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Is the NFL enabling women to “get a firmer grip on the scrotum of masculinity” by hiring a female referee?

Honoré de Balzac. Look, it was either this dumb pun or a picture of a scrotum, and frankly, you don't want to see what I saw when I did a Google image search for "scrotum."
Honoré de Balzac. Look, it was either this dumb pun or a picture of a scrotum, and frankly, you don’t want to see what I saw when I did a Google image search for “scrotum.” Sorry, French writer dude.

Carl Jung posited that human beings share a “collective unconscious” full of symbols and archetypes that populate our dreams and make regular guest appearances in our fairy tales and mythological sagas.

Return of Kings contributor Donovan Sharpe apparently believes that men share a collective scrotum.

In an execrable post on that execrable site earlier this week, Sharpe complained that

The National Football League recently helped women get a firmer grip on the scrotum of masculinity by hiring its first full-time female referee, Sarah Thomas.

Yes, that is an actual sentence that was written and posted online by an adult human being who believed it to be true. 

As Sharpe sees it, having a single female referee for the sport of professional football threatens the symbolic balls of all men. Dismissing those unenlightened dudes who see the hiring of a female referee as no big deal or even (shudder!) a good thing, Sharpe warns that

hiring a female referee is the continuation of the NFL’s consistent support of the feminine imperative at the expense of both the athlete and the male spectator. …

One of the main objectives of feminism is giving women power over men. The ability to exercise power over men in a male-dominated sector is something feminists have drooled over for decades. Thomas’s hire is the crack in the door they need to eventually realize this dream.

Apparently Sharpe is unaware that there are women on the supreme court, in the Senate, running companies, offering opinions about video games … Oh, wait, he writes for Roosh’s terrible video game site too, so I’m guessing he probably knows about that last one.

Anyhoo, as he sees it, the hiring of Thomas opens the floodgates for other female referees with designs on the collective male scrotum, who will soon “have the capacity to exert dominance over men in the most physically demanding, testosterone-driven sport in the world” despite their allegedly obvious physical limitations.

Because, you know, there’s no possible way that she’s in good enough shape to be a referee, as everyone knows that

men are physically superior to women in every way. This is why 99.9% of employees on oil rigs, sewers, warehouses, etc. are men.

Yes, it’s true that there are small percentages of women in jobs they’ve been systematically excluded from for generations. Big surprise. And yes, while nearly 4% of those working on offshore oil rigs are women, only a handful work on the drill floor.

But, uh, warehouses? You really think they’re 99.9% male? Sorry to break it to you, fella, but 14% of warehouse workers are female already, and there’s no reason there couldn’t be a lot more. I briefly worked in a warehouse several decades ago, picking orders for distribution, and, yep, it’s true that everyone working on the floor was a dude. But not because the work we did was suited only to “physically superior” men. Probably the most common item I dealt with on a regular basis was the humble o-ring. I really didn’t tax myself physically lifting these:

Oh.
Oh.

I also once worked in a grocery store where one of my main duties was filling a giant freezer with boxes of frozen baked goods. They hired me because they wanted a large dude for the job, and I was in decent shape at the time. I worked my ass off, but my supervisor, a 5-foot-tall woman twice my age, could do the job probably three times faster than I could.

Sorry about the digression. Back to the biggest threat to the scrotum of masculinity since Katherine Heigl made that Funny or Die video about balls. 

Sharpe also manages to get himself a bit worked up over the fact that he finds Ms. Thomas attractive.

Though the 41-year-old Thomas is well past the wall, it’s easy to see that she still retains some of the beauty she no doubt benefited from in her youth. …

Better looking girls have always lived better lives. Despite feminists’ efforts at social engineering, it will always be this way, and that’s perfectly okay. Crying their way into the boys’ club is no different because at the end of the day, feminists aren’t going to use trolls to infiltrate the almighty patriarchy (Billie Jean King notwithstanding) and neither are men.

Huh. I’m pretty sure that female pioneers like Sandra Day O’Connor or Janet Reno or Madeleine Albright didn’t get where they got by crying or fluttering their eyelashes at men.

