They say things come in threes and if that is the case, I shall be expecting delivery of my apron for the kitchen any day now.
Why would I think this?
Well firstly I was told by a rather misguided male during Holland’s dethroning of Spain that: ‘There’s absolutely no way you’re a sports journalist. Not a chance.’
This was followed a mere day later by seeing an article in the Telegraph – written by a woman no less – advising women ‘how to sound like an expert while your boyfriend’s watching football,’ so I am sure you can imagine how I currently feel towards attitudes to women in sport.
In fact so very disgusted am I that I have taken the gap between the end of the shock – but very deserved – Costa Rica win over Uruguay and the start of the England match to write this.
I did however take a moment to glance up at the winning lottery numbers announcement.
The reason being that I am hoping to win the jackpot and get the first train down to Stamford Bridge to offer my however many million quid winnings to Fernando Torres and ask him to consider his contract now paid up. They say money can’t make you happy but trust me, never having to see Torres don a Chelsea shirt again would do it for me.
Anyway back to the point in hand. Believe me, I didn’t enter into this career lightly or with my eyes closed. I knew there would be the occasional comment about my gender and have been told to ‘get back to the kitchen’ more than once. Quite what I would be expected to do in said kitchen considering even boiling an egg is a challenge and my culinary disasters are legendary I am not quite sure but there you go.
I have also been told I look more like a football WAG than a football writer which is mind boggling and something that is less likely to occur than Cesc Fabregas receiving a statue outside of the Emirates Stadium – for a list of reasons as long as Lionel Messi’s honours list, chief among them being the fact I aim to get married on the penalty spot at the Allianz Arena wearing a Drogba shirt.
Given Drogba doesn’t seem to be beating down my door to do this I doubt many other footballers would really be up for it somehow.
The fact that I have been writing professionally for five years now and have columns in various magazines, on websites and indeed founded and built up La Footyettes doesn’t seem to matter.
The fact that I watch literally every football match going (to the point where I will resort to Russian cup football if nothing else is on) and have some fairly sound opinions – or so I like to think -also seems to count for very little and all because of my gender. How utterly bizarre.
Of course, things are changing and getting better – so we are told. There is a huge amount of emphasis in getting the women’s game the recognition it deserves and there are more and more women in sport in terms of the journalistic side too.
Things like the Offside Rule podcast presented by Hayley McQueen, Lynsey Hooper and Kait Borsay are also paving the way for an increasing amount of women to feel confident and able to offer their views and opinions on the game not to mention God forbid they feel the need to do so, correct or disagree with a male counterpart and not get the reply ‘but you’re a woman, what would you know?’
In reality sexist comments could be taken as a somewhat double edged positive – if someone has to resort to levelling your gender at you to make their point seem correct, clearly they have nothing else to resort to. Despite that, no one wants to hear it. Undoubtedly, it is hard to shake and something that can knock the confidence and indeed moral of a woman.
We cannot forget that for every sexist moron, there is someone trying to help women get into the game and build a presence on the TV and in the written press. The fact that there are now regular outcries (rightly so) against comments from the likes of Sepp ‘blunder a minute’ Blatter and indeed the Premier League’s very own Richard Scudamore speaks volumes.
The article in the Telegraph was in fact brought to my attention by a male – and he was just as dismayed and indeed puzzled as any female I spoke to about it.
Not all men are sexist and not all females like football – neither do all men which is why the article from the Telegraph should have been directed at ALL individuals who don’t really have a wide knowledge of the game. Not females who want to impress their boyfriend!
That point was made by the legion of people – both male and female – who took to commenting on the article and indeed made it very clear that not only was it incredibly sexist, but it was also fairly patronising to anyone who read it and quite frankly, most girls who repeat those ‘points’ to their partners will probably be spending the rest of the tournament looking for a new boyfriend such was the quality – or indeed lack of – the suggested comments.
The fact that the article was actually written by a woman is even worse in some ways.
There are so many steps being taken by women to break that glass ceiling and then you read an article like that and feel back down to earth with a bump. Condescending, ill judged and quite frankly a disgrace – no matter how funny it was intended to be.
If anyone had any doubts about the quality of females currently writing about the game, all they need to do is look at the volume and quality of articles on this site alone. All the Footeyttes have been outstanding and are the best response to idiots making derisory comments and indeed articles that are ill judged at best a massive step back at worst.
Either that or just take a leaf out of my book and copy the response I gave the ‘there’s no way your a sports journalist’ moron and say: ‘Let me impress you with my knowledge. Remember when Zidane head-butted Marco Materazzi? Shall I show you just how he did it?’ and leave a very confused individual stood behind you.
Do you think more needs to be done to give females a voice in football? Are some women at fault for sexism still existing in the game? Let us know your thoughts below or tweet us @LaFootyettes.