Saturday, October 04, 2014

Football Counter-Programming #6

Welcome to Week 6 of WWYG?!'s Football Counter-Programming. Each week I try to provide a counterstrike to the unrelenting swarm of football-related posts that fill up your Facebook feed each Saturday during the fall season.


To be fair, I've had some issues trying to figure out the best topic for this week's offensive. Each week prior to this one, I've had a quick idea going in and I was ready to go. But this week, I've been busy with other things and didn't devote any specific time to early preparation or thought.

One thing I can say, however, is that the part of the post-writing task that I am increasingly enjoying less and less is finding a suitable image to visualize these posts. As you can see by scrolling back through these posts, I've tried to find something football-related but inflected with a nerdy/geeky/non-sports-related twist. (To be fair, I think the one that I used in week 1 was my overall favorite--Adam West's Batman doing a Heisman against a stormtrooper.) But the last few weeks, I've been trying to find some other images . . . and the pickings are disturbing.

The problem is that for the last few week's I've been using "fantasy football" as a search term, in part because of the image that I found and used in Week 3. As you might guess, I've found several different sorts of images that take "football" and combine it with the "fantasy" angle in very disappointing ways. Imagine "babes" in every manner of undress--but wearing shoulder pads! or holding a football! or whatever SPORTS!-related nonsense someone can think of.

None of this is surprising certainly, though admitting that is as disappointing as anything else. It makes me think of the various stories that have been in the regular and digital media in the last few weeks--a rolling series of sexual abuse problems within the YouTube community, the problems of sexual harassment covered most recently by the Daily Show (please watch out for salty language in this one), GamerGate, the annual nonsense surrounding female Halloweek costumes, or whatever else you want to point to.

I guess what I'm talking myself into writing here is that it is hard to be female, even in this most free and liberal country. It is hard to be female and I won't try to go further than that, since I'm NOT female so I shouldn't presume to be able to speak to the issue with real meaning.

But I want to acknowledge it. And I'm going to try to pay attention to it since I've got three young ladies of my own to guide and raise and worry about during the rest of my life. And I hope that they will arm themselves with a strong sense of self that protects them from the nonsense of the world's expectations placed UPON them.

So . . . I guess that is it for today. Not the most uplifting of topics, I guess. But it was what came out of my fingers as I sat down to type. What's YOUR opinion about the topics I linked to above? What examples of problems do you know of? What are your concerns? Put your thoughts into comments.

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