Hi, I’m Jordan Zucker and I’m a girly girl, or so I’ve been told by my producer. You know, the math major, homeowner, sports lover type of girly girl. Some may call this a living contradiction (though I prefer Renaissance woman.) For me, it’s just reality. A responsible risk taker, a confrontational peacemaker, an emotional rock, an open-minded yet decisive paradox. You can think you’ve known me for ten years after meeting me for ten seconds yet find me irresistibly unpredictable. (this is unverified…) I live loudly, and boldly, and independently, and proudly, and passionately, and authentically, to the beat of my own drum (or whichever band’s drum I’m currently swooning over).
Allow me to digress before I sound too much like a swipey dating site profile.
I didn’t grow up a sports fan. I didn’t know it was an option. Or maybe it was like scallops and I didn’t develop the taste for it until after college. (Two of my current favorite things…) I want to change that. I want future generations of children to take gender equality to the next level. Of course girls like sports and science. Of course boys like manicures and aprons. My mother wanted to take shop instead of home economics. Retired male athletes are learning to knit. Why should social stigma dictate who grabs the hammer and nail over needle and thread? Don’t get me wrong, I love tradition. I love chivalry. I love dressing up and looking pretty and kissing in the rain and kissing in the sun and kissing in the car in the rain or the sun. But the tradition shouldn’t be informed by your X or Y chromosome.
So I picked up football later in life. Blame it on a delayed case of FOMO. But let’s emphasize the “it’s never too late message.” I jumped head first into fantasy football like Michael Dixon in a green water pool, Slumdog Millionaire shit dive style. And I wanted to share this newfound passion with other women who just needed a little assistance in tapping into their inner end zone dancing. So I started Girls Guide to Fantasy Football, which soon expanded to baseball, basketball, hockey, soccer, until we umbrellaed into Girls Guide to Sports. Sometimes we all just need a little permission to do something new, a handhold into unchartered territory. It’s not for everyone, but there were and are many women that were overjoyed to venture into the male dominated sports world and buck the trend.
While the thrills of the small victories in each sports game are rewarding, and seeing the glow behind my girlfriends’ eyes when they proudly smack talk their team provides certain satisfaction, my inner over-achiever reminded me I wasn’t curing cancer. Not to minimize the value of stress breaks and avenues of pleasure and entertainment. We need it. All of the seemingly more meaningful causes would be pointless without a joyful life to strive for. But I felt the need to channel the fluffy with the concrete, the fun with the serious, the play with the work. So I decided to combine a trendy cause with a monumental one. Cue Planned Parenthood. And cue the 2016 election.
I’m with her. Let’s state the obvious. But even if it weren’t she, I’d be with practically anyone other than whom we wound up with. Every generation has a challenge to overcome and we’ve just been handed ours. It’s been crushing. I’d put money on a Xanax prescription and therapist appointment spike. People in every city have been struggling to swallow the unfathomable reality. We attempt daily to teach that bad experience holds way more virtue than bad history. Though I may continue to mourn, reading the news in disbelief, embarrassed and ashamed of the country, there’s no production in that. I felt helpless. How could little young me do something effective to make a difference? So I started to play small ball. It’s not as impactful as a power play, but it’s how some games are won.
So I’m throwing a Super Bowl party as a Planned Parenthood benefit. Because any sized effort must make a difference. Because we can combine the severity of causes and embrace the synergy of a gamut of women’s needs. Because we all need to root for a forward pass together. Please join me.