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Cameron Smith / Her Campus
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Gettysburg chapter.

I’ve known what an ERA is since I was in first grade and I’ve known how to spot a flag for holding at the same age. But I watch football, baseball, or any sport with friends, and for some reason, I have the process continuously explained to me. 

Perhaps having an older brother so versed in sports prepared me for a lifetime of being questioned on my ability to truly know them, but I found it never should have been this much of a process to enjoy watching something. When that meme about “oh you like this ___, name five songs” floated around, I told my brother that was the way men talk to women about sports teams. He said that was not his experience, and a couple of days later, proceeded to say that I couldn’t watch the Red Sox game without telling him the starting lineup in order. 

I don’t blame my brother for quizzing me continuously on this; for him, it was a big brother thing to do. It was the fact that it wasn’t just him and it never happened to him. I am very privileged to have been able to attend many sporting events, specifically baseball games. I was at a World Series game and someone asked me how I got the seats. My father had been able to get tickets as he was working the game, and that’s what I said. The response from this man was “I could tell you weren’t here because you knew baseball” and then followed with “that’s so fun though.” I bit my tongue so as not to represent my father poorly, but I was livid. 

I have always started to doubt myself when challenged like that. I have thought, that perhaps I don’t know sports. Then I see the man next to me cheering when I know it will be a foul ball, or complaining that it’s a strike when it’s evident for me by the pitch itself that was the result. I realize that I am knowledgeable in this field, but simply have been put down in it so much that I don’t believe it. Michelle Obama was talking about sitting at tables with all the world’s most powerful people, which she said made her come to realize they’re not all that smart. It is this sentiment I feel sitting among people who consider themselves superior in such a small thing. There is a certain overcompensation that I can sense when someone feels the need to break down what a fumble is for me or explain what a safety is. In any response, either biting my tongue or spewing facts that keep people silent. I have realized again and again that women being sports fans, and intelligent sports fans, is not rare and should not be treated as such. 

I do not have to prove myself in a hobby or a team or a sport itself. No woman does. No gay man does. No non-binary person does. There is no domain for sports or knowledge about sports that holds itself to one group, and I will leisurely keep proving that.