Thought this might be appropriate given Kent's "Morning Joe!" article today. Author and Blogger "The Last Psychiatrist" on what is driving the newer, less manly NFL:
The NFL's been handing out traumatic brain injuries for decades, but the moment Disney decided it needed the women that was the end of lockerroom hijinx. But until it completes the NFL's rebranding as a kinder, bully-free, concussionless game, complete with engagement rings and Us Weekly's "Ten Hunkiest White Or Articulate Quarterbacks", it's going to have to keep broadcasting Nashville.
Please don't make the mistake of assuming that the NFL wants female viewers, it couldn't care less, the ad dollars from beer and trans fats and cars are plenty. What the NFL/Disney needs is to reduce the tension between females and males over all that's spent on it: merchandise, tickets, time, men would gladly watch all the commercials on Sundays if women didn't drag them to baby showers and home repairs. Sports are male expenses that women reluctantly accept, but there's always a ceiling and if women were more into the experience then that ceiling could go up, way up. The key is to rebrand the NFL not as a man's game but as America's game, thus reducing the barriers to consumption.
TLP is of course speaking in generalities here; we all know some truly passionate female football fans out there, but they are badly outnumbered by their anti-football or football neutral peers. Another example of this effect, this time in the opposite direction:
But sexism can be run in the reverse, too, for women's "benefit." Example: We say things like "the public has a ravenous hunger for celebrity photos," but this is demonstrably untrue, paparazzi pics are almost entirely a product for the female demo, no man wants to see a picture of any of the Kates or their babies or their homes. However you will never hear this said out loud in the media, they will tell you (and you will parrot) that the greedy force that creates the paparazzi is "America" or "the public's obsession with celebrity"-- men are lumped in with women.
Men's relationship to celebrity after teenage years is completely different, the pictures matter much less than "information"-- a pic of Lebron is worth way less than his stats. But the easy money is in digital photos, monetizing envy has very low fixed costs and great margins, and nothing can be permitted to threaten the money, so when Princess Di is driven off the road we blame the paparazzi; but then, in a surprising admission of guilt, the media comes out and accepts some responsibility-- although in a very specific way: "the media has succumbed to the ravenous demands of the public's infatuation with glamour and wealth." Because if everyone-- not just women, but everyone-- wants this, then women have less guilt about wanting it and men get the sense nothing can really be done to change it.
I thought this was pretty eye-opening stuff-- it's from the article, "Randi Zuckerberg Thinks We Should Untangle Our Wired Lives," posted January 25, 2014. (google "The Last Psychiatrist," and the site should come up.)