For all his harrumphing, the only actual “harms” that Thomas’ hiring might inflict upon men and their collective scrotum that Sharpe can come up with are

  1. There are probably lots of dudes who are better referees than her that the NFL should have hired instead because, you know, men are pretty much always better than women
  2. She might make a bad call someday, thus doing a terrible injustice to some giant football-playing man.

Horrors! I was not aware that any referees ever made bad calls. The very notion makes me feel a bit faint. I may have to lie down for a while.

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opium4themasses
6 years ago

Ya! But those bad calls weren’t made by a woman!

Still this whole rant seems a bit on the nose. Being held to the same rules as before but this time by a woman is somehow emasculating? Fuck off. People who have a problem with this need to realize that the problem is their own to fix.

If your masculinity causes you this much distress, maybe you need to find a version less toxic to you.

Paradoxical Intention
6 years ago

2. She might make a bad call someday, thus doing a terrible injustice to some giant football-playing man.

Yeah, because male referees have never made shitty decisions before! *coughcough*

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
6 years ago

Better looking girls have always lived better lives. Despite feminists’ efforts at social engineering, it will always be this way, and that’s perfectly okay. Crying their way into the boys’ club is no different because at the end of the day, feminists aren’t going to use trolls to infiltrate the almighty patriarchy (Billie Jean King notwithstanding) and neither are men.

This paragraph started off fine; nice clear premise followed by a what appears to be a segue into supporting evidence. But then the words took flight in a flutter of vowels and consonants and became a directionless swarm.

Is he saying that Thomas “[cried her] way into the boys’ club?” Why does he describe this kind of thing as “perfectly okay” when his whole spiel is about women invading boys’ clubs to grab their testicles? What does that notion have to do with using “trolls” for infiltration? What does “trolls” even mean? What does Billie Jean King, former world #1 tennis player with 39 grand slam titles, have to do with anything? What is the “neither are men” ending supposed to mean?

Judas Peckerwood
Judas Peckerwood
6 years ago

It must be hell to go through life with the enormous burden of fear, insecurity and hatred these kind of dudes are carrying.

Paradoxical Intention
6 years ago

What kind of also sucks about this is that NFL cheerleaders don’t even get paid well.

Hopefully hiring a female referee will start to open up some more discussion about the cheerleaders getting a bit more pay for their hard work, considering how much money they do bring in.

rugbyyogi
6 years ago

I referee. Just kids’ games, mind. But one of my female friends is a rugby ref and I think she’s pretty good (from what I hear). She has to pass the same fitness and assessment tests as men do. I bet this is true in the NFL as well. My friend gets some crap off some of the players and she’s had some issues with the referee’s society, too. At least the players can be sin binned or red carded if it all goes to hell.

I guarantee that this new NFL ref will make some bad calls. Because we all do (not that I put myself anywhere near her standard). I very much doubt there are many men in the world who can call a football game better than she can, cause she’ll have had to be very, very, very good to get this far. Some men can, sure, probably, but not many. And I’d be willing to bet a bunch that this Sharpe dude ain’t among them.

Anyway, NFL isn’t my game, but I was really pleased to hear about her appointment. I think it’s a really good thing for women in sport – and for men in sport, too. I knew she’d get some crap, but these guys who think that the slightest degree of equality is somehow ruining their party are really taking the cake.

Banana Jackie Cake, the Best Jackie and Cake! Yum! (^v^)
Banana Jackie Cake, the Best Jackie and Cake! Yum! (^v^)
6 years ago

I thought log throwing was the most physically demanding, testosterone-driven sport in the world? They even do it in kilts, one of the most manly ways a man can not wear underwear.

Robert
Robert
6 years ago

Kirbywarp – my interpretation of the troll reference is that he thinks the Feminist Hivemind sends conventionally attractive women to infiltration bastions of Decency and Normality. Mere men, as is well known, have no defenses against conventionally attractive women, and surrender the fortress. Then they are at the mercy of the Hivemind, which is no mercy at all.

Now, living in consensus reality as I do, I have no idea how a woman working as an NLF referee figures in all this. For that matter, I don’t understand why baseball coaches* wear team uniforms when they don’t actually play.

