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11 Things You Should Understand About Female Sports Fans

The first thing is that we exist, and we love sports just as much as the dudes do.

1. We're not rare.

Female sports fans make up about 35% of fans in each league. That means approximately one out of three fans of your favorite sport – gasp – is a woman.

2. We know you're talking down to us because you don't see us as equally informed.

We hear unwarranted explanations of things we already know all the time. It doesn't matter if we're in a jersey/team colors, watching the game in person or at a bar, or if we're shouting about defensive play calling. It's extremely belittling to be regarded as oblivious based on nothing other than our gender.

3. Think twice before quizzing a woman to make her prove her loyalty to sports.

"What's Buster Posey's real name?"

"How many Super Bowls do the Steelers have?"

No one should have to pass a test to enjoy sports.

4. We grew up with the team too.

It's fine if you're curious about our history with the team. But it feels pretty accusatory to be asked outright how long we've followed the sport. Surely you have stories of growing up a miserable Buffalo Bills fan. We do too.

5. We are tired of having our opinions dismissed because you think we find the player attractive.

Some athletes are easy on the eyes, sure. But a nice smile doesn't win games. Getting on base wins games.

6. We know the latest news about our team and what's going on around the league.

We all think we know what's best for our team. We all know they should have called a different play or drafted someone else. Very few of us are actually coaches and GMs. We're all equally under-qualified. Unfortunately, women are used to having our opinions dismissed on an assumption of being uninformed.

7. Barring the hurdles that affect all fans, we attend games too.

Not all fans are lucky enough to regularly, if ever, watch our favorite teams in person. It's frustrating to be watching a game at a bar while a male sports fan explains unique qualities about the park, without taking even a minute to consider you might already be intimately familiar with the place your favorite team plays.

8. We're not into sports to meet men.

This is not to say that female sports fans are never open to flirting, but expressing interest in sports is hardly a beckoning call for male attention. Also, please consider the timing of your small talk. The quickest way to get dismissed is to start using pickup lines while your team is on 3rd & 6 on the 30 yard line. (And FYI — not every woman is attracted to men.)

9. We have strong reactions because we're passionate, not because women are "crazy".

I'm sure you've gone overboard with the emotions after a particular harrowing loss or a comeback win. We've all humiliated ourselves in the aftermath of a game. In most aspects of life, women are regarded as irrational, emotional beings. All we ask is not to have our passion reduced to a stereotype.

10. Shopping for team apparel for your mom or sister is not the same as us trying to find appropriate clothing for ourselves.

It's great that you've had a few great experiences, but that doesn't discredit our concerns.

11. Our fantasy teams/brackets might kick yours in the ass.

Yo, you're gonna get beat by a girl, because we are just as capable of interpreting statistics!

By the way, we recognize that "not all men" – and I'm sure you in particular – speak to female sports fans condescendingly.

Just because you haven't personally committed or witnessed it, doesn't mean it isn't something we experience on a regular basis.