Sexism in the Yoyo Community

Before you judge me, hear me out.

Over the past few years, I’ve noticed a lot of mistreatment of women in the male-majority yoyo community. Watch any video featuring Ann Connolly and count how many times people have written some nasty sexual comments. Not convinced? Check Facebook and look at pictures of the aforementioned person.

That’s not even it; Ann is not the only one. Other female yoyoers also get their share of immature stuff from boys.

This is unacceptable. Women are people, too. They are not objects and they do not deserve all of this. They have feelings, too.

And us guys wonder why there aren’t that much female yoyoers in this community?

Be respectful.

That said, I would like to have a civil discussion about this topic. Do you think this kind of harsh treatment is getting out of hand? That there are too many “damnn, she has some fine booty i’d tap dat” or any similar comments? Don’t be afraid to speak up.

Moderators are keeping a close eye on this thread. Don’t be afraid to speak up, but also don’t be rude.

EDIT: I am aware that this issue is not exclusive to the yoyo community. I did NOT say this is something that only exists here. But this is something that definitely happens here. I just wanted to narrow down the topic. I’m not being narrow-minded, I just want to make this very specific. Don’t attack me because I did not mention this earlier.


Jeff Coons wrote this in his blog. It is an open letter to the yoyo community. This triggered me to make this thread and to discuss this.

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Well, I don’t recall ever seeing any sexual comment towards Bu-Ko…

You’re not helping.

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I completely agree.

The youtube comments on some of Ann Connolly’s videos are disgusting. They really aren’t appropriate to mention on this forum. You can find them by yourself I’m sure, they’re pretty common.

It really bothers me. When an aspiring female yoyo player tries to join the community and is faced with such treatment, it’s quite discouraging. People won’t acknowledge her because of her skill with a yoyo - rather, they will acknowledge her for being female.

What bothers me more is that most people don’t see what’s wrong with what they’re doing.


First, we should define what the yoyo community is. Comments made regarding sponsorship, as in the Jeff Coons message, have to do with the business of yoyo and those individuals who compete for their sponsors. That is a tiny fragment of the yoyo community.

Second, the fact that these women also throw doesn’t have any bearing on the comments they receive from boys/men. Those comments are motivated by one thing alone, frustration. And I don’t mean the kind of frustration that Spirit Bomb can cause.

Sexism may never be abolished because hormones and stupidity are way more powerful than knowledge and enlightenment. If you’ve ever played high school football, you may know what I’m talking about.

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I am a female yoyoer. It’s true… All of this. I remember in sixth grade I had started yoyoing, and I was really good. In the beginning of seventh, these boys started yo-yoing, so I brought my yoyo the next day to school and they excluded me simply because I was a girl. I was even better than them. They exluded me simply because I was a girl. Also, I was searching for an Ann connoly tutorial of green triangle. Suprisingly, there was a video that said Ann connoly tutorial green triangle, but it had a male in the video, so I was curious and clicked it. The guy was making fun of Ann connoly and her voice and just the meanest things I’ve seen. All the comments were supporting this guy. I am in a hope program which combines peer counsling(I am a peer counselor) and students against bullying. This is most definitely bullying. If we don’t stop this now what world are we going to live in. This is sad that it has reached the yoyo community. This needs to stop

Mode edit: Please note that Graeme’s video is a known Parody. No need to comment further that that was the case.

Graeme’s video was a parody and even Ann herself liked the video and posted it on her Facebook page. But to those who don’t know Graeme that well, yes, it can be taken offensively. And I don’t blame that. It happens.

It’s arguable that sexism and other social problems in this world can’t be eliminated. However, we can at least reduce the injustices so everyone regardless of gender feels safe in this small community.

All I’m asking is, don’t be a jerk and don’t be a sick individual.

Anyway, to YYF and Ann, I apologize for using Ann as example. But since Ann is pretty much the face of the female yoyo community, just as Jeff wrote, I have to mention her because this kind of mistreatment is there.

That was just a joke by Graeme. It was all in good fun, and no one was offended. Ann even posted it on Facebook saying “my new tutorial.”

Graeme Steller is good friends with Ann, so i know for fact that he wasnt doing to make fun of her.

It was all just fun, that im sure Ann thinks its funny too.

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Great topic. I’ve only been throwing for about 1.5 years, but I’ve been involved in the video game community since 2004. And I’m very active/knowledgeable about games and what’s happening with people in the gaming industry (thanks to social networking). Where to start…

This is an important topic that is extremely hot these days in the gaming community.

Sexism is very much alive in games as women who make games or write about games face many hardships just because of their sex. If you’re on Twitter, search #1reasonwhy right now and read all of that.

In my past year as a yoyoer and a member of the forums, I’ve noticed that it the yoyo community is light years behind the gaming community. And don’t take that as a knock. It is what it is. There are more young people throwing than older people and they don’t think about this stuff as much.