*Unless I’m thinking of the team managers.

katz
6 years ago

Because nothing says “consistent support of the feminine imperative” like a sport that’s literally all men and now one woman.

zoon echon logon
zoon echon logon
6 years ago

men are physically superior to women in every way. This is why 99.9% of employees on oil rigs, sewers, warehouses, etc. are men.

Yeah, I was poor, dirt poor. I was born poor. My father worked in the sewers. Then the depression hit, and they closed down the sewers.

youtube.com/watch?v=Uf8WIlyKu6U

It’s funny that you never hear from MRA/PUAs that actually work any of these jobs. Or scientists, philosophers, chess grandmasters, etc.: any of the things that they will defend male superiority in to the death, really. The more they subsume their personal identity into the abstract form of masculinity, the more they can take credit for anything any man has done.

Their thinking seems to be along the lines of (e.g.) men are good (better than women) at logic, I’m a man, therefore I’m good at logic. They see women logicians as a threat to their personal worth because the existence of women logicians puts “men are good (better than women) at logic” into question, and thus threatens “I’m good at logic.”

Did that make any sense?

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
6 years ago

@katz:

Because nothing says “consistent support of the feminine imperative” like a sport that’s literally all men and now one woman.

Maybe he’s referencing all the stuff about wanting to tone down all the head injuries and concussions? Because caring about brain damage is so feminine…

rugbyyogi
6 years ago

Oh, I shouldn’t have ventured into the comments, but I did

“This is a very dumb, risky move for the NFL.

Every NFL season, 2-3 times during the season, a referee will get hit by 240+ pound men going full speed. Women lighter and less equipped to handle such a hit, and referees do not wear protective gear.

If the female referee gets hit and gets hurt…. The NFL will be over. The feminist whining, temporarily halted with pink ribbons, will return at full blast. Every joe average blue pill man will be white knighting on behalf of the poor hurt girl. There will be media inquiries and congressional investigations.”

Congressional investigations???? WTF? When my friend gets knocked down on the rugby pitch by guys going full pelt, she just gets up again. One day it will happen to me (as the kids I ref get older). The RFU doesn’t shut down. Rugby goes on for another day.

Catastrophic thinking over the appointment of a linesman. Which is what she’s doing. It’s just the freaking touch judge. (Though this is a standard apprentice position for first official, so she may move up.)

katz
6 years ago

This is why 99.9% of employees on oil rigs, sewers, warehouses, etc. are men.

“All right, I want to work in a sewer, then. And discover sewage that no one’s ever discovered and pile it on my head and then come to the surface and sell myself to an art gallery.”

autosoma
6 years ago

Getting your scrotum torn off or ripped is quite common in rugby, it’s not happened to me but has done to several team mates, I did play American football for a couple of seasons here in the UK, I have to admit the experience was ruined by ALL the padding and protection, it did feel very wet and I certainly never had any worries about my scrotum at all, it felt very secure and protected.

Jon H
Jon H
6 years ago

This might be somewhat appropriate for the topic. I mean, like, in the ballpark.

AJ Milne
AJ Milne
6 years ago

It would be embarrassing to confess how long it took me to get whyinhell a picture of Balzac is at the top of this post. So I won’t.

…also, I’m now afraid I’m never again going to be able to refer to said author by name with an entirely straight face. Thanks for that.

dhag85
6 years ago

Same hysteria over here every time there’s a woman soccer ref or coach. I’ve rolled my eyes over this so many times before.

Drezden
Drezden
6 years ago

Just for a bit of perspective here, I work on an offshore platform. It’s true that women are the minority out here, although it’s a bit more than 4%.

Here’s the thing: physical superiority means jack with regards to working out here. Knowledge is key and the women here are top of the game.

So, it’s not strenuous physical exertion that is keeping women from working offshore in larger numbers. What is keeping the numbers down is stereotypes regarding gender and STEM careers combined with a work environment that is largely unwelcoming towards women. Not a hitch goes by that I don’t overhear some bit of casual misogyny. Last month I had to explain to someone why wearing a “Cool story babe, now make me a sandwich” shirt was unacceptable. This month it was a co-worker spouting rape apologia.

The truly sad thing is that the company makes a big show of diversity and inclusion and yet these attitudes still persist. Talks can be given, disciplinary actions handed out, but things continue on–maybe just a little bit quieter.

