Don't assume. It makes an *ss of you and me, so the saying goes. And that idiom couldn't be truer than for an unsuspecting guy who met his match in Twitter user Megan Brown.
The dude was so stunned to hear that Brown liked baseball (because girl and baseball...) that he challenged her to name some teams in the National League East.
She delivered - and then some:
it's so insulting when dudes try to quiz me about sports soooo i had a little pun fun ⚾️❤️ pic.twitter.com/s1X0qJagrp— megan brown (@thatgirlondeck) March 29, 2016
Newsflash: not only do some women enjoy sports, some know as much if not know more about sports than men.
Though the Twitter exchange was playful, it points to the annoying reality that female sports journalists face every single day. Not only do they represent the overwhelming minority (with 90 percent of all sports editors being white males, according to a Women's Media Center's 2014 survey). But in spite of their credentials, women are constantly having to prove and defend themselves against those old stereotypes.
Even when the likes of established editors, such as New York Daily News writer Kate Feldman, pull out ID badges and press passes, some guys still have a hard time buying it.
Can a woman truly love sports with the same kind of unadulterated passion as her male counterparts? Well, duh.
And the converse is also true, too. Being born with a penis doesn't biologically implant NHL stats into your brain. Plenty of guys just aren't into sports, and they're no less 'guy' for it.
On that note... Go Jays go!
Think you don't pick favourites among your children? Think again.
A study about birth order led by sociologist Katherine Conger found that the vast majority of us (74 percent of moms, and 70 percent of dads) admit to treating our kids differently, yet few would come right out and admit they favoured one over another.
The teens involved in the study all had a sibling within four years of their age. Over a span of three years, researchers collected and analyzed interpersonal data. (Though the research hails back to a 2005 publication in Journal of Family Psychology, it's enjoying a resurgence online because sibling rivalry never goes out of style. Children just can't seem to help themselves.)
Tellingly, while the first borns in the study were unfazed over favouritism, the youngest of siblings got a raw deal. Their self-esteem took knocks over real or perceived favouritism.
All children - regardless of birth order - felt the rub to some degree, convinced their parents treated them unfairly.
"Our working hypothesis was that older, earlier born children would be more affected by perceptions of differential treatment due to their status as older child—more power due to age and size, more time with parents in the family," Conger told Quartz. "Everyone feels their brother or sister is getting a better deal."
Parents, whether you consciously show it or not, kids are going to assume you love their brother or sister more, so you're damned if you do, damned if you don't. Might as well come clean and own up to your favouritism.
And this is where I proudly admit to being an only child. For all the denigration we 'onlies' face, this is one burden we don't have to shoulder. No competition, we are the privileged few, the apple of our parents' eye - unless step siblings enter the picture. Then it may just be every man for themselves.
Appearances can be deceiving, especially on social media, as Amber Smith well knows.
The British woman posted selfies before and after suffering from a panic attack, along with a very frank post about the stigma of living with anxiety and depression.
And Smith clearly struck a nerve. The post was shared more than 17,000 times.
In Canada, anxiety is a common mental health issue, with some 12 per cent of people experiencing anxious episodes on a given day.
But for some reason, as prevalent as anxiety is, we still don't own it.
For some reason the face we present to the world is one like Smith shared: “Dressed up, make up done, filters galore.”
Smith goes on to educate others over the judgment and misunderstanding she regularly faces over her anxiety:
“I’ve been battling with anxiety and depression for years and years and there’s still people that make comments like ‘you’ll get over it,’ 'you don’t need tablets, just be happier,’ 'you’re too young to suffer with that',” she wrote.
“F*** YOU. F*** all of you small minded people that think that because I physically look 'fine’ that I’m not battling a monster inside my head every single day.”
Like depression, suffering from anxiety doesn't make you weak. It doesn't make you less. If anything, it makes you human.
Smith cites that one in three people will suffer from a "mental illness at some point in their life." Anxiety knows no boundaries. It isn't selective. Smith is proof that it can - and does - happen to the pretty and the young, too.
I've only had a panic attack once, and I can tell you it's not something I would wish on an enemy. I raced outside of a class I was attending, leant against a brick wall, hyperventilating. I dialled my husband, convinced that I was dying.
It felt exactly like a heart attack. It wasn't just happening inside my mind. It was happening inside my body. I wasn't imagining it.
Though an attack only lasts a matter of minutes, symptoms can include "accelerated heart rate, sweating, trembling, shortness of breath, chest pain, numbness, nausea," according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
It takes a brave person to make herself vulnerable like Smith did. I was too young and scared and proud to understand. But that was then.
No one deserves to be judged or to suffer in silence.