Column by Cat Tacopina

Cat Tacopina
Cat Tacopina

I have been the sports editor for four issues. In this brief amount of time, I’ve come to realize that being sports editor brings a certain amount of mystery and intrigue to who a person is.

Oh no, I’m sorry; being the female sports editor brings a certain amount of mystery and intrigue.

Originally, I had this huge sense of empowerment when it came to writing about sports. It is true that you don’t catch many females actually writing about them since most are broadcasting and doing player interviews. But I know enough about hockey, baseball and soccer to write about them and do a good job with it; I’m the minority and I’m proud of it.

Then it went downhill, because then someone actually voiced what I always knew, and it didn’t sound like roses.

“What do you want to do?”

“Write about sports.”

“Oh, well that’s good. There aren’t many girls out there who write about sports, so you’ll easily get a job.”

Maybe I’m being ungrateful. With the way our economy and job market is right now, I should be happy knowing that I’ll probably fare better than most of my peers. But when I realized that it could be easy, I also realized that it might not be like the picture I painted.

People are always surprised and interested when I tell them what I do for The Oracle. As if it’s a big deal that a girl runs the sports section. This is the 21st century, it shouldn’t be this great big thing that surprises people. Are girls not supposed to know about sports the way guys do?  I know that people don’t think that, but people have flat-out told me that it’s so interesting and cool that a girl is so interested in sports. I feel people subconsciously don’t expect a girl to write about sports. But it gets worse. Do you want to know what I always get?

“You write about sports? Guys love girls who like sports so you must get a lot of guys.”

I’m going to start by telling you that this is complete BULLSHIT. Never, not once, has a guy ever been more interested in me because I like sports. At least not in a romantic sense – it has more or less just led me to become another one of the bros. The worst is when people slyly insinuate that I write about sports to meet guys. It makes me realize that if, and when, I do go into writing about sports, I will always be viewed differently.

I’ll never forget what a friend of mine said about Affirmative Action. This friend, who is a minority, spoke these words that will always ring clearly;

“I hate Affirmative Action more than anything. I could get into these big name schools because I have the grades and extracurricular to do so, but people are always going to look at me and say that I had more of a chance than everyone else because I’m a minority. And deep down, I’ll never know if I actually did deserve it.”

I understand what he meant now.

When I go and interview for jobs, I will probably get extra consideration for being a girl. Who knows if I’m actually better at what I do than men who go for the same jobs? What if people think the same thing I was told a year ago? I know that I’m already pretty good at what I do, but what if no one will even bother to look at that? What if all they’re concerned about when they see my stories is the byline that accompanies it?

Cat Tacopina,

Woman sports writer.