Thursday 21 June 2018

We are all equal

Image result for england vs belgium

A story about female commentator, Vicki Sparks, at the World Cup has made the news.
This is a major event.
#MeToo, Post Weinstein, BBC salary gender bias scandal has now allowed a young lady to do the job of an old man.

And .. yeah. Fine. Didn't even notice. And both ITV and BBc have been very keen to ensure they have a female pundit on their pre/post match analysis.

But, what I have noticed, is the blanket insistence from the television producers and advertisers, that we are all now so gender integrated that no matter the number of x and y chromosome, we all love football.

In years gone by, when the football fest was on, channels such as C4 and ITV 2 would make a virtue out of the fact they did not have any soccer coverage. They'd promote all day soaps. Love Island style reality TV specials. Gordon Ramsey yelling at cake makers in the attic, got talent.
The programmers decided to target the female of the species, and offer some alternative to the extended kicking and diving coverage.

This time, that appears to have been deemed as too patronising. Too stereotypical. Too demeaning.
So ladies, watch the soccer.
Which, according to the advertisers, they are all enjoying.

Women leaping up in beer adverts to celebrate a goal. Checking their tablets for the latest scores during their busy, busy, busy lifestyle. Making sure they have enough data to stream the match.
The days of a mum seeing the nachos and Pringles being squashed into the sofa by a cheering, flag waving, leaping and dancing family group of men and boys, and thinking ' I must go to DFS' seem long gone.
Embracing Sexual Equality is the message of the World Cup.

A quick check of the usual Quango method of testing reality vs bubble, looking at the family and asking the office,  reveals not quite such a gender neutral picture as portrayed on TV.
Mrs Q, unable to believe there could be as many as four football matches a day, has retired to the bedroom. Miss Q has also joined her. Netflix and Now Tv are doing very well. Peaky Blinders and Brooklyn 99, is the new binge box sets for them. During the England game they watched 'Breakfast at Tiffany's.'
Myself and son have watched almost all of the games. True fans!

Office poll, of which 75% are female at BQi, shows much the same result as in previous years.
Men whoaren't interested have watched 'some highlights', at best.
Few of the women watched any soccer at all. The one who does, is a proper fan. Regular Millwall supporter. Home and Away. So no real surprise. And she said she's made sure to watch Corrie and Eastenders on catch-up afterwards.
A small percentage of women did watch the England game. But even they added, 'whilst on Facebook/amazon/Asos/Tui. '

I strongly suspect that this sort of stat is, despite the best efforts of those who,  for some reason, want to pretend men and women are identical in all respects, would be replicated across the UK. Men making up the vast bulk of all those viewing the round ball tournament. And obviously, only those interested already.

This doesn't let advertisers off here. Making the argument that only some males like football yet most adverts are targeted towards soccer fan males.
 The adverts are shown during a football match. So obviously they set out to target football fans. Betting ones being particularly masculine. Either heavy machinery -hard hats- Sarf larndon, ToolStation, macho. Or cool, reasoned, calculating, compulsory half say stubble, professional risk takers. But this isn't the same as deliberately including women being really excited by the sport, in those ads.

And, although its probably a hate crime to say it, I doubt anyone would be even mildly surprised to read that women, in general, just aren't very interested for themselves and if they possessed neither husbands, boyfriend or sons, would not be interested at all.

Anyone have a different experience?


andrew said...

peaky blinders / brooklyn 99 are both v. good.

but I think there would be a big peaky blinders / footie overlap.

... and I would avoid the last series of brooklyn 99.

dearieme said...

My wife likes to come into the sitting room if there's a penalty shoot out. Otherwise her interest in the football codes is limited to attending the Border Sevens.

E-K said...

Gary Lineker said to Piers Morgan that only a top flight footballer should be a pundit.

Ooo err.

Missed a good reposte there, did Piers.

E-K said...

Lineker said recently only top flight footballers could comment on top flight football.

Sexist !

andrew said...

EK, the english womens footy team are top flight

England have qualified for the FIFA Women's World Cup four times, reaching the quarter final stage on the first three occasions in 1995, 2007, and 2011, and finishing third in 2015. They reached the final of the UEFA Women's Championship in 1984 and 2009.

