Family, Football & Gender Equality
“A gender line … helps to keep women not on a pedestal, but in a cage.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Things are changing. When I was growing up, gender roles were pretty clearly defined. Men went to work. Women stayed home. There were very few situations around me that differed from this, including my own family.
My dad got up every morning and went to whatever job he had at the time. Being a graphic designer was not a lucrative profession back then so his range of employment varied, but he was always working in some capacity.
My mom quit her job with a local bank shortly after I was born to stay home and raise me. Then came my sister and a whole host of family friends’ children who would come to call our home their daycare.
It wasn’t just who went to work versus who stayed at home with the kids. The gender roles were defined in many other ways as well. I never saw my father do laundry, or even help for that matter. He certainly didn’t cook – it was a rare occasion when he would grace us with his egg rolls – or really do any cleaning. He mowed the lawn, trimmed trees, worked on the car and watched sports. Because that was what a husband and father did.
My mom diligently kept our house as tidy as possible. There were times that she had a double-digit number of children in the house all day, making messes and causing chaos, in addition to her efforts in keeping us all fed – bologna and ketchup sandwiches anyone? – rested and occupied.
She gardened, cooked breakfast, lunch and dinner, managed shopping lists and school schedules, made sure our homework was done promptly and ensured we went to bed and were awake on time. Because that was what a wife and mother did.
The father worked. The mother was a homemaker. That was my childhood. As I got older and moved away from home, I carried this idea of the nuclear family with me. It applied to everything I did, every interaction I had and every decision I made, whether I realized it or not.
The world was – and still is – run by men, plain and simple. Men are the majority of CEOs, power players and other people of influence. Men controlled sports when I was a kid – there wasn’t even a WNBA for girls to dream of playing in, nor women’s professional soccer or hockey to speak of. Hannah Storm was the only female sports personality I can remember. Men controlled the media, from newspapers to movies and television.
Women who showed any inkling of wanting to break into this man’s world were shut down. Determination and drive were looked down upon. Women who aspired to be more than a homemaker were called vile names, belittled and made to feel less than. In some cases, they were flat out abused, both physically and emotionally. They were told to “get back in the kitchen” or “leave this to the big boys.” And they still are.
In my heart, I always hated it. I never thought it was right or acceptable. But this was the world. Who was I to question it? Then I did. One day, in my early 20s, I realized something. I thought about the women in my life, and I began to wonder why they weren’t allowed in the boys’ club.
Was it a fear that a woman was going to blow up the establishment and ruin the male-dominated society they were all so comfortable with? Did these men truly believe women are inferior? The answer to both was a resounding ‘Yes.’
When I met my wife – whom you all know and love – I was a line cook/corporate trainer for a well-known pizza and beer chain restaurant. Corporate trainer sounds fancy, but it doesn’t pay well, the hours are crazy and the toll on one’s body is exceptional. She, on the other hand, was an assistant community manager for an apartment community and was handling millions of dollars in assets for a large and powerful ownership group.
The role reversal in our relationship was clear from the beginning. I worked nights while she worked a normal 9-to-6 schedule. Early on, it was clear she was the breadwinner in our home. I did all the cooking, cleaning and laundry – mostly because I was home all day with nothing else to really do. I enjoyed it. She kept a roof over our heads, and I kept everything under that roof running to the best of my ability.
This has been the case for the majority of our relationship. Jen made the money. I made the home. I’ve never questioned it or felt bad about it. When we found out we were expecting our first child, there wasn’t even a discussion; we just knew I would be the one staying home when Jen’s maternity leave was over. We’ve never subscribed to the idea that our roles in our relationship, family or the world, in general, are predestined based on our gender.
The world is shifting, even if it’s at a glacial pace. What Jen and I have believed and practiced for the last 14 years together is becoming more and more acceptable, embraced and practiced. Dads are staying home with the kids while moms go to work.
Women are no longer excluded from every conversation, though the old world of male domination is fighting hard to keep them out. Women are running companies with great success, leading industries and driving innovation like never before. Women have moved into positions of power and influence in almost every aspect of life. Women are leading the way. They have a voice like never before – they should have had all along.
The smartest people I know are women. And I shouldn’t have to even say that. The progress on gender equality in the last few years has been phenomenal, but we’re not there yet. We need to continue to elevate women and to stop those trying to stop them.
