OTPBS: Home-Grown Sportsball Edition
*Note: the following is a conversation between Christina and Shannon.
CML: So, Shannon. It appears that we have some home-grown Old Timey Patriarchal Bullshit to discuss this week.
And that's because a week ago here in Seattle, 5 of our City Council members, all women, voted against vacating Occidental Avenue to make way for a new NBA arena, an act that has led some basketball fans to act like total OTPBS-flinging assholes.
For us here in Seattle, this decision not to give up part of a street to a basketball stadium is a big deal. Through some shitty, shady dealings, the Sonics, long Seattle's NBA team, was relocated to Oklahoma City in 2008 (For a good documentary about this, please see Sonicsgate. Full disclosure: Christina is a friend of Sonicsgate director Jason Reid and a former rabid Sonics fan.) So this street vacation, which has put the construction of the proposed stadium on ice, is a blow to basketball fans all over the city. This City Council decision, one that could end hopes of bringing the Sonics back to Seattle, really hurts.
But that disappointment doesn't excuse the OTPBS that misogynistic dickwads are directing toward the City Councilwomen who voted against the plan. As Erica C. Barnett reports in her blog, a vocal minority of douchebag dudes (mostly men, all douchebags) are heaping gendered abuse on the Councilwmen who voted against the development plan.
Barnett writes, "The insults, which can be summarized as 'You cunt,' 'Die,' 'Get back in the kitchen,' and 'women are subhuman,' may be familiar territory for women who spend a lot of time having opinions on the Internet. But they’re unprecedented in recent memory for the Seattle City Council, and give the council’s five-woman majority an unwanted taste of what happens when female public figures fail to “know their place” — by, say, voting against an arena supported by a large, mobbish clique of male sports fans."
What's really astounding is that so many of these people are proudly signing their names publicly to such violent and nasty language. A local lawyer, Jason M. Feldman, wrote a letter to the City Council so terrible that there is now a standing complaint against him with the Washington State Bar Association. And the owner of a local burger joint, John Shepherd, is now facing a boycott in response to his openly called the Councilwomen "bitches" on social media. Barnett's piece on the abusive language directed at the Council concludes with a long sample of public social media posts. It's shocking how horrible local people are being toward political opponents, but it's more shocking how they're all proud of their behavior.
The Seattle City Council: Made up of people who don't deserve to be verbally abused or urged to commit suicide. (Image Source)
SB: The whining and the vitriol and the rage being flung at these Councilwomen is ASTOUNDING and, I should note, this kind of crap never happened until we had a female majority on the city council.
What? What's that you say? You’re surprised by that? I’m not. People hate women. It’s real. We see it every day. And now we’re seeing it in spades.
But oh. Oh no. This is about basketball. The Great God Sportsball has brought out the bro-rage once again. The lack of the Sonics is just destroying these people.
And really… IS it a big deal? We have a basketball team. And a damn good one, at that. The Storm—two time WNBA champions, I might add—is an impressive team with accolades of its own. They play a great game. Do we really need two basketball teams? Why can’t these whiny dickwads get behind The Storm?
Oh yeah. Because The Storm is made OF LADY PEOPLE. And, you know, OTPBS.
I mean. We’re seeing a pattern, here, right?
See? We HAVE basketball in Seattle! (Image Source)
CML: We are! We are seeing a pattern!
And, for all the love Sonics fans hold in their heart for their dearly departed basketball heroes, I wonder if those abusive-name-callers have ever attended a Storm game? Because if this is truly about basketball, then we've got it covered. Basketball lives in Seattle!
If it's about nostalgia and a desire to bring the Sonics back, then there are other ways to express oneself. Vote against the City Council members who voted against the street vacation, let them know that they aren't representing the interests of their constituents, or, shoot, run yourself next term! If the action you wanted was thwarted, then perhaps it's time for you to act, sad Sonics fans!
But calling an elected official a cunt or bitching that they voted against the plan because of their gender is stupid and weak and cowardly. It's what children do. And demanding that people who disagree with you about urban planning kill themselves is melodramatically base and horrifically ugly. It's what idiots do. And it's some nasty misogynistic shit.
So, sad cunt-callers, I encourage you to ovary-up and act like adults. You want basketball? Go watch some! You want an NBA arena? Work for it! But, for the love of all that's holy, let's not be assholes here. Let's not make Jason M. Feldmans of ourselves. Let's not be John Shepherds. Because, fellas, your misogyny is showing, and that's bad for everyone, including you.
Now if you'll excuse me, I've got some Storm tickets to buy. It's time for me to introduce my Smartlings - and reintroduce myself - to the joy of basketball, Seattle-style.