The NFL Hires the First Female Official, and Predictable Sexist Comments Follow
The NFL just hired their first woman official, Sarah Thomas as 41 year old mother of 3, and the interwebs exploded with a variety of responses. Many that were supporting and congratulating the NFL on the new hire, but sadly, many were also making sexist jokes about the predictable things we as women have been enduring since middle school. Here are some gems from twitter feeds regarding the new hire:
“A woman ref in the NFL.... The downfall of sports is upon us.”
“The NFL is gonna be a joke with a female ref. #sad”
“@BleacherReport smh come on now, i'm all for gender equality but this is just ridiculous”
“The NFL just hired a woman as a ref Ill be really mad if she makes a bad call bc shes not paying attention bc shes to busy puting in tampons”
These were just a few examples of the types of tweets circulating after the NFL made their announcement. The fact that sexist comments like these are not only happening but acceptable in 2015 really makes my blood boil. Remarks that assume women can’t do a job because we have a menstrual cycle are neither valid nor accurate and frankly, show an incredible lack of intelligence in my opinion.
For me it’s not about the need to celebrate this landmark hire (though I do think it’s an exciting first and I have no problem celebrating it) it’s about leaving behind the mentality that women can’t do something a man can do simply because she is a woman. As the mother of a little girl I feel incredibly fired up by this line of thinking because I am desperately trying to teach my daughter that she can do absolutely anything she wants to do in this world.
I’m someone who loves to laugh, and I definitely have a sense of humor, but there is a difference in telling a well timed funny joke, and making remarks like those listed above. If you want to make a joke, make a joke. But don’t tell me that I can’t do a job simply because of my gender, because I guarantee you’ll be wrong every time.
So what do you think? Does it bother you (whether you identify as a man or a woman) to hear sexist comments being made about Sarah Thomas and her new role as an official for the NFL? Would love to hear your thoughts on how this makes you feel!