There are a lot of female football fans and luckily a lot of them attend games of their favourite teams. Thankfully most of them thoroughly enjoy attending these games, but unfortunately some of them have a negative experience and refuse to attend another game ever again.
As a female football fan myself, I found it difficult to just listen to these (negative) stories and not do anything with it. I personally love going to football games, my favourite ones being Arsenal (away) games. I’ve been lucky enough to attend other big games such as the 2012 Champions League final in Munich and I also travelled to Poland and the Ukraine for Euro2012. I’ve had some negative experiences, but 99% of the time the men and women I meet at games are polite, respectful, friendly and a lot of fun. Better yet, most are happy to see women attending games (for a variety of reasons I’m sure).
I find it extremely difficult to not punch a guy in the face when he blatantly accuses me of watching football for the hot guys and then dares to ask me to explain the offside rule (side note: ladies, punching might help to get rid of your frustration, but the best way to shut them up is by throwing in stats&facts and ask them to explain it in ‘normal English’, works really well if you want a good laugh).
As the granddaughter of an extremely proud Arsenal fan, with mostly sons and grandsons, I was raised with football and football fans all around me -and rugby&MMA, which is a completely different story. Though my father doesn’t like football, anymore, my mother has always been a football fan and proud volunteer at a local club. My gramps always encouraged me to play football, he made me read the game and feel comfortable with the ball, he helped me to understand the game from a very early age, he taught me how to analyse games, think of tactics and possible lineups and he taught me everything his (grand)parents taught him about Arsenal and the club’s history.
So you may understand that, besides my love for Arsenal, I love the game, have a passion for both the game and the club and how annoying it is when certain people keep telling me that I can’t understand because, get ready for this, I’m a woman. My passion for and knowledge of the game has been questioned so many times that I lost count and I keep having to defend myself, simply because I was born as a girl -which isn’t exactly something I can change.
I thought the best way to figure out how the majority of women see this, is to ask them about their experiences.
So if you’re a woman who loves football and attends football games, tell me your story. What is your favourite memory, your worst experience? Should something change within the football world or do you think it’s fine the way it is? Are the football clubs responsible, are fans responsible or is someone/something else responsible? Is there enough room and space for women, or are men still calling the shots, and should this change? What about women working in football, we all know Chelsea doc Eva Carneiro is basically a sex object to most male football fans and therefore accepted, whereas Premier League official Sian Massey gets abuse left, right and centre, should there be more women in top flight football? How many times has someone told you that you only watch football for the hot guys? Do people take you seriously when you discuss football?
You don’t have to answer all of these questions -you can if you want to- I just want to hear your side of the story.
Or leave a comment under this post.