a song for lya (tabacoychanel) wrote in ontd_football,
a song for lya

sexism? in a footy blog? gtfo

A couple of weeks ago Dirty Tackle posted the following commentary to a video of a women's soccer game:

Women's football continues to be ultra violent

I have no idea what started this brawl, nor do I know why those men risked their lives by getting in the middle of it. All I do know is that, once again, women's footy proves to be an intensely violent bloodsport where it's entirely possible that you will get kicked in the midsection while getting your hair pulled.

I also know that Manchester United and Real Madrid must be super proud to have these ladies wearing their kits.

Blogger FakeSigi took exception to this statement and a Twitter debate promptly ensued. As those of us who follow Sid Lowe know, Twitter debates can be kind of tedious for bystanders. Anyway, in order to dispel charges of omg!oppression !slander, FakeSigi then elaborated on her(??) blog about some of the reasons why she found the content of Dirty Tackle problematic:

Beyond the overly casual handling of violence in women's soccer, there just isn't a whole hell of a lot of women's soccer on the Dirty Tackle blog. With what seems like rare exceptions, women are discussed either in the Dirty Tackle of the Day or as mere accessories to the men's game. Usually women are portrayed as being around because of how they look or because they love the men so much (see also here here here here here here here and here).

Actually, that last one was Paris Hilton getting busted and released for having weed. Which fits in . . . I don't know exactly where, but it's pretty trashy, so let's roll with it.

It's irrelevant that Dirty Tackle takes the same abrasive tone with the male players it covers. Because the whole blog is about men playing football, so a legit non-dismissive angle is bound to sneak in there somewhere. It's precisely because women's soccer receives so little coverage in the media, FakeSigi points out, that when we do cover it we should probably be careful not to, you know, reinforce inflammatory stereotypes that have in the past "done real damage to the image of women's soccer":

I found exactly one post [on Dirty Tackle] out of around 1200 where women got treated as something other than a freak show or accessory, and that was when U.S. U-17 team comforted Haiti's goal keeper after thrashing her 9-0. I had to dig long and hard to find it, but maybe I missed a couple. Maybe there's a cache of women's soccer posts that got left out in the move to Yahoo.
In the end, FakeSigi ends up retracting her earlier assertion about Dirty Tackle being sexist, because clearly, as long as someone doesn't "wake up every morning looking for ways to oppress women," he can't be sexist.

At this point I'm less bothered by what Brooks Peck actually wrote - I mean, it's Dirty Tackle, I don't expect social justice to be at the top of their priorities - than the fact that FakeSigi was so thoroughly shut down. FFS the title of the post is "A couple of apologies and a retraction for Brooks Peck." It's like talking about sexism is worse than actually being sexist. Like being (rightly or wrongly) accused of sexism is worse than having to live with its daily consequences. Why does the intent of the offender matter more than the pain suffered by the offended?

I failed to make a good case about sexism. And so again, I apologize. I was wrong and I retract the statement.
I hope FakeSigi is merely apologizing for not making a good enough case, because Iker knows this sport is not exactly chica-friendly. From the Guardian

But the women who work in football are too often perceived as bimbos with a limited knowledge of the game. They are vulnerable to gossip, thought of as wannabe Wags snuggling up to footballers rather than making a positive contribution to the game. The fact that all women employed by television companies are attractive - in contrast to the many unattractive men - does not help challenge this prejudice.

It just bugs me that every time someone tries to start a conversation about this issue it gets hijacked. For instance, the first few comments to the above Guardian article are #madeoffail. Which brings me back to Dirty Tackle. Here are some comments from the original post about violent women:

this is exactly why no one respects women's football :( [by an apparent female]
. . .
You figured football would have helped them lose all the baby fat from having their mexican twins this past year....Guess not.
. . .
Those Real players look kinda... what's a nicer way to say Porky? Portly?

Here is what FakeSigi had to say:

Brooks obviously didn't write these, but his name is on the blog, I presume that either he or someone who answers to him is in charge of moderating the comment threads.

Now I run a pretty loose ship over here ... But if someone comes with stuff like the second quote (which doesn't happen very often) they get a deletion or warning or an explanation. I'm sure Brooks or whoever is moderating is busy, but it looks really terrible to let stuff like that go.

People are going to say faily things on the internets. It happens. Most of the time my reaction is "it's just Dirty Tackle" or "it's just football" or "it's just fandom," but I feel like at some point it has to be brought up.

source 1       source 2
classy man does not approve of unclassy behavior

EDIT: Brooks Peck is here has pointed out that I left out some important information in my summary of what Fake Sigi said. 
First off, the comment bolded in the quoted post was obviously a joke about the reputation women's football has been given recently. Second, contrary to Fake Sigi's original assertions, I do not have any control over the comments on DT right now. They're working on it, but there's not much I can do about it. Thirdly, it's DT. We don't handle much in serious terms and I think to do so when we do cover something in women's football would be a true double standard and something to take offense to.

I didn't intend for this post to be a personal attack on Brooks, and I hope none of you read it that way. I did want to point out that DT, like most other football blogs, says some problematic shit sometimes. This should not be taken to mean that DT is a bad blog, just that we all say problematic shit sometimes and we need other people to stop and say, "Did you really just say that?" Also, my tl;dr response to Brooks can be found in the same thread.

Okay fess up, who added the Wesley Sneidjer tag??
Tags: andrei arshavin, move bitch get off the pitch, oh no they didn't!, politics infiltrating football, wesley sneijder, what kind of fuckery..., women's professional soccer

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