I like this job, and the free time it affords, far to much to quit, but sometime it really wears you down.

Rabid Rabbit
Rabid Rabbit
6 years ago
Kloe Jemmer (@JoeKlemmer)

Back around 25’ish years ago, my sister was the first female high-schoolAmerican football official in the state of Maryland. She worked with my two younger brothers. The players weren’t a problem and, while there was some static from a few coaches, it was the parents that gave her the most crap.

contrapangloss
6 years ago

@AJ Milne

… ditto.

Machine Gun Sally
Machine Gun Sally
6 years ago

I’m sure many women here have worked in warehouses, including myself. I knew a woman who was so tiny she had to wear children’s shoes who worked in a warehouse. They had to start parking the pallet jack in a new place so she could push off the wall to get it going. Yes she was weaker than most of the men there, but she still ran circles around them, getting way more done than most of them ever could.

Lots of the men were just too lazy; physical ability had very little to do with it.

Of course, being a woman, she probably HAD to work just as hard to “prove” her value there, while the men just coasted on their man-ness and napped amoung boxes of toilet paper.

katz
6 years ago

Shame on you, David, for not using this image of Balzac.

zyvlyn
zyvlyn
6 years ago

For dudebros so concerned about this issue, they sure haven’t been paying attention.

First of all, Sarah Thompson has been refereeing NFL preseason games for a while now, as is standard operating procedure for trying out prospective ref hires.

Secondly, the NFL had female refs (admittedly, temporarily) in 2012 during the referee strike as part of the replacement refs. Now, the replacement refs did prove to be incompetent, but the refs in the “Fail Mary” game were all male.

Jack Remiel
6 years ago

In the meantime, the NRL (rugby league) has last week appointed its second female linesman, and my friend Bee is full time on the rugby sevens circuit. She kicked my fragile little arse in our last yo-yo test (a fitness and sprint speed test which is truly torturous) so I don’t think her fitness is an issue.

@rugbyyogi Amusingly, the worst injury I had refereeing was as a TJ. No sideline management meant I got caught between the spectators and the very large player being bundled over the touch line and tore a ligament in my knee.
I weigh about 115 pounds. Even at the lowest weight restricted high school game, some players are bigger than me. In adults’ matches it’s not uncommon to have players who are literally twice my size (including in women’s games.) Yes, getting bowled by someone that much bigger than you does hurt. But it’s far more painful on your pride, so you get up and hope a) you didn’t miss anything, and b) nobody saw it.

zarathustratheserpent
6 years ago

It’s funny that you never hear from MRA/PUAs that actually work any of these jobs. Or scientists, philosophers, chess grandmasters, etc.: any of the things that they will defend male superiority in to the death, really. The more they subsume their personal identity into the abstract form of masculinity, the more they can take credit for anything any man has done.

Same with white nationalists. It’s like they’re trying to claim greatness by association, rather than doing anything worthy themselves.

Dreadnought
Dreadnought
6 years ago

It’s already bad enough that I share the same species with the MRA community without having to know that we also share the same scrotum. Excuse me while I retch and cry in the shower.

Bina
Bina
6 years ago

Better looking girls have always lived better lives. Despite feminists’ efforts at social engineering, it will always be this way, and that’s perfectly okay. Crying their way into the boys’ club is no different because at the end of the day, feminists aren’t going to use trolls to infiltrate the almighty patriarchy (Billie Jean King notwithstanding) and neither are men.

Oh, owwww, there go my eyes again. Hang on while the cat retrieves them from under the desk for me…

Ahhh, that’s better.

I could write a whole disquisition on why the first sentence alone is a load of shitcrap, but I think I’ll just leave this riiiiight here.

And Billie Jean King was not a “troll”, she was a tennis champ. Who beat a boastful sexist idiot fair and square.

Sure sucks when your ballsack’s caught in a vise of femininity, eh, dude who thinks with his scrotum?

DL
DL
6 years ago

Perhaps interacting with actual women (if these dudes are able to behave and treat them like human beings of course) would help their fragile masculinities not to shatter at the mere presence of a woman.

