While at a bar watching Gameday before the Cincinnati game, a female friend of mine commented on the requisite 'Ann Arbor is a whore' sign bobbing up and down in the background. As an 18 year old freshman male, I must confess I found these signs and t-shirts fairly funny, and figured Michigan must be doing something right to get so much attention. In turn, I bought a few of my own that jabbed at the usual suspects while en route to Michigan Stadium and Crisler, and was easily acculturated to yelling about how it was 'all their fault' at Yost.
As a 36 year old, I'm ashamed to say the misogynistic quality of that sign, though similar to several others each week televised on national television, was still lost on me. Male sporting events are no doubt a remaining bastion for easy bigotry and sexism, but they can also be a place for Michigan to lead by example. These signs, t-shirts, and chants aren't ironic, they're not witty, and here's hoping the next generation of Michigan Men and Women uphold a more advanced sense of social awareness than mine did. Perhaps we can listen more closely to the lyrics of another common ritual at every game and show how we really are the Leaders and Best.