I'm so sorry. I feel terrible. From the bottom of my heart, let me offer my sincerest apologies for what must be a truly devastating situation. To have so much work, so much effort, essentially ruined in one fell swoop must be emotionally crippling. To win the National Championship and have nobody care, to have it not even really matter, because of one Brent Musburger (and to a lesser extent Kirk Herbstreit), must be beyond frustrating. Now is a time to focus on our collective, inner strength and center ourselves in this male malestrom.
Some have said that the SEC is the best college football conference. Tough to tell. This National Championship could have been a key data point there. Could have turned the tide (pun initially not intended, but HAHAHA I'M SO FUNNY!). Now, sadly, we'll never know who the best college football conference is because of how useless this entire game is. Sure, we'll know who the skeeziest announcers are, but determining which conference is the best will have to wait another year.
If you haven't seen the video (and I don't blame you, it's not safe for children, really), I'll embed it below. But to steel ourselves for that disaster, let's build up strength by watching some great videos of the How Berkeley Can You Be parade first?
OK, now that that has put us in the right frame of mind, here is the video of Brent Musburger and Kirk Herbstreit totally and completely ignoring a woman's social, political, and cultural agency:
While so much of the media coverage from that night has been placed on this monster's actions, I still feel weeks later that there is so much more to be said. How dare he reduce this woman to little more than her physical attributes and gawk at and lust after her as if she were some kind of object? Can't we all stand up and say no more Slut Shaming! His actions placed the rest of the country in a similarly exploitative, voyeuristic position-creating a crude, unseemly imbrication of unbridled lecherousness and athletic competition.
We are all outraged at this unconscionable example he set for our youth who merely sought to watch an exciting game of football. Instead, they watched him voice-molest a young woman whose sole crime was to live in a gender binary society. We all know that gender binary equals apartheid and that has never been more clearly exemplified than at the BCS National Championship game.
And I fear, nay I live, in constant dread, that today's youth have been subliminally influenced to treat a woman as a bounty rather than as an equal. Further, what kind of patriarchal, heteronormative message are we sending to the young women of America by telling them it is the role of the man to focus on his career and the job of a woman to simply support him? I long for a post-gender society and I know I'm not the only one.
And I know you'll stand with me. To see the Musburger RUIN any hope of enjoying your National Champion must rankle you. Of course, he didn't think he was doing anything wrong. Isn't that the nature of privilege? Oh, to be a cis-gendered white male!
While all the blame has been placed on the misogynistic Musburger (and he deserves a great deal of it), it is also important to note he is simply a faulty cog in a broken machine. This disgusting incident would have never taken place if not for the society normative practice of the male gaze focusing on the physical appearance of a successful and driven woman. We are, in our own way partially responsible, for it. We have our own role to play in perpetuating such a gender-discriminatory repressive system. If we do not stand in the way of the patriarchy, we continue it. You are either part of the problem or part of the solution.
Only by self-reflection about our own privilege and self-enforced ignorance can we ever truly make a difference. We must be the change we want to see in the world. Will you stand with us, O Alabamians, against outrageous violence that is gender binarism.
For as Simone de Beauvoir wrote in the classic tract "The Second Sex"
"The term ‘female' is derogatory not because it emphasises woman's animality, but because it imprisons her in her sex."
To even try to take joy in the Alabama season is to whitewash the disaster that was Brent Musburger that night. To even try to have an iota of happiness from the season is to let the ways of the past win yet again. Let's be the change we want to see, Alabama.
But, hey, at least she's a real person. So, that's something!