ball game), I hate the wave and beach balls in the stands. I spend an awful lot of money on baseball tickets and I’m a very intense fan. I go to the game to watch the game and when folks start doing things that distract me and could, potentially, distract the players, it pisses me off. It never fails…the wave always starts (as it did last night along with the beach ball toss) while our team is in the field. Call me kooky, but I’m pretty sure the point of the wave was never to annoy the crap out of your own pitcher. I don’t understand why fans need to do something as childish as the wave or bringing a beach ball to a game, to enhance their enjoyment of the game. I’ve been to hundreds of baseball games and never once did I think “Gee, this would be a lot more fun if everyone stood up while we were trying to watch the game!”. No offense to Krazy George, but every time I see the wave begin, I want to hurt someone. Just a not-so brief disclaimer for those of you easily offended.

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