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Exploring Our Thoughts on Promoting Women's Football: Genuine Interest or Social Engineering?

I just wanted to expand on a post that I commented on a few days back and was verbally assaulted for it. It's been a tough few days but want to try and look at it from a different perspective. Over the past few years, there's been a noticeable push to raise awareness and interest in women's football, I get that. This is undoubtedly a positive step towards gender equality in sports. However, some of us, including myself might be wondering whether this enthusiasm is genuinely driven by our personal interests or if there might be an element of "social engineering" involved.

When we talk about "social engineering," we're essentially referring to the influence that society, media, and institutions have on shaping our attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. In the case of promoting women's football, some may argue that the extensive campaigns and media coverage might be attempting to mold our preferences rather than allowing them to evolve naturally.

Here are a few points to consider:

1.     Authentic Interest vs. Forced Engagement: While it's fantastic to see the growth of women's football and the increased support it's receiving - especially through the national team, it's essential to ensure that the interest and engagement is truly authentic. Are we genuinely interested in the sport, or are we engaging because we feel societal pressure to support it?

2.     Exposure and Awareness: Increased visibility and coverage are crucial to promoting any sport, including women's football. However, there might be a fine line between exposure and saturation. Are we being given the opportunity to organically form opinions, or is the constant promotion (especially through the national broadcaster that has a skewed perception of interest Vs lower league football) creating a sense of obligation to participate?

3.     Long-Term Impact: It's worth discussing whether the current efforts to promote women's football will have a lasting impact on the sport's popularity. Are we setting the foundation for a sustainable and naturally growing interest, or could this approach potentially lead to disillusionment down the line? Listened to TalkSport today and Simon Jordan made a very valid point. 600K people watched all of the Women Super League fixtures last year at maybe a tenner a pop to get in whereas 15 million watched all the EPL fixtures and paid a lot, lot more fro it. Would you pay $30/40 per ticket for a WSL game or subscribe to a dedicated WSL channel for $20 a month?

4.     Balancing Enthusiasm and Authenticity: Supporting women's football should come from a genuine appreciation for the sport itself rather than merely ticking a box for inclusivity. How do we strike a balance between our enthusiasm for the game and maintaining the authenticity of our preferences?

In the end, the question of whether we're being socially engineered to "like and promote" women's football is complex and multi-faceted.

Our individual experiences and perspectives will undoubtedly shape our opinions on this matter and it's been great for their sport but at times it really does feel like you are being engineered to like and can't have a different opinion that doesn't follow the mantra and you are just shut down.


  • Social engineering?? Maaate....

  • It's not that deep bro

  • 'verbally assaulted'

  • Wasn’t it great that all those kids were rescued from that cable car in Pakistan. Such a positive story 🙏

  • edited August 2023

    Frankly given that women make up 51% of the UK population there should be no discussion over women participating in sport &/or active leisure pursuits, we should so everything in our power to facilitate this; especially during teenage years when many young women opt out of spots etc. for a variety of reasons including but not limited to fear over periods, shortage of positive role models, fear of how they look to their peers, media perceptions & depictions of women's bodies etc. It is imperative for the good of all of us that we encourage not only women but men too to lead an active lifestyle & as a society reduce the impediments in peoples way.

    In respect of elite level sport we should be actively encouraging more & better provision of sports clothing, footwear etc. for women (for example all football boots are based on mens feet) as well as demanding better research into women's sports injuries, sports medicine & training regimes in order to allow female participants to regularly perform at their best.

    Beyond that it is, like most things, in the eye of the beholder; one either enjoys it or doesn't, is willing to pay to view or not etc. We cannot & should not force feed people any sports (male or female) but we should also offer the opportunity to view & assess demand.

    Of course we must remember some sports are just crap to watch like the one I played to a decent level - hockey, the ball is too small & moves too fast for non-players to follow easily, even elite league games only attract an audience in the 100's if you are lucky. Consequently it can only dream of the sort of income that football generates.

    Having said all that I find your contentions to be specious & whilst I choose to believe you are genuine in your motivation have heard the social engineering bollocks from arch misogynists to often to belive it is anything other than sexist & misogynistic.

  • Appreciate your thoughtful engagement with the topic of women's participation in sports and active leisure pursuits @Erroll_Sims. Your message reflects a deep concern for promoting gender equity and addressing the various barriers that can hinder women's involvement in physical activities. I would like to respond to your points with my nuanced perspective:

