It’s easy for me to say “yes of course it is” and then ramble on but I have also realised I am partly at fault also.
Take this scenario; a night out with friends, my phone runs out of battery (seriously this would never happen) and I want to know the football scores. As I survey the pub do I ask the group of men towards to the left of the bar or the group of women towards the right. I want to go right, I want to but I know I have to go left if I want to know the answer quickly. I loathe myself. If I was in that group of women I’d be really annoyed “Hey, women like football too you know” and they do. In fact I know a lot of women who can talk football better than most men and I don’t just mean offside! We could out-talk most men on football I’m sure and I do like it when men realise “Oh so you do know football, you weren’t just saying that” I’m also hating on you for judging me but both sexes judge each other.
Women football fans will forever be judged on only liking football because they fancy a footballer. Hey guys, so how many of you watched the women’s volleyball matches in The Olympics? Point made there I feel. We all know it helps to have an ‘added interest’ in our sports but do we judge or is it just banter? There are times when banter gets too much, friends have recollected times in the stands where they’d hear “Get your tits out” or “It’s nice you’ve come to the game with him”. Maybe, he came with me!
As a female football coach myself, I still hear stories from girls who have been told “You are a girl, girls don’t play football”. There ends their involvement and of course their confidence has been knocked that if you want to try to get them back into the game that immediately they are feeling negative. Girls are seen as these quiet and breakable things that shouldn’t be playing a men’s game. The turn-out for the women’s matches at The Olympics were fantastic and I went to the England v Brazil game at Wembley. It was probably the best atmosphere I’ve experienced at the new Wembley.
On Saturday Sian Massey was trending again on twitter after making another (of course!) correct decision whilst being assistant referee in the Stoke v Chelsea game. Whenever I hear her name I feel nervous, what happens when she does make a mistake? We’re not very known for being supportive to ref’s who have made mistakes, despite doing the best they can with the technology available to them. I also think “Leave her alone” and “Let her do her job”. Mostly I am just proud, the game is changing – not always for the better but sometimes there are signs that we’re getting an equal go.
Whenever I see the media praising the women’s game I feel proud and on a personal note when I have a girl tell me that their ambition is to be a footballer I also grin. Judge us at your peril, we’re a feisty bunch at times and we really do know our stuff.
So what if we think van Persie is sexy, you know you do too 😉