Also gotta love the paradox that all men are superior to women in every way, yet they are completely dominated as soon as a lady enters the room. Suppressed kinks maybe?

mildlymagnificent
6 years ago

Catastrophic thinking over the appointment of a linesman. Which is what she’s doing. It’s just the freaking touch judge. (Though this is a standard apprentice position for first official, so she may move up.)

Yeah. The women umpires in AFL are all goal umpires.

Found a nice piece covering pay for refs/umpires in all forms of football around the world. http://www.theroar.com.au/2014/03/26/are-referees-under-paid/

davidknewton
davidknewton
6 years ago

It’s funny that you never hear from MRA/PUAs that actually work any of these jobs. Or scientists, philosophers, chess grandmasters, etc.: any of the things that they will defend male superiority in to the death, really. The more they subsume their personal identity into the abstract form of masculinity, the more they can take credit for anything any man has done.

Well, there’s Cernovich, with a law degree which is usually quite difficult, but his brand of law seems to be the kind that involves you going “RRRRRGH I’M A LAWYER” at everything without actually doing anything.

Why they’re afraid of a woman referee despite men allegedly being superior in every way is a good question 🙂 I try to grasp the fragility that these men must have in feeling threatened by a woman becoming a referee, and it’s just… unimaginable.

Robert
Robert
6 years ago

The first time I heard of Balzac was in the song “Pick a Little”, from “Music Man”. The townswomen are dissing the books in Marian’s library, including works by “Chaucer, Rabelais, BALzac!” It was years before I understood why that was supposed to be funny.*

*Admittedly, I can say that about a lot of things from my childhood.

Tracy
Tracy
6 years ago

My favorite coffee shop is called Balzac’s. I love announcing that I’m going down to Balzac’s. Because I am really 12 years old. 🙂

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

The NFL is the most physically demanding? Nonsense! That would probably be elite gymnastics. The hours they put in and the things they do are almost beyond comprehension. And they do it all with no padding or helmets. These are short men and absolutely tiny women and girls too.

bekabot
6 years ago

Balzac is actually a pretty good choice. In RL he was a misogynist or a reactionary. He was also a misanthrope who subscribed to the view that society is run on terror, basically. So his take on relations between the sexes was, essentially, “terrorize or be terrorized.” I don’t think that’s an over-the-top description; anyone who reads his books will be aware that most of his love-interest-type female characters come to unhappy ends. (But then lots of his other characters come to unhappy ends too; there is that.)

Bina
Bina
6 years ago

Fun factoid: Balzac was a total caffeine addict; he drank around 50 cups of coffee a day. Would it surprise anyone greatly to learn that he died of caffeine poisoning? (I just shudder to think what his kidneys must have looked like. I’m the sort of person who needs to pee just after SMELLING coffee.)

bekabot
6 years ago

@ Bina

Given the sheer copiousness of Balzac’s output and the comparatively few years during which he set it all down, I think it’s a safe bet to guess that he didn’t sleep much. So at least all that brew was put to good use.

(I just shudder to think what his kidneys must have looked like.)

He sacrificed his kidneys instead of his lungs…or other body part(s).

gelar
gelar
6 years ago

I had a brief flash of this post where the quotes were simply replaced by:

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!

Bina
Bina
6 years ago

Given the sheer copiousness of Balzac’s output and the comparatively few years during which he set it all down, I think it’s a safe bet to guess that he didn’t sleep much. So at least all that brew was put to good use.

Better than Ayn Rand’s amphetamines, that’s for sure.

friday jones
friday jones
6 years ago

Am I the only one who sees a resemblance between the Balzac portrait and Ron Jeremy?

zblongladder
6 years ago

So an athletic woman making a career in sports might be conventionally attractive into her 40’s? Well glory be, must be a feminist conspiracy!

Nequam
Nequam
6 years ago

And Billie Jean King was not a “troll”, she was a tennis champ. Who beat a boastful sexist idiot fair and square.

I always thought Bobby Riggs was the troll in that game anyway.

Machine Gun Sally
Machine Gun Sally
6 years ago

There used to be a strip club in Vancouver called Uranus that has now been replaced by a starbucks. We like to go there just so we can announce that we’re going to Starbucks in Uranus.

So we also have the minds of 12 yr olds.

