Politics

You dont have to be a sexist French philosopher to avoid womens football

      If it wants to attract the kind of people who actually enjoy watching sport, womens football must stop being a grievance-filled political movement for the morally virtuous.      

This week controversial French public intellectual Alain Finkielkraut set off a firestorm in France. When asked if he was going to watch the Womens World Cup, which has begun this week in his homeland, he dared to simply say “I dont like womens football.”

He was branded by his TV interviewer as “retrograde” and “condescending” and widely condemned as “sexist” on social media. Finkelstein gave his critics plenty to pick on, saying “thats not how I see women” and that their game is “equal but different” (though one could argue these are simply personal aesthetic observations, to which he is entitled).

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But the bigger point remains: saying that you dont like womens football in public is now taboo. Claim the same thing about any other sport – American football, Formula 1, mens figure skating – you are fine. Say it about this one, and it is a political statement against equality, feminism, progress.

Feminism as a sport

This is no accident – outside the field of play all aspects of the game are presented to the wider audience through an ideological lens.

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Read any story of reasonable length about it, and you will inevitably be told that it was once as popular as the mens game – on the basis of a handful of selected attendances in wartime England a century ago – and was then suppressed by men fearful of its success (though it was restricted in several countries, it is disingenuous to pretend that this was the sole reason for the fact that it remains nowhere near as in-demand as the male game in every single country in the world, whatever the starting conditions).

News articles about the present-day game are most often complaints. Girls not being allowed to play in boys teams, lack of female representation in football bodies, inferior facilities. Or demands, particularly for equal pay, which combine a Marxist understanding of economic fairness, with a litigious desire to benefit from the fruits capitalism has brought to football. The two biggest stories in the run-up to France 2019 were the US womens team lawsuit to close the “pay gap” with the mens soccer team – which brings in several times more revenue – and the Australian womens team demand for equal World Cup prize money with the men, even though the mens world cup earns billions, and the womens tournament tens of millions.

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All positive developments are justified by a nebulous social purpose. BBC broadcasts wall-to-wall womens football despite low ratings, the Guardian writes dozens of articles that inevitably invite just a handful of (pre-moderated) comments, and are often disguised so that the careless reader doesnt realize he is about to click on womens football. English Premier League football teams are losing millions each year financing loss-making female teams. Sponsors are jumping in, though I would bet that even the vast majority of avid sports fans cannot name ten active female footballers, and fewer that they have seen play.

The overall feeling is that womens football is a perpetual victimhood and empowerment narrative foisted by the media and corporate elite on an unwilling audience for their own good. Why is it even SO important that this particular womens sport is played professionally?

Truly inclusive

And in this form, I dont like it. I dont like its “worthy” aura and I dont like that I have to pay more money for the football that I do watch to prop up football that I dont.Read More – Source
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