Football v Sexism

It’s International Women’s Day – a day to focus on issues effecting females on a global scale and to educate, a day to help women embrace who they are, their ambitions and skills, and to celebrate all the ladies in your life. There is still so much inequality in the world when it comes to men and women, but they can both do their bit to help the sexes become more equal.

To celebrate International Women’s Day, here is an article on Football v Sexism from issue 41 (May/June 2014)

Football is huge here in the UK – both financially and as a loved sport. Mainly it’s the men’s game that is known throughout the world, with clubs such as Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal being the favourites on a global scale. I, myself am a Gooner, and in a few days time I’ll be watching the FA Cup Final against Aston Villa at Wembley Stadium… Via a TV screen, of course!

Fans watching Notts County Ladies

Fans watching Notts County Ladies

The women’s football game has grown over the past year, although it’s still nothing compared to the men’s game. However, the Women’s FA Cup Final will be held at Wembley Stadium on 1st August for the first time ever, and that in itself is a huge deal. Also, we have the Women’s World Cup this summer being held in Canada – this all surely marks an exciting year for women’s football, right?

So why have people taken to Twitter to joke and make sexist remarks about women being included in the popular computer game, FIFA16 next year? Here’s one remark made (taken from bbc.co.uk):

@or_mizo: Women are in next FIFA game, damn you feminism, you’ve ruined everything

I’m not sure feminism ruins anything, in fact it should have a positive impact, especially on the lives of women.

@bathwese: I dunno why EA’s introducing women teams on fifa 16 yazi… unless they gonna exchange jerseys at the end of the match

The above Tweet reminds me of some homophobic men – they can’t stand gay men, but they’ll happily watch lesbian porn. In this situation they dislike the idea of women being involved in a ‘man’s game’ but if they take their top off (they’ll be wearing appropriate gymwear…) then it’s okay.

This is why feminism exists, unfortunately. As a male, if you have a mother, daughter, sister, girlfriend, niece, grandma, etc., then you should be supporting women’s rights. I personally believe that if men saw women as equal, and ladies were treated as an equal, there would be no need for feminism in the first place!

I still can’t get over the fact that men (not all, please don’t shout at me) still can’t admit that girls can play football. If there is one thing I have learnt from watching women’s football matches, it’s do not compare it to the men’s game. See it with fresh eyes and from a different perspective. It’s less angst-ridden and not as fast-paced*, but that’s more down to fact that there is no testosterone on the pitch! When a girl gets injured by another player, there is no acting either! They more than likely carry on, but when they do get hurt, you’ll know about it.

Even though a small majority of men don’t agree women’s football should be seen as a main sport or equal to that of the men’s game, there is still a smell of optimism in the air surrounding it.

FA Chairman, Greg Dyke, at thefa.com said: “The FA is committed to the growth of women’s football and holding The FA Women’s Cup Final at Wembley is another important milestone in the development of the game.”

I am happy women are getting recognised in one of the most popular computer games out there. This, to me, is another huge step for women in sport. Maybe one day there won’t be a gender divide when it comes to sport, and people will laugh when they read up on the history and how once upon a time, women were not taken seriously in sport. Well, I can dream, can’t I?

*Well, after the Women’s World Cup in Canada I changed my mind! It can be just as angst-ridden as the men’s game.

Read our interview with Chelsea Ladies player Gilly Flaherty ahead of the Women’s FA Cup in 2015.

All words copyright VanityHype 2015/16

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