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Girls Gone Wild

Sexism in football is appalling. If you don’t want to hear it from a woman, try reading this piece on female journalists by James Masters for CNN. And those are the women who get paid for their troubles. If you think those of us who simply do this for the love of the game are any more fortunate, think again. One lovely Milanista, unhappy when I didn’t appreciate something he sent me, decided that I was a “bitch” and said as much and more about me publicly and repeatedly on Twitter. When I called him out, he continued. Imagine my surprise when I got these direct messages from another Twitter account claiming not to be him this week:


Oddly, I know plenty of guys who have advertently trolled or harassed people and never got a single threat, let alone something so horrible and unimaginable. So instead of an episode of Girls Gone Wild, today you get to hear about Twitter gone wild.

I am a woman. A passionate, Milan obsessed, football loving woman. And all of those are crimes to mankind, apparently. It doesn’t matter what I do or say, there are plenty of sexist males around to tell me what to do, insult me, call me names, put me in my place, threaten me, and more. Sometimes it is my “punishment” for “not shutting up” or for “being a bitch.” But one thing is for certain, I am not treated in any way the same as my male peers, even those who “stir the pot.”



Territorial discrimination AND sexism in one tweet? Thank you fellow Milan fan.

In three years’ time, I’ve written over 700 posts, created over 250 original photoshops, and in the last year produced, recorded, and edited 29 episodes of a podcast and made a few videos, too. All about Milan. But that doesn’t matter, because I’m female. To some, having two boobs and a vagina and loving football make me unworthy of being treated with any kind of human decency, let alone a little respect. Or at least that’s what some people would have you believe. So despite creating more content than pretty much anyone I know, I am 'less than' because I lack a Y chromosome and the hardware that comes with it. (I'm looking at you, Gattuso.)

But my favorites are the "serious" journalists and aspiring journalists. I mean any idiot can call names or insult, but it is the utter disdain and complete lack of respect I get from these guys that is most impressive. As if they are better than me because they get paid or aspire to get paid, or that they follow journalistic guidelines or simply believe they are above me (and possibly others.) Or maybe they feel they can treat people that way because they have more followers. I’ve not met one who could keep up with me in both quality and quantity of content, but they have no idea about that because they are too good to read anything I’ve written.

I literally asked for a source on what they were claiming was an "exclusive" rumor (that never came true, of course)

Not only was my opinion based on criteria invalidated by this man, I was told my standards were also low. Nice.

Some are longtime friends who I finally realized only followed me or spoke to me because I am a novelty. Heaven forbid I should try to have a serious football conversation with them or that they should be caught dead reading my writing. Obviously, I have lower standards, or don’t understand tactics if I don’t agree with them. Just because I am female or am outspoken, I am obviously not worth their time. Or maybe because I write from my heart with passion and style instead of journalistic form. Or any combination of those things, I don’t know, but it’s kind of embarrassing to call yourself a journalist and then insult anyone, least of all another writer. Strike that. It’s embarrassing to call yourself a human being and insult or demean or put yourself above another human being for any reason.

I have never aspired to be a journalist, I never will, and have never been paid for my writing, either. Nor do I expect people to read what I write or ask people to follow me or follow my blog. I write simply to share Milan with anyone who wants to read/listen/see what I produce. I created the blog for people to have a place to share Milan. That’s it. But it doesn’t mean the “purists” should so freely insult me or talk trash about me or my writing, especially if they don't even read it.

...and yet that post wasn't inaccurate at all, it was this journalist's objectivity that was missing

On Twitter especially, I have long been abused. Lately, I stopped ignoring it and just unfollowing or blocking people because I’ve simply had enough. So I stood up for myself, called out poor behavior, and what has it gotten me? Tons of abuse and threats on me and my family. Well done, fellow fans. Again, my male peers have never received anything remotely close to the amount of abuse, let alone anything resembling a threat. I’ve been called so many names it’s not even funny, told I’m an “attention whore” when I stand up to the abuse, and told countless times to ignore it or to “shut up and take it.”  But I love the people who unfollow me because I’m getting abused. Too much drama, they tell me. They would be like the people in real life who walk by when a woman is getting attacked and don’t report or offer to help and meanwhile accuse her of “too much drama.” Well done, guys. You win the internet.

Oddly enough, more than once, I’ve been asked if I’m a feminist. I’m pretty much the farthest thing from it. I mean I don’t even like/watch women’s sports (sorry, girls!) But I appreciate that in the year 2014 so many men can’t differentiate between sexism and feminism. Sexism is when a woman is mistreated or abused because of her gender. Feminism is wanting women to be equal to men. I don’t want to be equal to men. I only want to not be abused for being a woman. Is that really too much to ask?

The abuse isn't even limited to Twitter, any forum will do

So a fair warning to anyone who might read this who has abused me in the past or intends to abuse me in the future: I’m done. I will use whatever I have at my disposal to unfollow, block, ban, call you out, have you arrested, or whatever needs to happen to protect me and my family. This needs to stop. It’s 2014. And don’t tell me “it’s just Twitter” or “toughen up.” Threatening someone is criminal behavior. Everything else is just some level of douchebaggery. A little respect goes a very long way, but the opposite is just an embarrassment to your gender and to the beautiful game you claim to love.

The men who have abused me are actually missing out. I am a smart, funny, passionate, creative, knowledgeable lover of Milan and football in general. I’m also smoking hot, and yes, I do have a sexy voice, amongst other things. Those who have said "Show us your tits" instead of actually conversing with me about football are missing out on both excellent conversation and the very thing they requested. But those things don't define me as a fan or change my love for or knowledge of the game. Yes, it's true, watching football with me is very different than watching with your buddies, but in a very, very good way. I have no idea why so many men are so opposed to having such experiences or feel so threatened by women who know and love football, but it’s your loss, and I’m done being abused. Follow me, read my work, listen to my podcast, or not. I don’t care. But show me respect or reap the consequences. Because in this situation, “Girls Gone Wild” can mean whatever your words and actions dictate.

This post is not intended to call anyone out specifically or to give any more attention to those who abuse, hence all of the accounts being blacked out. These tweets represent a microscopic sampling of recent abuse toward me for being either female or for standing up to abuse. Please do not try this at home. No actual men have been harmed in the writing of this post.


This post inspired by nearly four years of rampant sexism associated with football and the interwebs


Our next match is
Lazio vs. Milan
Sunday, March 23 • 20:45 CET (3:45pm EDT)