Saturday, April 15, 2006

Beer and Football with the Girls

Something's happening to the gender connotations of football. That's soccer to you transatlantics. The streets in my area are closed to cars and kids play there all the time. And this spring I'm seeing a lot of ten, eleven, twelve-year-old girls playing football.

They're passing the ball among themselves, they're practicing keeping the ball in the air with feet and knees, sometimes they play ball with the boys. And these little girls are no tomboys: very feminine young creatures, all long bangs and pink sweaters.

Football, of course, has no innate value over other sports that the girls are now finally gaining access to. But it does have some perks, not the least of which are the spectator numbers and advertising money involved in pro football. And I'm thinking "hasn't there been a lot more lady sports than before on TV lately?".

(I am really out of my depth here, knowing nothing about sports and only ever watching TV when it's Six Feet Under or Little Britain.)

I wonder what happens now. An optimist would say that soon female athletes will make as much money and get as much air time as male ones, now that little girls have gotten this arena opened to them. A pessimist might reply that no, now that women are getting seriously into football, the male spectators and advertising money will move on to some as-yet untainted male realm, such as motor sports.

Anyway, it's lovely to see these kids playing ball. And it's good to know that football will be an option to my daughter that wasn't on the menu for the girls of my generation. I'd hate to see her choices unnecessarily circumscribed.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its good to see Someone actually remembering that there wasn't much sport available for those of us who were girls in the 70's. Today I take my girls to their soccer games and the men (whom I grew up with) say stuff like, "remember playing (insert sport here) in the park as a kid?" My reply, "No there wasn't any for the girls" is usually met with a blank " I didn't notice that " look...

04 May, 2006 22:25  
Blogger Martin said...

It is getting better. It might feel slow to us now, but just look at the amount of progress feminism made in the millennia before the Industrial Revolution. Our gender structure is slowly moving out of the Palaeolithic.

04 May, 2006 22:45  

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