Survey the excited crowd of a Red Sox home game and you'll see a lot of red, a lot of navy blue, a lot of white, some grey, some green, etc. You'll also inevitably run into a dash of pink.
Consider what you are now thinking about the individual wearing that pink hat.
That hat has become a symbol of pure annoyance to some other fans, stereotyped as belonging to girls there to impress their boyfriends, while having no connection to the team and no knowledge of the game.
Growing up in Massachusetts, I am fully aware of and embrace the ubiquitous and, at times, severe passion for Red Sox baseball. I understand and share the desire for the seats to be filled with true fans who will lose themselves in the electric Fenway atmosphere and the timelessly captivating sport of baseball.
What I do not share is the disdain of a pink hat occupying another uncomfortably narrow Fenway seat.
I feel this way because I have been one of those hats. I happen to own a pink Boston hat (along with navy, green, tan, red, and orange, but that's besides the point). Why? Because pink is a pretty color and I like it.
When I am wearing that hat, I do not feel like less of a fan. The color does not penetrate my skull and reduce my baseball IQ. It does not prevent me from checking the Internet daily for trade news/highlights. And it does not affect my ability to be a devoted fan of the game. So why do we demean fans who choose to express their devotion in a more traditionally gendered way? Even in this modern world, is it really that we still cannot accept that a woman who is athletic and competitive can also be feminine and attractive? There's no inherent reason that an individual has to choose between being powerful and being beautiful.
I acknowledge that there is a reason why this pink hat stereotype exists. There may be some instances that fit it just perfectly. However, that fact is secondary to the true problem: the assumption of women's roles and abilities in athletics based on their unrelated tastes in style or choices in expression.
Write me off as an uninformed, bandwagon fan for wearing a pink hat to a game, and I will consider you fake and superficial for those designer jeans you're wearing (yes, I see those). So let's put an end to the judgment and be able to express ourselves free from assumptions regarding our interests, intellects, or abilities. All that matters is that we both are here tonight to enjoy baseball, love the Red Sox, and happen to look fabulous while doing it.
Follow Angelina Massoia on Twitter: www.twitter.com/AMassoia