tfw your crush is sobbing all over you and you know you should probably have some slightly more nuanced expression on your face than “VICTORY GRIN” but fuck it, you done good and it’s not in your damn blood to let a win go uncelebrated
*finishes washing the dishes and looks to the clock.*
Little ones, it's time for you to go into standby for your system check. *Walks out into the main room"
*Laying on the floor reading a manga with a suspiciously lumpy blanket on him with a stray small foot poking out of the edge here and there*
....Sensei, have you seen the small ones?
Hm? *looks up* Nope
.....Then whose feet are those?
*The tiny feet pull back into the blanket.* Uh, they're mine. I sprouted them yesterday, I think there was something with that cabbage I ate. But I guess this is just something this family will have to adjust to
Jack keeps calling Bitty during his rookie year to ask questions like “how does this fancy washing machine work?” and “how hot does the oven need to be to cook chicken all the way through?” and “what kind of wine do you bring to a dinner party when you don’t know what’s on the menu?”
and then eventually it turns into “am I supposed to shave any body hair for this Sports Illustrated photo shoot?” and “what do I say when they won’t stop asking me about my love life?”
and Bitty’s like, “Jack, I know how to get stains out of every material under the sun, but I can’t tell you how to be a famous person. this is not my area of expertise.“
Jack says, “I know, I’m sorry, I just… don’t know anyone better at life than you.”
Bitty laughs it off because he doesn’t know what to do with that–he’s always felt like he’s barely treading water, like he’s constantly fucking up everything he tries to do
but then he starts paying attention, and he realizes over the course of a few days that he really is the one with his shit together around here. everyone asks him for advice, everyone relies on him to keep the place running, everyone treats him like he knows what he’s doing. he didn’t notice because he’s never really thought to expect that.
he calls Jack and he says, “ask your contact at the magazine what you need to do to prep for the shoot,” and he says, “decide what you want the media to know and then make it clear to them that they aren’t getting more than that,” and he says, “trust yourself, Jack. you are not incompetent.”
Jack doesn’t respond to that, he’s just quiet for a minute and then starts talking about power play formations, but after they hang up Bitty gets a text that says “I don’t deserve you.”
Bitty answers “Yes, you do.” and never gets a reply
three days later Jack calls and says, “I tried to roast some potatoes without asking you for advice.”
“yeah?” says Bitty. “how were they?”
“completely inedible,” Jack says. “I’m gonna try again tonight.”
so yesterday @raultiful got ‘fake fan girled’ by a dude for wearing her spain jersey out, and it got me thinking about the numerous times this has happened to me in my online life and in day to day interactions. the vast majority of people i’ve met in sports fandom spaces have been encouraging, wonderful people who haven’t batted an eye when the chubby blonde chick wants to talk football 24/7. in fact, @diam0ndcvlt once introduced me to some of his friends by saying ‘she knows more about football than anyone i’ve ever met’. i highly doubt that’s true, but it warmed my heart and it’s stuck with me for ages, and in a way i’m a little disappointed in myself for finding a sense of legitimacy in it. granted, there was nothing in his words that had to do with my gender or anything like that, but in a way it still felt like i had to have a man vouch for me in order to participate in the conversation. i didn’t feel that way at the time. in the moment i was just so excited to have my voice heard, because for every person who doesn’t bat an eye at a woman who likes sports, there’s at least one other who will roll theirs and disregard anything i have to say because of my gender.
anyway, i was thinking about that again this afternoon when i was sent a link to this article.
it’s incredible how GQ can post an article about how to look cool wearing a soccer jersey if you know nothing about the sport that includes glaring factual errors (including an earlier version of the story remarking on messi’s decision to retire from argentina following the euro…) and comments about focusing on aesthetics and wearability alone. according to this men’s periodical it’s ok for their readers to choose a team jersey based on the color of the shirt and how comfy it is. now imagine if that article was published in cosmopolitan or some other magazine targeted to women. the assholes would come out in droves to yell and complain about the fake fan girls, only into it for superficial reasons. 'how dare these dumb bitches wear arsenal jerseys!!! the stupid whores don’t even remember the last time they won the league bluh bluh bluh!!! they can’t even tell me [stat from random match in 1971] oh ho ho fake idiot sluts!!!’
