Another week, another man in baseball is outed as a gross creeper by a group of women sports writers that were immediately dismissed by a certain percentage of MLB fans. You might recall that in mid-January, Jared Porter, then General Manager of the New York Mets, admitted to sending explicit texts to a female reporter back in 2016 while he was an international scout for the Cubs. The Mets fired him immediately, thankfully, but Porter's insistence on sending a woman pictures of his junk (or someone else's junk as he claimed which, whatever--it's all gross) after she ignored him for days is a shining example of how some men view women as brainless properties for them to acquire rather than actual human beings.
Now, we have the revelation that former Mets manager, Cleveland pitching coach and current Angels pitching coach Mickey Callaway sexually harassed upwards of five separate women over the course of his MLB coaching career, as recently as this past year, while his wife sat at home maybe thinking he was a decent person.
Spoiler alert: He's not.
Of course, a story like this always generates a variety of responses from fans ranging from "FIRE AND BAN HIM" (the correct response) to "he must have rejected them or something" (oh honey, no) to stuff like this:
Before you defend this response, let me tell you something: Women in male-dominated fields have all, and I mean ALL, had a gross man act gross toward them. Just ask one--I'm sure you know one or two. They might even be your daughters, wives, or sisters. And if they're older than, say, 25, and they told their boss, they were probably told to "suck it up," or that "boys will be boys," or that "we can't ruin the man's reputation" by doing anything about it. I mean, they're men, right? They do this stuff! Especially if they have any sort of power! Trust me... I've been there myself!
Early in my career, and NOT in my current job, I literally had a man twice my size corner me in an empty mail room, pin me against a wall and physically intimidate me to try to get me to go on a date with him. This was a guy who had a steady girlfriend, mind you, not that it matters to these types. Thankfully I was able to wiggle out and get back to a common area of the building, but when I mentioned it to someone higher up it was... "Well, he drinks at lunch sometimes and you caught him at a bad time of day." He apologized to me the next day and that was it. It was considered a closed matter and never mentioned again, except I had to see him every day and try to avoid getting caught alone with him again. It also made me realize that my discomfort didn't matter as much as his reputation did. I was the "girl" in a man's world, and that meant I had to tough it out. It also wasn't the last time I'd experience gross men doing gross things because I was a woman, and feeling like I had to keep my trap shut in order to keep my standing in "their world."
See, it shouldn't be incumbent on women to deal with men and their bad behavior. That's just not fair. I get that it's hard for men to adjust to the concept that our delicate brains can understand such complex concepts as "sports" (and in my case, "science"), but as a woman with a degree in mathematics, let me tell you that advanced analytics only makes baseball more appealing to me than it has ever been. You dudes are just losing the battle with wimmins like me. Not to mention that it's not our jobs to make men control themselves and act like adult human beings when they're in the presence of other adult human beings that just happen to have boobs.
So how, then, can men in sport or any workplace stop being gross to women? Well, I have some ideas about that.
1. Assume women are there to do their jobs because they love the job, not because they want to be around you, the men.
Women can actually enjoy working in fields that are traditionally populated by men. No, it's true, I swear! We can really like sports! I love baseball and football and basketball and have a really keen understanding of all three! If I can understand and talk baseball with all my male family members and friends, then women who work in sports can certainly be just as qualified at their positions as their male counterparts. No, really! It's true! And men who work with them should assume that they're there because they love the sport, not because they want to ogle the players or get close to the coaches or whatever. THAT GOES FOR YOU, MICKEY. And men should treat them just as they would their male colleagues in a professional sense. That's it.
2. Don't send women pics of your junk unless you are explicitly asked for pics of your junk.
MEN. Even if a woman who works in your field IS interested in you, WOMEN GENERALLY DO NOT WANT UNSOLICITED PICTURES OF YOUR JUNK. This goes infinitely for women that are MOST DEFINITELY NOT INTERESTED IN YOU. If a woman is ignoring you, or placating you, or avoiding you, the way to get her attention is NOT BY SENDING PICTURES OF YOUR JUNK. Unless she articulates to you, in no uncertain terms, that she would like such photos, DO NOT HIT SEND. DO NOT EVEN TAKE THE PICTURES. KEEP YOUR PANTS ON. It's really that easy.
3. Don't touch women without their consent.
This seems simple, yeah? And we all know the difference between a friendly hug between friends and a creepy grab or inappropriate touch. If you don't? Then just keep your hands/legs/junk to yourself until you have it figured out.
4. If a woman is ignoring your flirtations, she's not interested. Don't take offense... she just wants to do her job.
And that's okay. There's plenty of fish in the sea... go try to meet someone else. Maybe someone you don't work around. That's probably better anyway.
5. If you're married, go home to your wife.
Your wife puts up with your crap. Go home to her and give her the love she deserves. If you're not happy, see a therapist. Get yourself together. Stop trying to harass other women while you're married.
6. Most importantly, women are not objects to possess. It's not the 1950's anymore.
There was a time when women were relegated to a supporting role in, well, everything. That time is over, friends. We've realized we are just as smart and valuable and have as much to offer society as men do. We aren't objects for men to conquer or possess by dangling their junk at us hoping to catch us like baiting a hook for a fish. No, see, we have our own desires, wants, and aspirations, and they don't solely revolve around making a man happy. Men, it's time you see us as your equals in the workplace. Sorry if that disappoints. What that really means, though, is that you have to treat us with the same respect you'd have for another man.
Once men get the basic principles down of how not to be gross to women (in sports), then maybe they can graduate to the "Here's How Men (in Sports) Can be Allies to Women" phase. You can even apply these if you don't work in sports! But baby steps. We can get there together if we all just remember one simple principle: