I’m watching the FIFA Women’s World Cup right now. The US is a freaking juggernaut. It’s great. Chile is hopeless. Not as a nation, but as a collection of female soccer players in this particular game. Their goalkeeper is amazing though. My god can she save that ball.
Apparently a bunch of people were pissed at the US team for “running up the score” and celebrating “meaningless” goals towards the end of their game against Thailand, which they won 13-0. I don’t know, I’ve always been a little confused by the outrage over these kinds of things. I’m all for good sportsmanship, but I guess the question is what that means exactly and where the line is between good and bad sportsmanship. Personally, I don’t think “running up the score,” is bad sportsmanship. It’s hypocritical to tell athletes of any age to give it 110% and play hard until the final buzzer sounds, and also to ease up if they’re winning by a lot.
It’s no secret if you get demolished in an athletic event. Whether you lose 7-0 or 13-0, everyone knows you got crushed. I think it’s more insulting to ease up on a competitor than it is to run up the score. If I’m in a competition, I want to know I found some success against the competitor because I earned it, not because they let me. I think as long as you’re on the field, you should be trying to play your best.
I guess some people were upset the US team was celebrating their goals too voraciously, which is murkier when it comes to sportsmanship. I think you should play your hardest at all times, but you should also respect your opponent. What “respect” means in these situations is often up for debate. In this case, these women are playing in the World Cup, so they’re naturally excited. I mean this is the World Cup. It’s what they’ve worked for their whole lives. Any time you score a goal in the World Cup it’s going to be exciting and you’re going to want to celebrate with your teammates. I see no problem with that.
Now, if you started pointing at the other team telling them they suck balls, that would be totally uncool. They know they suck balls, you don’t need to tell them. I guess my point is there is a difference between celebrating with your teammates and celebrating against the other team. I don’t think there is anything wrong about celebrating with your teammates.
Anyways, I read a few articles on this and one titled The sexism behind the ‘controversy’ over the U.S. women’s soccer team’s 13 goals caught my eye. There was one segment of the article in particular that got me thinking:
“Commercial advertisements produced by FIFA and Nike highlight how the players inspire girls, for instance by featuring players holding hands with girls and encouraging them to “dream with us.” What these videos communicate is that the value of women’s soccer lies as much in connecting with youth as in athletic excellence, a framing of women’s sports that draws upon gender stereotypes. These ads reinforce the idea that women are ubiquitously devoted to children.
My research has found that many U.S. women in professional soccer embrace outreach to youth as a meaningful part of their jobs. But why is this a part of their jobs at all? Although certainly many kids admire the talents of male professional athletes, “role model” is fundamentally not the major selling point of major men’s tournaments. And as recent allegations of rape against elite male players like Brazil’s Neymar and Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo make clear, we would do well not to present men’s stars as examples for youth to follow.”
I think this section of writing perfectly sums up the kind of thinking that has done more harm for woman than good. It’s never easy to talk about feminism, because it’s such a charged subject, but hey, it’s a charged world! Anyways, I think first wave feminism was about empowering women and giving them equal opportunities to succeed and have a voice in the world. I think that’s wonderful, and we should all fight for that. There are many people today who define themselves as feminists with the continued pursuit of equal opportunities.
There are also people who describe themselves as feminists, who maintain much um… how would I say dis… different pursuits. The kind highlighted in the article above. Wow, this post got real serious real quick. I didn’t even notice. I was just trying to watch some women’s soccer and relax and now I’m knee deep in critiquing modern feminism. OH GOD WHAT HAVE I DONE!? What should I title this post, “Jason Writes About the Pitfalls of Modern Feminism on Father’s Day”? Ha… shit. Okay please don’t kill me I’m just trying to help here.
The first… okay this is going to be a multi-day escapade now, so let’s just establish that. Cause I gotta go soon, and I’d like to give this more thought. Anyways, the first thing that I found frustrating about this article is something I’ve seen highlighted quite often when it comes to feminism and the surrounding discourse. It’s essentially this idea of “gender stereotypes” and “traditional gender roles.” The popular course of thought being that traditional gender roles are bad. The author highlights this roughly by saying “These ads reinforce the idea that women are ubiquitously devoted to children.”
I call this “the motherhood stigma,” and I think it’s gross. There’s nothing wrong with being devoted to children. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be a mother and having that be your main focus and sense of purpose in your life. Mothers have looked after the young since the dawn of time, and they’ve done a damn good job. Generally speaking, women are much better than men at raising and nurturing a child. It makes sense if we think about where we came from, when we were in hunter-gatherer tribes and the men would go out and hunt while the women looked after the home and the kids. Men and women did different things in order to pursue a common way forward. We adapted to become proficient at different things so we could all be better off.
Today, I see a failure to recognize this. Instead of empowering women and celebrating the things women are great at, I notice many modern feminists feel the need to prove that women can do everything a man can, and just as well. It sets up a dynamic of a competition between the genders against each other instead of a competition against the world, evil, and death to be fought together. Once again, this kind of dynamic is highlighted in the article: “And as recent allegations of rape against elite male players like Brazil’s Neymar and Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo make clear, we would do well not to present men’s stars as examples for youth to follow.”
The author’s main point here is that a couple of male players have been accused (not convicted) of rape, therefore “men’s stars” should not be considered examples for our youth. This kind of damaged thinking can only come from someone who is obsessed with a perceived enemy, and not progress. We don’t need any more enemies. Okay I gotta go, I’ll continue this later.