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Feminism: Sex & gender discussions

Feminism and football.

45 replies

solidgoldbrass · 24/06/2012 23:51

I don't like football, it bores me (as does all sport. I don't give a fuck about tennis or the Olympics, either). I am, however, aware that the England Women's football team has a rather better track record in international competitions than the England Men's team, so I get a bit fed up of being told that the reason I am very bored by football matches is because I don't have a penis.
The majority of my male friends have little interest in football (whoever's playing it) and a couple of my female friends are very enthusiastic and passionate longterm fans of men's football.
So what does everyone else think?

OP posts:
thechairmanmeow · 25/06/2012 05:57

i'm male and i would rather watch paint dry than football.

i very much dislike the caveman songs the crown chant.

i once was stuck on a train at about 11pm on my way home with a carrage full of drunk singing ajax fans. it was hell.

namechangeguy · 25/06/2012 08:45

I go to football matches in England regularly. I am falling out of love with the sport though - it reeks of cheating and bad sportsmanship at every level. However, in 20+ years of attending matches, I have never known it more popular with women. I think there must be more women attending Premiership games than ever. Whether this is partly due the the celebrity-isation and WAG-ification of the players and wives, I am not sure.

It is a pity there is not more general interest in women's football and rugby in England though. The women's teams in both sports are amongst the very best in the world.

bejeezus · 25/06/2012 09:25

dd plays football and rugby...i encourage rugby over my feeling is there is less inherent racism and sexism in the sport

i quite enjoy watching either but would never watch a match if there was something else to do. Only if its a choice between watching sport or cleaning for example

bejeezus · 25/06/2012 09:25

Im a lady btw

bejeezus · 25/06/2012 09:27

i read an article i one of teh womens England players-forget who-she has 2 other jobs besides playing football for England!!! disgraceful considering how much men football players get paid

namechangeguy · 25/06/2012 09:36

If English women want to make a living at football, they used to have to go to Italy or the USA. The women's game is huge in America, relatively speaking.

SardineQueen · 25/06/2012 09:42

I have very little interest in team sports full stop TBH, no matter what they are or who is playing.

DH is a rugby person and just keeps the "minimum bloke level" of football knowledge that most blokes seem to need to have for social/work type situations.

I prefer the rugby - like bejeezus it just seems much more civilised. DH took DD1 to a final recently (my suggestion there was a spare ticket) and she's only 4 and she had a great time.

Also the men who play football at higher levels so often seem to behave in such an appalling way, especially when it comes to women. Which obviously is not something that appeals to me! So many of them seem like really nasty pieces of work, acting immorally / illegally and getting away with it right, left and centre. And while in theory being good at a sport is nothing to do with what sort of a person you are, in practice it is a bit revolting seeing some of these men revered when they are clearly just scumbags.

PersonalClown · 25/06/2012 09:49

I love football on all levels. Doesn't mean I actually like or respect the players at all.
I do think it has become a 'celebrity' culture and wages need to be capped.

I'll admit that I was a little uplifted at the amount of complaints received when Sky sports cut the coverage of the Women's FA cup final to start the men's League one playoff.

namechangeguy · 25/06/2012 09:59

Does feminist writers have anything to say about sporting culture and the benefits to participants? There are so many positives about sports participation - fitness, goal achievement, self respect, respect for team-mates and opponents. It very rarely gets mentioned on here.

solidgoldbrass · 25/06/2012 10:06

Namechangeguy: I agree that participation in team sports can be a good thing, though it still baffles me completely that so many people get so excited about watching other people running about after a ball.

But the way women's sports participation is ignored and sidelined is a bit worrying.

OP posts:
melliebobs · 25/06/2012 10:09

I love football. Played for several clubs from the age of 14 till last year when pg with dd. I love watching the men's game both live n on the box. However watching the women's came is friggin painful! It's so slow and not as exciting

bejeezus · 25/06/2012 10:10

CAMARADERIE namechangeguy the RFC were dd goes make a big thing of this...and I think its a really important thing

solid I wonder if having experienced this by playing team sport, you enjoy watching other teams play more?? thats what I enjoy about it...people being united with a common goal

is it common that people who dont like watching team sports, havent played team sports themselves?

RumbleGreen · 25/06/2012 10:13

There is a difference between the men and women's game, I have watched both on the international stage. Men's football is faster, more powerful and technical. The women's game does get broadcast especially international tournaments but the viewership just isn't there.