Phrases such as “you throw like a girl” and “that wasn’t very lady-like” need to be eliminated from our vernacular. Ideas like “man’s work” and “a man’s world” should be dead. Telling a woman to stay in her lane should invite fury and anger the way so many lesser things in our world do. We must continue to fight. There is still work to be done, and we can’t leave it all up to the women to do alone.
In reference of work to be done, this season has been brutal for fantasy owners, leaving us constantly working the waiver wire to fill the holes in our lineups that seem to keep coming with no end in sight.
Between the slew of season-ending injuries and postponements, I feel like I spend half my week combing waiver wires for that one guy who might have a breakout. The work is never-ending. This week, I want to help you navigate waivers and fill some of those roster spots with guys who can produce, even if it’s only for a week.
With that, let’s get into some red-hot waiver wire targets for your bruised and battered rosters heading into Week 6:
HOT — Scotch Bonnet
Andy Dalton: Arizona at Dallas
If you have a pulse you saw the gruesome compound fracture that Dallas starting quarterback Dak Prescott suffered on Sunday. It was soul-crushing for fantasy owners and football fans alike.
Prescott is not only a fantasy roster QB1 staple, but he is also a phenomenal human being. This one hurt bad.
Enter Andy Dalton. We all know him from his nine years at the helm in Cincinnati. We know he is competent. We know he can win games. Now he is the QB1 in Dallas. He has a better core of skill position players than he ever had in Cincinnati. He has all the tools to excel on a team that needs him to be good.
Considering the waiver wire options for quarterbacks in most leagues are very thin, coupled with Dalton only being rostered in 0.2% of ESPN leagues, this seems like a no-brainer. There is no competition for Dalton, so barring injury, he can be a consistent part of your line-up the rest of the season with a huge potential upside.
HOT — Cayenne
Ryan Fitzpatrick: New York Jets at Miami
Ryan Fitzpatrick is a mystery. Most everyone expected Tua Tagovailoa to have taken the reins by now in Miami, yet Fitzpatrick continues to be “FitzMagic”.
If you can forget about his Week 1 mess against New England, Fitzpatrick has been a consistent solid fantasy play thus far, averaging 20.77 Fantasy Points Per Game (FPG). Somehow, even with that, Fitzpatrick is only rostered in 19.9% of ESPN leagues.
“FitzMagic” could turn to “FitzTragic” at any moment. We all know that. But a Week 6 matchup against the hapless New York Jets will not be that moment. Fitzpatrick absolutely shredded a very good San Francisco defense last week. He should have his way with New York this week, so get him while you can.
MEDIUM — Tabasco Pepper
Alexander Mattison: Atlanta at Minnesota
I know. Dalvin Cook. But, hear me out. Cook’s status for Week 6 is now in question after suffering a groin injury in Sunday’s loss to Seattle. With Cook’s absence, we saw Alexander Mattison get 20 carries for 112 yards, and boy did he look good doing it.
Mattison averaged 5.6 Yards Per Carry (YPC) and was a big part of Minnesota being able to move the ball at all in the 4th quarter. If Cook misses any time, Mattison will be a points hog. Even if Cook doesn’t miss time, we should see a drastically increased role for Mattison moving forward.
While he is rostered in 41.6% of ESPN leagues, he is out there. If you see him on your league’s waiver wire, grab him for Week 6 and beyond.
MILD — Pepperoncini
Ke’Shawn Vaughn: Green Bay at Tampa Bay
Ke’Shawn Vaughn is someone a lot of people believed could emerge as the RB1 in Tampa Bay – ahead of Ronald Jones – before the pre-season acquisition of Leonard Fournette. Not only did that expectation fade, so did the idea he would have any involvement in the offense at all evaporated into thin air.
That is, until this week. With Fournette banged up, Vaughn quietly slipped into the RB2 role in Tampa Bay, and he was part of the conversation yet again. But, he did not deliver. Vaughn did not get a single carry and had only two catches on three targets for five yards against Chicago.
With Fournette’s status for this coming Sunday in question, don’t be fooled into thinking Vaughn will somehow be inserted into the offense in any impactful way. He won’t. He is rostered in 12.1% of ESPN leagues. Don’t make it 12.2% this week.
And there you have it. Take it or leave it, and good luck in Week 6!
And now, a dad joke to make you cringe because it’s so corny.
I was wondering why this frisbee kept looking bigger and bigger.
Then it hit me.
As always, thanks for reading. For more fantasy and life content, find me on Twitter @jenatejack2017.