I never really minded the sexism in the community because I found that it wasn’t as prevelent and it’s my place to relax and get away from “all that” – just a place to talk about a toy. But it certainly exists. And it should be prevented and called out.

Before my post spins out of control (I have to go plan a lecture too). I just want to say that you should live your life by the Golden Rule. Treat others the way you want to be treated, and you’ll be okay. This means that you need to be “centered” and be able to put yourself in other peoples’ shoes. Understand how your actions can bother and hurt people.

Thank you all for clearing that out for me. I did not know that at least it was taken as a joke :slight_smile:

Well, Bu-Ko is undeniably an excellent player; do you not agree? She has been yoyoing for a lot longer than most of us here. I’ve long been a huge fan of her.

I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, and she is a far, far better player than I’ll ever be, but I think if we’re honest we could say that at least part of the reason Ann has her sponsorship is because she’s attractive. At least it was probably a plus factor. Her vids get tons of views.

So, you could play it either way. I don’t know Ann, but if she were business minded she would probably see this as something to exploit. If she can promise lots of attention coming her way, however it comes, then that really just gives her throwing career a boost.

On a more general note, I don’t really know what people hope to accomplish by saying this sort of thing about women on the internet regardless of the context. Unfortunately I also don’t think there’s really much that can be done to curb it.

I have read these threads before. And frankly, they always seem a bit self-serving. Almost like someone is trying to score political correctness-points with a girlfriend or something.

So, the whole of the male dominated yoyo community is sexist because some idiot makes a shallow comment on youtube? That is a stinging indictment of the whole of the male race based on the actions of an individual; probably a child. That hardly seems logical or fair.

More importantly, we are somehow sexist to notice that Ann is an attractive female? Ooops, my bad. So, why is Ann constantly on tour and manning the YoyoFactory booth at trade shows? Because of her multiple world titles and regional championships? No, it is because she is an attractive lady who also happens to be able to play yoyo with the best of them.

Lets be honest, if she was not as attractive, would she be as successful? The answer to that does not lie with the yoyo community. That answer is part of the human condition; ugly as it is.


I read all the replies to this post and something stood out more than anything anybody said… It is what all of you guys failed to recognize.

Just about Every male dominated ‘anything’ has varying degrees of Sexism. Centering this malady on Yoyoing is very narrow.

Maybe because I am soo friggin old, I have just ‘see more’. Dunno? Let me give a clearer view>

  1. Bowling < When I was a much younger guy, I was into Bowling. Mainly men on League night/no problems. But on the week ends during general recreational bowling; the guys could not wait to make endless comments on every single ‘movement’ of the women Bowlers. Extremely rude.

  2. There was a YMCA 3 blocks from my parents house when I was a kid. I used to go down there and play Handball. Using only the thinnest gloves, we used to seriously Slap the heck out of a very hard little black ball. Very few guys my age seemed to be into it because of the pain involved in smacking the ball and getting hit with the ball. So I would go up against hard core Handball players usually twice my age and experience. Needless to say; I got really good. Then I moved on to something new.
    Years later Racquet ball became the Rage. Alot of people got into that. Unlike Handball(never saw a women play) Racquet ball attracted ‘some ladies’. They seemed to like the Endurance/conditioning it could provide. I decided to try out this Racquet ball craze and instantly realized how my extensive Handball experience made me a Racquet ball Killa. lolol. Full knowing how to put the ball where ‘my opponent wasn’t’ proved to be a real advantage for me. Especially fun was that women would seek me out for matches because they knew that I could not only make them better but get them running all over the court for a serious workout.

Now the bad news. The Boxed Racquet ball courts had bench seating(above rear of back wall) and anytime I had a woman on the court, the guys would sit up there and say the Nastiest things you could imagine. < The Only time rude comments were made was when there was a woman on the court. Completely ruined the fun of ‘having fun’.

  1. I was an Archer for many years. I used to compete at the local and regional levels. Mainly men waaay back then. As soon as a woman started letting arrows fly, the guys were right there creating nasty comments about anything the woman might physically possess. It didn’t matter if she could hit Bulleyes like Robin Hood. It was all about ’ Hey man, look at the !!! on that chick when when she pulls back that bow string.

  2. I have been shooting Billiards for over 50 years now. I was/am not naturally gifted as a pool player, but with the help of players much better than me and decades of experience, I can honestly say that I can clean round objects off the pool table in very quick order. When guys are playing for money, you can almost hear a pin drop. Few comments about much of anything. But when a woman picks up a stick(no matter what she looks like) Every single move the woman makes in the process of smacking the cue ball into another ball on the table, drew endless tasteless comments. I would love to have a dollar for every Red face I saw on a woman at the other end of some of those nasty remarks. Very sad.