PosieParker · 25/06/2012 10:22

I watched it last night, unusually, and thought it was quite bizarre. A whole nation, male and female, were watching a group of men run around a pitch with a ball. I do get the excitement and get behind a team, but I find it all rather pointless.

namechangeguy · 25/06/2012 10:32

There must be a correlation though between participation at grass-roots level and media coverage at the highest level. If we can encourage girls to take part in both individual and team sports, it will benefit everyone.

I swim competitively, and there is an individual and team aspect to races and galas. There are more girls than boys in the clubs, and roughly equal men and women (masters). It teaches you about capabilities of both genders too - there is nothing like having a girl a third of your age and half your size beating you in training to teach you a little humility Grin .

I think it also must help girls come to terms with the bombardment of body image issues and the media. There are no page 3/Jordan body shapes in the pool or at the track. I know the media concentrates mostly on professional men's sports, but it's a bit chicken-and -egg - if there are so few female participants, and a general attitude of CBA, media perception wont alter.

ChickensHaveNoLips · 25/06/2012 10:37

I have this vague recollection of learning at school that during the war women's football really took off and got loads of coverage etc. Then the men came home and they were booted out of the limelight. Am I making that up?

WicketyPitch · 25/06/2012 10:49

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bejeezus · 25/06/2012 10:51

I dont think it is a case of CBA namechangeguy. Not at all actually

It took me ages to convince dd that rugby isnt 'just for boys' -now she goes she loves it and there are other girls. But, we could have fallen at teh first hurdle-im sure many do. I dont see any over 12 year old girls playing; I think it is stigmatised as 'for boys' In fact, I think most team sport is the older you get/the more competitive you get...

Then there is the issue of it being 'too slow' and 'boring' as a spectator sport, if girls are playing Hmm

There was a thread recently about girls being put off sport for life by school PE lessons wasnt there??? I never read it...maybe that holds some clues...I know I was put off sport at school. And it took a while to come back to it as an adut. I wish I had done more in my formative years

Whatmeworry · 25/06/2012 11:01

DH definitely has a penis and doesn't like football, prefers rugby. He used to coach it and they had a girls team, I agree there seems to be less sexism (as well as racism, yobbism etc) in Rugby. We lived in the US for a while, football is extremely poular there among girls.

I played hockey and found the sexes mixed freely and very amicably :o

melliebobs · 25/06/2012 11:05

chickens no your not making it up. Preston North End ladies (who I used to play for) were one of the best ladies teams during war time Britain

Whatmeworry · 25/06/2012 11:08

Re Women's sports, I think its like other minority sports, ie not enough people are interested. All my kids - male and female - are all into martial arts and sailing, and those gets very little airtime either.

What does need to happen is more girls need to do sport IMO. In my experience hockey, martial arts and sailing are not very sexist, yet even so few girls are into them.

SardineQueen · 25/06/2012 11:10

There have been a few threads on here about women and girls and sport. It is a really difficult issue.

From what I remember and incredibly briefly, the difficulty starts in that females are taught from young their bodies are important for what they look like, and males their bodies are important for what they can do.

Team sports - are encouraged hugely in males and individual sports more for females. I can't remember all the conversation around that but it made sense at the time! So females work in solitude to make their bodies nicer for others to look at, while males work in teams for fun and to enjoy their physicality.

Obviously huge over-simplification there!

With school there is the problem when girls reach puberty with breasts boinging around and them getting comments, not feeling much like sport when they are pre-menstrual / menstruating. And of course exercise makes you red in the face and mucks your hair up - combine that with the breasts issue and the general teen anxiety about looks (male and female) and you have a mixture which acts to discourage female participation.

There was lots of other stuff as well but it's all very entrenched and to do with male/female roles and stuff. Even something like if you are a girl and you do sport and get muscular you are told (by media and often by actual people) that it is not a desirable way for a girl to look.

Loads of stuff.

Of course this is all "in general" and there are many many females out there who love exercise of various types and revel in their physicality. It's just a shame it's not more.


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bejeezus · 25/06/2012 11:28

that all makes so much sense SQ

at 7 yo dd is already worrying about getting fat etc etc And she does loads of sports. Its madness.

I read somewhere on here that it is much easier to forgive your body for not 'looking right' if you are fit and you witness what your body is capable of doing... have to be so conscious all the time, to counter this stuff dont you?......

NicholasTeakozy · 25/06/2012 11:38

The England Womens Rugby team are the current 6 Nations champions and have been for about the last 5 years.

England Ladies Football need a win against Croatia to win their group and qualify for the European Finals which are being held in Sweden nest summer.

I prefer to watch womens football, they appear to put more thought into it.

SardineQueen · 25/06/2012 11:39

I think the thing about how if you feel fit and healthy and vigorous you are less worried about what your body looks like is very true.

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