Thankful I am NOT a Jets Fan this Thanksgiving

I really don’t think it’s too much to ask that if I take my daughter to a football game, we walk to get a pretzel and some nachos without being harassed by a drunken mob. Call me crazy, but I’d love to actually sit near Gate D at a New York Jets game and not be groped or screamed at or if, heaven forbid I’m feeling prudish that day, have to duck spit and flying bottles from hundreds of angry men.

Of course my daughter and I could just sit somewhere else. We could go get Mommy a beer and kiddo a hot dog near some other, non infamous gate, and avoid the whole thing- and then I remember this is 2007 and women do have the right to walk in public.

I suppose if I were to take my daughter and I on over that way, I would have been asking for it, right?

And people wonder why I still yell and scream and write about women and gender equality.

Many sports fans (my entire house included…yes, the girls too) are discussing the New York Times article by David Picker describing what happens at Jets home games on pedestrian ramps near Gate D.

Huffington Post contributor Leora Tanenbaum says, “I hate to sound like a broken record, but the sexual double standard is alive and well. Boys will be boys, and girls will be sluts. And across the land, people continue to believe that this is the way it’s supposed to be.” Tanenbaum drew attention and questioned the behavior while commentors asked for proof.

Let’s watch some YouTube, shall we???

As the NYT reports, this whole Gate D party is a tradition at Jets homegames. Meaning, Joe Jetsfan brings Joe Jr. Jetsfan, they share a beer, and join the mob out in the concourse to see how many women they can get to lift their shirts. Tradition. Happy Thanksgiving.

Some women comply. Some women walk away clothed and get heckled. Some women are spit on. Some women have bottles thrown at them. Some women are groped. More importantly…

hundreds of men think this is ok.

I attend sporting events. I am used to the one or two drunken idiots who scream four letter words and spill their beer. Security usually hovers near them and if they get out of hand they are escorted out. There is an entire mob getting out of hand at Jets games, and it’s tradition.

It’s Free Speech! We’re just having fun! Don’t come near Gate D if you don’t like it!

Let me speak in words you Gate D Jets fans understand, “Fuck you.”

Free speech is not harassment. Fun isn’t intimidating. And I’ll go anywhere I damn please, despite the fact I’m a woman. In fact, how about I come with a few thousand of your mothers, grandmothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, and girlfriends? We’ll exercise our free speech to teach you all about mob mentality, harassment, sexual abuse, intimidation, and gender equality issues.

I called Jets’ media relations to float my idea of taking Gate D back for the women. The nice PR phone-answering person took a message and I told them I was working on a deadline. “Yes, the HUFFINGTON POST, no, no…not Hubbington, HuFFington…and yes, BlogHER dot com. H-E-R, yes, BlogHER, yes, a network of over 13-thousand WOMEN…yes, I’d like to talk about the NY Times article, yes, the one about Gate D…yes, Blog H-E-R…”

…I’m still waiting for a call back. In the meantime, I’m going to really mess up Thanksgiving tradition and NOT spend it in the kitchen.

The Detroit Lions kick-off in an hour and my daughter and I have a game to watch.


  1. New Yorkers are pigs. Many men are pigs as well, especially American men, ESPECIALLY American men in New York. You couldn’t pay me to live there.

  2. I have to say, I haven’t been paying too much attention to sports lately. So I was unaware of this. It is undoubtedly the most outrageous thing I’ve hear of!

    And I just stopped by to say “thanks!” for your writing (here and that other place, too!) and it’s been great to ‘meet’ you this year.

    And also, I hope you and the family had an awesome Thanksgiving.

  3. What amazed me was their apparent complete lack of concern over this in their official statements about it.

    Their plan for dealing with it is arresting the women who comply but they can’t do anything about the guys chanting?

    I hate lawsuits. I especially hate class action lawsuits in most cases. But I’d love to see how fast they would change their tune if they, the NFL, and the team were all hit with a class action suit for harrassment (if that’s even possible).

  4. Man, you beetches iz uptight.

    (I blogged about this too, and got the funniest anonymous comment).

  5. There must be something in the air. Even in little ol’ Wisconsin today, I was made to feel exactly the same way: basically, that women have no business being alone in public, or the big bad men will get them and take them away. WTF?? I can’t imagine anything more damaging than the fucking “Boys will be Boys” sentiment that STILL PERMEATES OUR CULTURE. Why? WHY??

    OK, sorry. Had a bad afternoon, and a whole bunch of good wine, and now I’m leaving a comment so long it’s practically a blog post.

    Lordy. Good post. Dug it. Hang in.


  6. I am OUTRAGED about this. I live in the Midwest, but may have to visit with some other women friends during a Jets game. I would love to lure one of these “boys” away from the mob and depants them in cold weather so they could freeze their stuff off. See how funny they think that is!!!

    Or maybe get a large group of women together and protest outside the game and get someone to film it.

  7. I have to agree that their behavior is reprehensible, and I love the idea of the women taking back Gate D.

    I would ask, though, that readers not talk about the “‘Boys will be Boys’ sentiment that STILL PERMEATES OUR CULTURE.”

    It unfortunately is a part of a subculture. We have many subcultures in this multi-cultural society. Some behave poorly. But when we talk about it as if this is how “MEN” are, or that “MEN” condone this, then that stereotypes and condemns half our population simply on gender. It’s not fair when done to women, and it’s not fair when done to men.

    But let’s do go after a subculture of violence that condones this behavior, jokes about it, and perhaps even rewards it. That includes the female members of the subculture that actually “enjoy” the attention, and participate. (ever heard of the Harley Rallies?”)

  8. Now, Steve says… I wish I had turned off the italics after the paragraph where I used it. LOL

  9. For the record, most New Yorkers are NOT like this and I take as much offense at Lilacspec’s absurd comment as I do at the outrageous behavior displayed by those cretins (who, by the way, did not tend to live in NYC as implied, but NJ and upstate NY – you know, nice suburban guys, not like those evil men who live in the bad city…). Harumph.

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