My Big Mouth: The Beautiful Game’s Fight with the Ugly Face of Sexism

Tonight I’ve broken away from my blogging to write about something I didn’t even realise I was passionate about until a few months ago. Womens Football. I was scrolling through facebook tonight and a post came up about the Chelsea Ladies team going to the finals at Wembley. I’m a Chelsea supporter so obviously I was proud and left my own comment with happiness. That happiness quickly disappeared when I started scrolling through the comments. These were some of the delightful gems I came across… Screen Shot 2015-07-29 at 20.35.48 Screen Shot 2015-07-29 at 20.35.05

I knew there would be some ‘chelsea is shit’ posts, there always are (haters gonna hate). I didn’t think there would be such sexist comments, it made me feel a little sick. The men in the comments section range from ‘get your tits out’ mentality to why is this here, women’s football will never be as big. I don’t know if they noticed but 50 percent of the world are female. Shock horror. The fact that there was so much open sexism made me feel a little sick and I think it was the last straw for me.

I remember wanting to go and watch the women’s world cup in the pub, it wasn’t on. While it wasn’t on expensive channels, no pubs had advertised it nor had they put it on. I don’t have a TV so the pub is where I go to watch sport, a few years ago every pub was rammed for the mens world cup, but women didn’t even get a mention. There are tops in supermarkets and the whole country gets involved for the mens world cup, but not the women. Oh no, no our greatest female footballers came home to this tweet (which was quickly taken down):

lionesses

It was as if what they achieved was a cute little hobby and not, you know representing the country. I, like many others, was quick to point out that they had done better than our men’s team and at least deserved the same, if not more respect. Not because they’re women, but because they made the country proud.

When I was a little girl, I watched the football with my Dad, I named my hamster after Frank Lampard (he was called Lampie for short) and always had the latest football shirt. I remember asking my Dad after looking through Chelsea Magazine why we didn’t watch the women’s football on TV, just the mens. My Dad said he didn’t know, it just wasn’t as big as men’s football as far as he knew. I didn’t understand but I asked a few more questions, before letting it go. Now I’m 20 years old and I am still asking the same question I was at least a decade ago.

I liked playing football at school when I could do PE, tag rugby was fun (apart from when they made us stand outside and freeze) and I was one of only two girls in my class to get on to the highest level of trampets. I was never in the sporty crowd but sometimes I enjoyed it. I’m not going to lie and say I religiously watch any kind of football, I don’t really. What I am saying is that I 100% believe that if women’s football got as much exposure as men’s it would we’d inspire a new generation of girls that it’s not just the boys who can take the lead in sport.

We will beat the misogynists in football because there are strong women who are there to be role models for our little girls and women like me who don’t eat, sleep,breath sport but can appreciate it. I hope that in the next 10 years when I have children of my own, maybe even girls of my own, I can simply turn on the TV and there will be a women’s match on TV. That if I end up with a daughter who takes after My Dad, Gramps, Grandad, my cousins and have that passion for football and want to play, then hell they can go and do it with no prejudice.

Piss off sexism, there’s no room for you here.

Let me know what you think girls and guys? Do you think we’ll get equality in sport?

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