i can’t tell you the number of times i’ve had men come up to me while i’ve been out in a jersey to angrily tell me i’m not a ~real fan~ or spontaneously pop quiz me to make sure i’m qualified to wear it, or how many accusatory comments and dm’s i’ve gotten on instagram because my profile says that i’m a football fan and i post selfies in jerseys from time to time. it’s happened more times than i have fingers. every single day, women get messages like those, that they’re not welcome to participate in these activities, and those who do aren’t real fans anyway because they don’t have dicks or something. every day we’re asked to prove that we should be allowed to participate in any facet of sports fandom, whether it’s in stadiums or on street corners or on subways or online. and women who are dedicated, women who are knowledgeable, women who have been following sports are still seen as anomalies. i’ve been told by men that it’s intimidating, unattractive, and weird that i’m so invested. dudes have joked that something must be wrong with me. not friends, mind, though i’ve had an ex-coworker say to my face i’m not worthy of wearing a city shirt because i didn’t grow up in manchester. mostly though, it’s total strangers i’ve encountered on and offline who have decided this. after treating me like shit, pressing me to jump through hoops, and judging the hell out of me, they’re still going to treat me as an inferior fan and judge me for my love of the game. and i’m far from the only woman this happens to. there are dozens of articles online railing against female sports fans. here’s a few, justasexamples. @dial-square has a great post about this universal experience of malicious ‘banter’ from men trying to uncover ‘fake fan girls’.
but that’s not the thing that bothers me about the GQ article. it’s not even anything the article itself specifically says. this article makes the case that it’s acceptable for men to wear jerseys of teams they don’t follow or know anything about. and that’s true! it is acceptable. and it should be acceptable. wear clothes you like. football jerseys are awesome! they’re perfect for wearing in the summer time, they come in gorgeous shades, and they’re just generally fun to wear and to see when you’re out and about.
what is unacceptable though, is the attitude that while this is ok for men to do this, it isn’t ok for women to do the same thing.
if it’s ok for dudes to wear sports jerseys as fashion pieces, why isn’t it ok for women to do the same? why is it acceptable for a bro to venture out in a juve shirt if he can’t name a single player, doesn’t know what city they play in, and only bought it for the color scheme? and why is it unacceptable for a woman to do the same? why is it acceptable for a dude to casually enjoy something, but a woman must devote herself to it in order to have any credibility (but don’t dedicate yourself too much, ladies, otherwise you might frighten off the menfolk!)? why are we shaming women for making a fashion choice that we celebrate from men? can anyone give me a decent answer here, because i’ve been wondering about this for the past thirty goddamn years.
i’ve said this before, but there is literally no prize for being a fan longer than someone else or for weeding out a ‘fake fan’. maybe that person strolling down the street in that barcelona shirt has been a diehard fan since they were in the womb. maybe they started watching last winter. maybe they’ve never seen a second of the sport in the life. is any of that your business? there are ways to talk to people about sports, ways to begin conversations that aren’t confrontational or purposely dismissive or rude. if you see someone in a jersey for a team you like, just fucking compliment them on it. you’ll know from their response if they want to talk about the sport or if they even give a damn about the team or if they’re even interested in talking to you at all. what they put on their bodies and what their interests are may or may not be in synch with each other, and that’s completely ok.
because here’s the bottom line: jerseys are comfortable. jerseys are beautiful. they’re the perfect functional fashion statement. they’re signifiers too. they’re conversation starters. and if you wouldn’t attempt to interrogate or intimidate a man for wearing one, don’t fucking do it to a woman. in fact, don’t fucking interrogate people for the clothes they wear, period. maybe this is brand new and revelatory information, but it’s not your job to police people’s clothing choices or decide whether or not they’re ~allowed~ to wear a certain shirt. when you do shit like that, you’re being sexist. so knock it the fuck off.