Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Pink Hats

I have a pink Red Sox hat.  It was a gift to me from my mom's boyfriend when I graduated from high school.  He and I are both big Sox fans (unsurprising; this IS Boston).  It's medium pink with a navy B.  I like it.  I have two other Sox hats (one traditional one, and one that's light blue; the light blue one is my oldest one, and I stuck a lobster pin in it and got it signed by a minor leaguer way back when), as well as a Celtics hat.  I've also got a bunch of Sox number shirts, one with a giant American flag-colored B, and a pair of plaid boxer pants.  I used to have a pink beanie (that and the PJ pants were another gift from my mom's boyfriend), but it died in the Great Basement Mold of 2010.*

I'm too broke to buy a lot of Sox tickets, and too lazy to try to get tickets last minute on game day.  But I follow or watch as many games as I can, I know the players on the team, and I am absolutely an annoying Sox fan.  Just missing the accent.

And yet, my sex (female) and my ownership of a pink Sox hat both make me somehow not a real fan.  In the media, "pink hats" refer to female fans who are either bandwagon fans, just interested because of their boyfriends/husbands/crushes,** or mostly disinterested except everyone else seems to care and OOOOH, Jacoby Ellsbury is cute!!  A pink hat is not a real fan, doesn't know anything about the team or the sport, and is to be ridiculed.  Ownership of a pink hat is enough to indicate that the stereotype is true.

I'm not always reminded of this awful stereotype that so many female fans have to contend with.  Boston has always struck me as a sports-obsessed city in general, and I see PLENTY of hardcore women at Sox games, at least as many as the hardcore menfolk.  Additionally, I tend to wear my traditionally colored hat to games, mostly because it's the one that fits the best, and the color (navy) usually works better with whatever else I'm wearing (especially if the shirt I'm wearing is a Sox shirt).  But then I get reminders about how "real fans" don't wear pink hats:
The regular (not a pink hat in the bunch) sweater-clad 17,565 filed into the air-conditioned barn with considerable trepidation.
This line is from an article in the Boston Globe about how the Boston Bruins, our hockey team, is going to the finals for the first time in 21 years.  The comment about the pink hats here is to demonstrate, just in case the reader was worried, that REALLY, the folks at the Garden last night?  They're REAL fans.  None of those ladies who are taking up seats that should have gone to real, deserving fans.

Well, fuck you, Boston Globe.  I'm a female sports fan in Boston, I own and wear a pink hat, and I'm a deserving fan, too.  Granted, I live and die for the Sox, not the Bruins, but this isn't a sport-specific sexism.  Whether or not I lose interest when my team is sucking (which plenty of my male friends do as well), whether or not I wear pink, whether or not I find any athlete on any team attractive, I'm still a real fan.

So fuck you.  And for the record, while I DO find Jacoby Ellsbury attractive (because, as you may have noticed, he's attractive), I also was thoroughly annoyed and frustrated last year with his ribs.  Like plenty of dude fans.  GET OVER YOURSELVES, please.

* I was told I could use the basement of my new (old) apartment for storage.  And then it flooded over the summer and everything in it was destroyed.  It sucked.

** The whole "pink hat" bullshit also relies on a lot of heteronormative stereotypes.  It assumes that only the womenfolk like pink, or that ladies would maybe only be interested in sports because they are hetero and want to impress a dude.  Ack.

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