FatMax
FatMax
6 years ago

Wait until they get a load of Kim Winslow! (Mmmm, probably not a lot of MMA fans in here, especially after seeing the hateful assholes that *sometimes* thrive in the professional ranks of that sport.)

rugbyyogi
6 years ago

@jackremiel our sidelines in the past have not been well managed. We had a spectator receive a potentially life threatening injury on the touchline at our club a few years ago. In the men’s game, I always try to keep a really watchful eye or stand back. In the women’s game, if it gets rough around the edges, I always have to restrain myself to avoid jumping in. (And getting myself and my team disciplined)

Hambeast, Social Justice Hoo-Ha Glitterer
Hambeast, Social Justice Hoo-Ha Glitterer
6 years ago

Wow. Today I learned that being an NFL referee is a full time job. I wonder what exactly it is that they do between February and August? Real manly stuff, I bet!

hiring a female referee is the continuation of the NFL’s consistent support of the feminine imperative at the expense of both the athlete and the male spectator …

No, lunkhead, it’s the NFL’s consistent marketing to women in order to expand their business, something they’ve been doing for over ten years now.

Sheesh, the job consists of memorizing a rule book and running up and down a field for three hours. Lots of women can handle it just fine!

Nerag
Nerag
6 years ago

What is happening to my scrotum and when did it start playing American Football without me?!

Ellesar
Ellesar
6 years ago

I know the Balzac pun from The Simpsons only, as we don’t really say it in the UK – at least not in my milieu.

Buttercup Q. Skullpants

This is a very serious situation. She could potentially transmit cooties to male NFL players.

hiring a female referee is the continuation of the NFL’s consistent support of the feminine imperative at the expense of both the athlete and the male spectator. …

Somebody needs to break it to this guy that 45% of football fans are women. On any given Sunday, around a third of the viewers are women. The last Super Bowl had a larger female audience than the Grammys, Emmys, and Oscars combined.

The NFL is a business, just like video games. Catering to the boys-only club isn’t going to keep the profits flowing. They need to court the female demographic and maintain a family-friendly image in order to continue growing. Why market just to Chuckie Cheesehead and Chuckie Junior, when you can persuade his wife and daughter to come to the game too, and make twice the ticket sales?

A few years ago, the NFL marketing strategy was all “let’s court women because they represent the domestic hearth and control all the spending and the access to their sons. We’ll sell them pink jerseys and party recipes!” (ugh). But lately they’re starting to acknowledge that female fans are serious and knowledgeable, not just tailgate support staff. They’re paying attention to concerns about domestic violence and head trauma. (Not doing much about them, mind you, but at least the conversations are happening, and they’re starting to air PSAs during games). I’m sure the breast cancer campaign also drives the brofans crazy. Pink gloves? The horror!

It’s interesting that these guys are okay with a man enforcing the rules, but the moment a woman puts on the striped shirt, suddenly she’s the Masculinity Police, stepping in and telling the boys not to be so rough. When performed by a woman, the referee position becomes an attack on manhood, rather than a method for keeping play fair and consistent. Strange. Are they worried about false false start accusations?

Kootiepatra
6 years ago

I read a book years ago that seriously advocated that men could not do well under a woman’s leadership if that leadership was personal and/or directive. Men could be fine under an impersonal, non-directive leadership (the example: a female city planner won’t offend the male motorists who have to follow her one-way street designs), but men would be deeply bothered by a woman exerting direct, personal leadership over them (the example: a female baseball umpire would deeply vex the male players).

A baseball umpire. Seriously. Not that the city planner example is really any less ludicrous, but still…

I remember being flabbergasted at the time. I know umpires. My dad was an umpire. Umpires don’t *lead* anybody. They are a neutral third-party observer, standing in places where they can see the strike zone and/or the play where the action is—and just report what actually happened. Yes, batter, that pitch you let past was in your strike zone. No, infielder, you did not tag that runner before he was safe on base. Yes, runner, you needed to tag second base again before you could go on to third; you’re out.

Umpires don’t make the rules. They barely can be said to even enforce them (I’d say instead that they apply them). They simply tell everyone what the heck just happened in that cloud of dust around home plate, so the game can move on and not get embroiled in a fight every time there’s a close play.

It’s surreal to see this exact hypothetical argument playing out IRL. Different sport, same fragile egos.