Friday, June 27, 2014

Coulter's latest rant hurtful to women

I’d like to think that I’m funny. Or at least that I have a good sense of humor.

But either I don’t know humor or Ann Coulter doesn’t. Frankly, I’m going to assume that it’s Coulter after her latest foray into the trending spotlight for comments about soccer being “a sign of the nation's moral decay."

Coulter’s latest rant, of course, was timed during the World Cup, in which the United States team looks decent — not great but decent — causing a new wave of soccer fans across the country.

Among other not-funny comments Coulter made are that soccer isn’t a “real sport” because there are women’s teams, that it pushes a liberal agenda, that only recent (and illegal) immigrants are watching it — and as soon as they learn English, they’ll stop.

Some have defended Coulter saying she’s a satirist or comedian. She is neither. She is a bombast and an alarmist. She says the most outrageous things she can think for for the sake of effect. She wants news stories and columns written about her. She wants the spotlight for her over-the-top commentary.

She’s not the first person to call soccer un-American. Nor is she the first to say that it’s not a real sport because women play. But right now she’s saying it the loudest. And frankly, I wish she’d shut up — and not because I like soccer, although I do. But because my daughter likes soccer. And Heather’s daughter likes soccer. And a woman with a certain degree of prominence just told them that it’s not a sport … because girls play.

About a year or so ago, a friend of my daughter asked if he minded if he told a racist joke. I told him I did. Racism is racism whether it’s in the form of a “joke” or not. At least he asked. But I didn’t want it my house. Or in front of my kids. Saying mean or stupid things and calling them humor just isn’t funny. It’s mean. And stupid.

A woman telling young girls that they can’t compete in sports isn’t funny. It’s just wrong. And it’s the type of thing that parents in 2014 shouldn’t have to counter-program against.

Young girls have enough problems with image and self worth. There are enough forces in the world telling them that they’re not pretty enough … or skinny enough … or smart enough to make it in the world. They don’t need one of their own telling them that the sport they’re playing isn’t a sport because “girls don’t play sports.”

Will Coulter’s next rant say that girls can’t be doctors? Or engineers? Or scientists? Will her next attempt at “satire,” suggest that they should stay home barefoot and pregnant? Or that bulimia is the latest diet trend?

Whether Coulter thinks she’s being funny or not, a lot of people take her seriously. Some believe the ignorant things she’s saying — and she just validated their wrongheaded opinions, which they will now pass on to their children … creating a generation of misogynists because she wanted to get on TV.

I can’t think of anything less funny than that.

Scott Leffler is a father and soccer fan. He also does some writing here and there. Follow him on twitter @scottleffler.