Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Female Football

Got home rather late last night after attending the launch party of a new fair trade fashion label. M and I made cheese on toast and sat down to eat it on the sofa whilst watching the end of the news. Once that was over we had the misfortune to continue watching something to do with sports and they were showing the highlights of the days Female Football World Cup. (I think thats what it was anyway).

They showed the England girls playing against Japan and losing a 2-1 lead in the last minute by a Japanese free kick. Watching those girls race around on the pitch in an undignified manner reminded me of the last time that I ended up watching this spectacle. On that occasion I noted how I felt that the female players brought a bad name to women and last night seemed to be no exception.

There was Kelly Smith tearing around, doing her best Keira Knightley in Bend it like Beckham inpersonation (only nowhere near as attractive) pulling off her (gold) boots to kiss them when she scored a goal. Obviously she was not content with the mere pointing to her name on her shirt which she indulged in during club football and felt she had to think of something even more arrogant and unladylike to bring to International football. And then, when she scored again, she pulled off both gold boots. What does she plan to do if they actually manage to win a match? It's bad enough the way that men behave when they play football, but women?

When interviewed afterwards many of the players all said that they hoped it would be an exciting match which will draw more viewers. Well, I certainly won't be bothering watching any more of their matches.


Anonymous said...

I'm amazed that someone of your intellect, who clearly feels something for the idea of a modern woman in society (or at least I assume so, since you are a member of the trendy 'youth' WI) can have such Victorian standards of female deportment!
I would have thought you would be pleased to see women asserting themselves, being successful in a sport, when obesity is such a problem in our society, and striving to succeed in an area that is far too male dominated.
Surely women no longer have to fit in with values imposed upon them in a time when they were lesser beings, and can choose to conduct themselves in any manner they like? I am not denying that it may be vulgar, but what I am saying is, I find it difficult that you criticise them behaving like that because they are women. There is something unpleasantly patriarchal about that.

Rachel said...

Thank you anonymous.

The night after I wrote this post I found myself doing almost the very thing I had said I would not do - watching the highlights show again. Granted, it was because I was too tired to move from the sofa once newsnight had finished and England were not playing, but I did watch it.

I do feel something for the idea of the modern woman in society, but rather to the embracing of the traditional within modern society. I am pleased that women are suceeding in sport but I still feel that women should be women and not lower themselves to vulgar behaviour just because they have seen men behave in such a fashion.

This is not limited to the football pitch and I feel the same way towards women who scream insults at each other in the street, women who go out drinking to get drunk and behave inappropriately in the streets in the middle of the night, women who fight or deliberately behave in a 'laddish' fashion.

I believe in celebrating being a woman and her achievements. I do not think that celebrating women choosing to behave in anyway they like is helpful to improving society.

As for them striving to succeed in an area which is male dominated, I think they would get further if they celebrated the differences between men and women playing football, not trying to emulate the men but falling short.

James said...

"women should be women and not lower themselves to vulgar behaviour just because they have seen men behave in such a fashion."

Those pesky men... haha!