Should feminists love football? I do

Yes, college football is about as woman-friendly as a frat house urinal. Yet the stadium at Florida State University is where you’ll find this feminist on autumn Saturdays, hollering “Go Seminoles!” at a bunch of 20-year-old boys who may or may not know that the polar ice caps are melting, who may or may not have ever read Virginia Woolf…

The truth is, I love college football, and love, of course, is irrational. I can list the reasons I shouldn’t love it: the concussions and the sub-concussive hits that can lead to chronic traumatic encephalopathy; the way the NCAA and the big-time football universities exploit the players, making millions off their labor while penalizing them if they so much as sell an old jersey on eBay; the low graduation rates of players; the weird religiosity of the coaches; the obscene amounts of money spent on college stadiums, with skyboxes and triumphal statues of beloved coaches, while the library funding gets cut. Again.

Then there’s the misogyny. Even the language of the game reeks of it. Coaches displeased with their players address them as “ladies,” exhorting them to “man up!” A quarterback who can’t deliver the “long bomb” is told he “throws like a girl.” The only time the game gets in touch with its feminine side is when, say, you’re on your own 15, down by six with seven seconds to go in the fourth, then you throw the Hail Mary.