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Women are annoying (sports) [Sep. 10th, 2007|01:18 pm]
I'd rather play with the boys; When it comes to team sports, men are much easier to handle than women
The Straits Times
September 10, 2007
Sandra Leong, girltalk

THIS column is about why I like to play with men. In fact, it's about why I like to get downright dirty and sweaty with them.

Yes, I'm referring to the merits of mixed team sports. (What were you thinking?)

Call me a turncoat but I've concluded that when it comes to sport, men make much better playmates than women.

This epiphany came to me about five years ago when, as an undergraduate living on campus, I was team manager for my hall's softball team.

It was a role that I had been arm-twisted to assume (I had played the game competitively before) so that I could gain enough credits to secure a postage stamp-sized room with zero ventilation and wonky TV reception.

With most of us being fairly athletic, we embarked on a winning streak. Then one day, we dropped a game - to our arch-rivals, no less.

Still, it was no big deal.

Having won enough games to qualify for the next round, this was but a minor blip in our near-perfect record. And we had lost only because our key players had been absent, leaving some positions to be filled by new faces.

I made this point at our post-match briefing, simply to assure everyone that it was hardly the end of the road.

But hell hath no fury like an oversensitive woman.

After we dispersed, one of my teammates - who had made some costly errors during the match - assumed I was pinning the blame on her. She burst into tears and had to be comforted by her friends.

Later, another teammate rang me and asked that I apologise for what I had said. Convinced that the matter had been blown out of proportion, I refused.

For the rest of the games, the tension between Oversensitive Girl and me was so thick I feared one of us would assault the other with a bat.

My point is, the group dynamics of women is a complex beast.

In fact, if I had to personify this beast, she would probably be a shrieking banshee with claws for fingernails. Now, tell me that doesn't make you tremble.

A woman could be perfectly pleasant on her own, but surrounded by other females, hormones take over. Add in the element of sporting contest and a power struggle ensues.

My experience with the inter-hall games was just one of many instances in which I found this to be true. When I attended an all-girls secondary school, there were always stories - even from my own team - of how some girls quit their sport because of the infighting and back-stabbing that went on.

I hate to perpetuate stereotypes but the fairer sex is often associated with several negative behaviorial traits - controlling, hyper-sensitive and oh, we bear grudges better than the croaky boy in that Japanese scarefest Ju-On.

I know this because the last time I checked, I was guilty of all of the above.

Why didn't I apologise to my teammate? I guess it was the alpha female in me. Who doesn't enjoy being top dog?

Still, I'd like to think that that's all behind me.

Lately, I've been playing softball with a mixed team and so far, it has been wonderfully devoid of drama.

Men are so much more fuss-free. They show up, play hard and rarely tiptoe around one another. If a player makes a silly mistake, he doesn't wail when told to 'wake up lah, dey'.

Even if egos clash on the field, the dispute is usually resolved over a pint of beer.

The men's easy-going style seems to have rubbed off on the women - no tears and histrionics so far. More importantly, with several eligible bachelors around to impress, they can't quite afford to morph into scary, hormonal creatures, can they?

As for me, my evil alpha female instincts appear to have been dulled a little. There's little chance I can be stronger, faster and swifter than a testosterone-charged member of the opposite sex, so I would rather sit back and enjoy the ride.

Oh sssh, all you power women types crying that I've sold out.

The thing about sport that many of us forget: It really is just a game.