(safe space warning - this may trigger bad memories)
Whereas the england mens footy team lost to Italy and Uraguay in '14
and in 16 we were beaten by *Iceland* - an *amateur team*

Nick Drew said...

Mrs D & Old Ma D both always want to know what's happening / happened to England, all the goals, cock-ups and juicy fouls - though often a second-hand account + highlights will do nicely

Miss D is generally looking for some corp. hospitality-wallah to get her to the match! (But not in Russia ...)

Y Ddraig Goch said...

RE: andrew @ 5:38 pm

"the england mens footy team lost to Italy and Uraguay in '14 "

That's actually pretty good by comparison with the Australian national women's team who lost 7-0 to an under 15 boy's side.

K said...


You're missing the point. It has nothing to do with #MeToo etc and they don't seriously believe that women are interested in football. They just want to destroy male dominated spaces.

Advertisers go along with it because if they don't then a bunch of 20 year old Twitter trolls will call them sexist and Buzzfeed, BBC Newsbeat, etc will report on it.

The sports media goes along with it because 99% of them are not former pros like Linekar, Shearer, etc but just regular guys who never became "real" journalists. They resent being just a "sports journalist" and fighting sexism is one way they can "change the world" and the closest they will get to winning a Pulitzer.

The exact same thing has been happening in video games for the last 4-5 years but they made a mistake as gamers have a good control of internet culture and successfully fought back. The media is still fuming from losing the encounter which is why they're now as obsessed with sexism in games as they were about violence in the 90s.

Sebastian Weetabix said...

I just can't be bothered with it. It used to be a man's game, now they roll around like they've been shot if someone so much as touches them on the shoulder. Back in the good old days of the home internationals, when we Scots would pour into London like a reiver raid, you used to see some proper tough football.

One of favourite stories from the days before VAR and all that nonsense... in the late 30s, when Scotland used to win from time to time, one of the England players accused George Brown of Rangers of being "just a big dirty bastard!"

Brown replied "aye, and don't you fucking forget it"

Welsh Jacobite said...

Why does the British [sic] media think I should be interested in eleven Englishmen kicking a bag of wind around a patch of grass with eleven other foreigners??

E-K said...

What team did Gabby Logan play in Andrew ?

Anonymous said...

Seb Weetabix and Welsh Jac.... haha hard lines neither Scotland or Wales qualified ... boo hoo

Wildgoose said...

"K" has it right. This is all about targetting any kind of male dominated spaces. I work in IT and we get non-stop abuse for being 75-80% male dominated even though every possible encouragement is provided for women.

The fact that women clearly aren't interested in working in IT is blamed on men rather than on women's own freely-made choices.

And yet female dominated professions like psychiatry are for some reason not seen as a problem.

Gamergate was the first fightback I can remember to this nonsense. It's about time more people called out the hypocrisy and double standards.

Bill Quango MP said...

Agree with the ideas in the main.
Advertisers don't want a twitter storm. So many adverts looks like its been made a committee from a government department's PR people.
A blurring of moral standards at present. Women are as good as men. Therefore- women must be treated as men?

Luckily, 95% of the population pays no attention whatsoever to this demand for leisure equality.

Nick Drew said...

wait till the advertisers feel obliged to pander to *trans women*

(quite a tough one for them, that)

Jan said...

Of all the hundreds of Freeview TV channels why can't one of them be dedicated to sport (all sports not just footie) then we wouldn't have to put up with it on the "normal" channels?

Please someone.............

Anonymous said...

I've had to switch to Talk Sport commentary, as BBC R5 insist on a female commentator for most games.

ITV seem to be resisting the temptation to go full feminist.

Sebastian Weetabix said...

@anonymous: not being a small minded member of the Scots Nasty Party I happily wish England all the best. But I can’t be bothered with the modern incarnation of poofball.

dearieme said...

What they should have done is hired Moira Stuart to do the commentaries. She may know nothing about football, and is not the brightest bulb, but her voice is absolutely delicious.

After all the commentator has only one key job - to tell us what is happening that we can't see on the screen. "Freddie is free on the left" sort of thing. Yet few of them do it. Or perhaps none of them do it. So, all in all, I'd prefer la Stuart.