  3. Living a mile from the Pacific Ocean made it pretty handy for me to take up Surfing. Few girls surfed back then. When the surf was up and the crew was in the water, few words were said. There would be several guys in the line up and the Order was pretty much based on best baddest surfer goes first and everybody knew the order of ‘whos’ wave was next up. < Things changed the moment a girl would bring a board into the line up. The Rude comments would start before she even made it through the surfline. Relentless. I saw soo many girls just take one wave in and leave.

Well, I could putting up more numbers and sharing more life experiences, but I would like to at least think that a few of you may recognize the reality I have presented to you in Story form.

Sexism is ‘NOT’ a Yoyo based exclusive problem. Its’ Historical significance is evident in just about ‘any’ male dominated: sport/past time/ hobby, etc.

I am in no way saying that it should be tolerated. Not in yoyoing. Not in anything people have fun doing.

And all those little stories I shared with you guys are not including the stories about what guys say when they have been drinking. Even some of the nicest guys get pretty RUDE with the sexist comments once they have had a few drinks.

There are primarily 2 kinds of men on Earth: Gentlemen and Pigs. Gentlemen have Class. They are respectful. They have ‘honor’. They are well liked and respected because they get what they give. They are generally happy and confident and can be counted on.
Pigs are the other kind of men. They lack confidence. They don’t understand Honor. They cannot grasp the practice of ‘good manners’. They try to impress each other by making rude and distasteful comments about women whenever the opportunity arises. Their only confidence comes from knowing that there are many more Pigs just like them. This makes them Bold and tactless.
They have sick fun in knowing that no matter how many gentlemen there are in the room, that it only takes a Few Pigs to make All of us look like Jerks. It is a very sad situation.

I just presented this little Oratory because this is a problem that plagues the entire Country; not just the Yoyo Community.

And since I have been around Yoing for 15+ now, I will repeat something I said in a Post many many years ago on another yoyo board. ‘All the people in Yoing are not 1 big close knit family. They are just a bunch of people with strings on their fingers’. All manner of people are into yoyoing.

Those that suggest that ‘We in Yoing are just one big close knit loving yoyo community’ have a a very poor view of Reality.

We, as a Yoyo Community, should not tolerate sexism; period. Ever. No exceptions.

Just don’t post up on the board, like this is something exclusive to yoing.


I agree with this.
However, I also think it’s important to acknowledge how maybe for some of the younger members this might be the entry-point for these kinds of attitudes to start shaping them as people.
I think it’s interesting that in the facebook comments originally referenced by Jeff Coons that the people making the sexist comments seemed to indicate that they had somehow been slighted or been treated unfairly, and so in turn, engaged in their own unethical treatment of women.
I think that no one here would say that they want to be treated unfairly, and in a sense, I can see how the idea of a man and a woman with equal skills wanting sponsorship and the sponsorship going to the woman because she would better represent the brand or provide better marketing for it could be seen as “unfair”…

However, who says it’s anyone’s “right” to be sponsored? Entitlement is an ugly suit. It’s not a good look - ever.

Also, I can guarantee you, that if you’re a male in just about any culture, even though we’re in the 21st century, you’ll have more opportunities for things in life than most women - ever – so if we’re just talking fairness, men are still at the advantage.

Why not celebrate when women get some opportunities?

Young fellas reading this: Whether you want to approach the issue from the perspective of inalienable rights to respect, or maybe from the perspective of men as more privileged members of society with a responsibility to ensure that our “societally disadvantaged” sisters/wives/mothers/friends aren’t being overlooked or stepped on, you have a responsibility to treat everyone well.

If you’re upset that maybe it doesn’t seem “fair” to you. Keep in mind that it’s not fair, and that you are more privileged than most women – just because of our culture.

Contrary to popular belief/philosophy, fairness isn’t justice. I doubt anyone would say it’s just to treat women disrespectfully. So get over your hurt feelings (if you have them) and take a long look at why you might feel the need to lash out – if that’s your tendency.

A lot of times, we come by our prejudices naturally. People of influence tell us this or that and we buy into it. But if you find yourself in a situation where you tend to say/agree with these hurtful things, think twice about why you believe it. A little self-examination might do you (and the rest of the society around you) a lot of good.

Much love,

–Adam B.


I don’t think anyone was trying to day it was exclusive to yoyoing…just that it is sad that it is happening in the yoyo community.

That said. I agree. I have read some of the comments on the you tube videos (not just Ann’s, Tessa and other females too) and they made me sick. And in fact I felt like I could not let my almost 10 year old son watch their videos because I did not want him to read that crap. To him it is just cool that a girl is yoyoing and doing a great job at it! We got to meet Ann at MA states and she was super sweet signed a few cards for him and took a pic with him.

However the fact remains these are beautiful talented girls.
And some people are just jerks. They don’t think about or care about how stupid they may seem or who they may hurt with their lame comments.

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Well, Freud was right!!

Well said. I’ve made the same comment numerous times.