As the Murphy family found out this week, it's a man's world, and it's a sports world.
It’s a man’s world. Women? Eh. They’re around for 1) “entertainment” for men, and 2) ensuring the contintuity of the human race. At least that’s the message that men seem to have some primordial need to reinforce as often as they can.
Daniel Murphy is a second baseman for the New York Mets. He also is married to…someone. I’d provide a name, but given that Daniel Murphy’s wife is a woman, evidently the media didn’t feel it was necessary to even provide her name in the news stories about Murphy yesterday. Surprising, perhaps, given that she is an oh-so-integral part of the story, but perhaps not so surprising, because again…she’s a woman and not worthy of referencing by name. Thus we’ll refer to this mystery woman as “Mrs. Daniel Murphy”, a fitting moniker given that women SHOULD be discussed only in terms of their husbands.
Daniel Murphy and…Mrs. Daniel Murphy…were expecting their first child. Mrs. Daniel Murphy was incredibly inconsiderate, offending 1) men, and 2) the collective sports world. Evidently Mrs. Daniel Murphy procreated with Daniel Murphy approximately 9 months prior to the opening day of the 2014 baseball season. Incredibly inconsiderate planning on her part (Daniel Murphy may have played a role, but in a man’s world, I choose to blame the woman). Remember your birds and bees? There seems to be some correlation between 1) having sex, and 2) having a child 9 months later. An unconfirmed theory, but one with strong evidence.
The first child of Daniel Murphy and Mrs. Daniel Murphy was born on Monday, as 12:02 pm. His name was Noah…a name provided by the media because, of course, the child was a male. 12:02 pm was, unfortunately, very close to the time of the first game of 2014 for the New York Mets. Poor planning, by, of course, Mrs. Daniel Murphy, who SHOULD 1) have made sure the baby was born prior to opening day, and 2) be able to do a woman’s duty and birth and take care of the child by herself. That’s the message/verdict given by a large proportion of the (male) sports world this week.
Boomer (What a manly name, ’tis Boomer) Esiasan chastisted Mrs. Daniel Murphy on WFAN radio this week, stating the obvious…that Mrs. Daniel Murphy should have “had a C-section before the season starts“. Daniel Murphy, in the meantime, foolishly took the oh-so-generous Major League Baseball paternity time of 3 days, excusing himself from the Mets to be with Mrs. Daniel Murphy, and to stay with the family for a couple of days after the birth. The reaction to Murphy’s decision to miss Opening Day and be with his family? Outrage, of course! This is BASEBALL we’re talking about, opening day to boot, which obviously trumps the birth of your first child. Mike Francesca, also on WFAN radio, eloquently stated what I think all men were thinking. “You’re a Major League baseball player. You can hire a nurse”, said Francesca, chastising Daniel Murphy for missing Opening Day. The ever-so-sensitive Francesca went on, shaming Murphy for using his entire 3-day paternity leave by exclaiming “What are you going to do? Sit there and look at your wife in the hospital bed for two days?”
Damn straight! You tell ‘em, WFAN radio hosts! As basic meat bags around for men’s sexual pleasure, and for subsequently raising children until they’re of an age where they’re not such a bother for fathers, SOMEBODY needed to put Mrs. Daniel Murphy and women in general in their place. And SOMEBODY needed to explain to Daniel Murphy that sports trumps family.
My son is now almost 11. For my wife Lauri and I (yes, wives DO have actual names), he’s been our pride and joy, the center of our universe. When he was born, Lauri took her full allotment of maternity leave, and undoubtedly would have stayed home many more weeks (months? years?) if it were possible. As a U.S. citizen with testicles, I’m evidently not allowed, either by tradition, or by actual employer standards, to do the same, and take paternity leave for several weeks (months? years?). After all, raising a child is strictly women’s work, right?
As our son rapidly grows up before our eyes, what I wouldn’t have given for a long paternity leave when he was born. Daniel Murphy was allotted a pittance of a paternity leave in 3 days, and took full advantage to be with his wife and first child. To be crucified for it by a certain segment of the sports world gives you a good idea of the neanderthal world of men in which we live.
Check out the current front page of the Sports Illustrated / CNN Sports site (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com). This is the world folks like Boomer Esiasan or Mike Francesca live in, one where sports (MALE sports) dominates, and women are simply around for objectification, with women’s bodies being treated as their own “sport”. When I say check out the CNN/SI sports page, I’m not worried about WHEN you check it out, given that the basic content never changes. This morning as I look, there are 20 headlines/features at the top of the page, every one of which focuses on men’s sports. Par for the course, even though the women’s Final Four is also going on right now, as are, I presume, other women’s sporting activities, given that unscientific polling of mine indicates that there are approximately as many women out there as there are men.
Look just below the top headline/feature section, and what do you find? First, there’s the permanent “Swim Daily” section, devoted to the “sport” of women in swimsuits or body paint. After all, what says “sport” more than seeing a 19-year old girl with nothing on but a bit of spray paint? CNN/SI also has the permanent “Extra Mustard” section, with twice-daily updates of “sports” highlights and human interest stories. Contained within EVERY “Extra Mustard” installment? Photos of half-naked women in the “Lovely Lady of the Day” segment. Why bother covering sports stories, if you can’t also gratuitously throw in a photo of a scantily-clad woman?
Sports, testosterone, and sex. THAT’S the world neanderthals like Boomer Esiasan and Mike Francesca live in. In their world, “Mrs. Daniel Murphy” is a side show, someone who does the dirty work of raising a child, so that her husband can focus on the more important job as a professional athelete.
I’m a sports fan, but find myself caring less and less as I mature (OK, get old), and as the sports world in general stays in that adolescent, high-school, testosterone-driven view of the world. As for Daniel Murphy…BRAVO for making what should be a no-brainer of a decision, and realizing that NOTHING is as important as family.