I was assigned to write about the upcoming NBA playoffs for this issue. I suggested the article, but I didn’t plan on writing it. I didn’t know why, but I found myself sort of dreading it. After consideration, I realized that I felt nervous about writing it because I thought that people might think that my article was wrong or that I didn’t have any idea what I was talking about.
The truth is, I actually really do know what I’m talking about: I honestly don’t make time to watch anything other than basketball. It’s my favorite way to procrastinate or distract myself, whether I’m sitting through a whole game or scrolling through highlights on Instagram. Regardless of how logical it was for me to write this as my first sports article, I couldn’t help but feel rather insecure and apprehensive about it.
Sometimes it feels like women aren’t allowed to have hobbies, because they will either be stereotyped for being a certain kind of person or they will be dismissed as someone who isn’t genuinely interested but only chooses that hobby for superficial reasons, like wanting to be included or wanting attention. I couldn’t help but feel like my article had to be really extra perfect because I’m female. Because if my article was bad or inaccurate, not only would people think it wasn’t a great article, but I felt like my interest in basketball would be dismissed, as women with hobbies so often are.
Sometimes it feels like there is a very quiet and unspoken concept where women can’t be fully included in something because men “had it first.” Why does it have to be the regular NBA, and then the WNBA? Why does it have to be House of Highlights and then Highlight Her? Why are our men’s teams the Timberwolves but our women’s teams are called Lady Wolves?
While it’s equity to specifically uplift women because they have historically been sidelined, it’s inequality to make them feel like they will always be slightly excluded from the mainstream conversation because they weren’t there from the beginning.