I don't think sports is necessarily a guy-thing, though that's how I was raised: Dad and Brother watched televised sports at every opportunity, and Mrs Dad and I read books. I didn't get into sports until I was a grown-up (well, 18), and I'm still not really a big sports-head. I'll watch football, soccer, rugby, basketball or ice hockey anytime they're on, but that's about it. And I just watch, I don't memorize, or even bother to understand, the statistics part. And I was reminded recently (argh, where?) of a point Noam Chomsky made in Manufacturing Consent, how men's ability to memorize sports statistics, and women's ability to keep track of their calorie intake, show that ordinary people can certainly grasp complex ideas and keep track of many tiny details, thus suggesting that economics/politics/globalization/all that crap is not really over our heads, as Those In Charge prefer to pretend.
Anyway. A small digression there. I agree with the overall point, but I brought it up because I wanted to look at this side point: men, sports statistics; women, food statistics? Is this a fair generalization? I mean, some men count calories and some women follow league tables, but as a general rule, do these things tend to shake down along gender lines? Because I'm confronted with an assumption, by a guy, that I should know this stuff, and I'm wondering if he assumes too much or if my knowledge is really deficient.
To clarify: yet again, a (male) database teacher has assigned some kind of sports-database, clearly assuming that all his students will know enough about sports statistics to do this, because he hasn't provided any supplemental information - they never do. And I'm fairly certain a female database teacher wouldn't assign an E-R diagram for cataloging lipstick or tracking a shoe collection, at least not without some clarification on the sort of information she would expect to be stored. So once again, I am annoyed that the default setting is "guy" and that I am some kind of special interest, and am expected to adapt to someone else's definition of normal.
Of course I realize I am a member of more default-groups than special groups, and it is equally thoughtless to assume everyone is straight, white, and computer-literate, to name the first few things that leap to mind. I tend not to notice those assumptions as quickly, because they don't trip me up, but I still recognize that they are unfair and create a kind of pressure that can get really old really fast.
I also realize that this is a trivial problem - the sports-database thing, not the bossy-dominant-culture thing. I'm just taking a moment to be annoyed at how often guys insist on controlling the dialog without even knowing that they're doing it. (Which of course they would say absolves them from all responsibility - after all, they're not doing it on purpose, so they should be allowed to ignore its effects ... and we should continue to accommodate them.)
Yes, lots and lots of stuff is going into this post, some of it trivial and some quite profound, but I've already gone on for too long. I'll do the assignment and all, but I will be peeved about it. Because it's my blog, and I can.
Song du jour of the day: Don't Call Me Baby, by Voice of the Beehive.