    1. Inclusivity and Participation: You rightly highlight the importance of facilitating women's participation in sports and active leisure pursuits, particularly during teenage years when factors like fear, role models, body image concerns, and media portrayal can discourage involvement. Indeed, fostering a supportive environment and providing opportunities for women to engage in physical activities can have far-reaching benefits for individual health and overall societal well-being.
    2. Elite-Level Sports: Encouraging the development of sports clothing, footwear, and equipment tailored to women's needs is a crucial step toward inclusivity in elite-level sports. Additionally, promoting research into women's sports injuries, sports medicine, and training regimes is vital to ensuring that female athletes can consistently perform at their best. Achieving gender parity at the elite level requires a multifaceted approach that addresses both physical and systemic challenges.
    3. Viewer Preferences: Your recognition that individual enjoyment of sports is subjective is noteworthy. While we can't compel people to adopt specific interests, we can certainly provide opportunities for exposure and exploration. Offering a variety of sports for people to watch and engage with acknowledges diverse preferences and helps cultivate a broader appreciation for different athletic disciplines.
    4. Perceptions of Certain Sports: You mentioned your own perspective on certain sports, such as hockey, and the challenges they might face in attracting larger audiences due to the pace and difficulty of following the game. This illustrates how the appeal of a sport can be influenced by its accessibility to non-players. Indeed, sports that are easier to understand and engage with tend to draw more viewers, which impacts their revenue potential.
    5. Critique of Motivations: Your skepticism regarding certain claims and motivations is a reminder of the importance of critical thinking in assessing various arguments. While genuine efforts to promote gender equity exist, it is essential to scrutinize any initiatives that might inadvertently reinforce stereotypes or biases. Constructive dialogue and ongoing evaluation are vital to ensure that the intentions behind initiatives align with their outcomes.

    Your message reflects a deep concern for gender equity and the promotion of active lifestyles among women which I applaud. Your engagement with the complexities of the issue, including barriers to participation, viewer preferences, and potential challenges in elite sports, is commendable. By fostering a respectful and open dialogue on this forum, we can all collectively work towards creating a more inclusive and equitable environment for all individuals to enjoy and participate in all sports and physical activities.

  • It’s football, and most of us like watching football.

  • It’s that simple, whether it’s grass roots, League One, Woman’s World Cup or even the Premier.

    Why complicate it.

  • Isn't social engineering about manipulating people into giving away sensitive information? Not... making them watch football?

  • What a load of pseudo intellectual waffle parroting usual hackneyed "they're shoving women's football down our throats" cobblers from the usual Talksport pub bores.

    If you don't like women playing football, you can simply not watch it when it's on TV and wonder why no one's in the kitchen cooking your dinner for you.

  • Beware the username. Pretty obvious

  • Written by chatgpt, surely?

  • “When the seagulls follow the trawler, it's because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea.” Eric Cantona.

    Merci pour les souvenirs.

  • Can we have a @DevC @Bulman22 @bargepole important questions section roped off.

  • Thought they were happy in the parking thread, best Gasroom morning ever.

  • Since when have I asked 'important questions' in any way similar to those asked by @DevC and @Bulman22 ?

    I strongly object to being lumped in with those two, and wish to disassociate myself from them.

  • @Bulman22 Have you been using ChatGPT by any chance?

  • edited August 2023

    The three of them and that other spoof account, all locked to one thread would be what my gen would call "incredible scenes", the slightly younger lot would call "scenes" and the younger lot than them would call "limbs".

    Not sure what the youngest lot use. Probably don't want to know.

  • I think people are over thinking this all together. I started watching the England women's football consistently in 2015. Late night games in Canada on obscure BBC channels. At the time my takeaway was that 'keeping was terrible but the game was largely honest and a good sport to watch. I never thought it necessary to compare men's with women's games as that is a bit daft. One has decades of professional engagement and the other is barely semi-pro.

    Fast forward today and its brilliant that we have heroes and roll models in the women's game and I can chat with pals in the Vere Suite about whether I think we play Toone or James in the game. Its a normal sport to discuss normal things.

    Making comparisons to the men's game is still largely pointless. When we watch the world athletics you don't look at KJT and say 'Daly Thompson was better than her', it a pointless conversation. You don't make comparisons between Laura Muir and Steve Cram they are both great.

    You can enjoy both and respect both. Saying I like one does not mean I hate the other. I'm not watching England women out of respect or duty I am watching it as I like the players, the style of play and positivity they bring.

  • I think @drcongo speaks for a lot of us...and it is a very quick read.

  • I'm not sure most people like watching football listening to some of the comments from the terrace

  • edited August 2023

    And some Gasroomers seem to angrily watch an already doomed team they are underwhelmed by managed by people who never seem to be up to it. I would take up something else for the sake of my pocket and my blood pressure.😉

  • Still banging on about spoof accounts? I'm beginning to suspect that it's actually you who has more than one account, and uses at least one of them as a WUM.

  • edited August 2023

    I coach women footballers who are generally aged 40 plus, and they all wish they had been able to access the opportunities to do so when they were young. It started with 6 players and has risen to almost 30 in 2 years. There lots of informal ‘recreational’ teams that have no affiliation to clubs so you wouldn’t even have heard of them and go under the radar, but more leagues are springing up all the time.

    I’ve also had the privilege of coaching some excellent young female players who will have a very bright future.

    Personally from what I have experienced, if you think the game and ability of Englands best women footballers have improved dramatically over the last 10 years then you haven’t seen anything yet.

    No offence but I did try to read your initial post, gave up and decided to post a reply!

    Lots of women enjoy playing football and it is growing and will continue to do so, no doubt about it.

    You mentioned ‘saturation’ in the post. The most saturated examples of football I witness is locally, for all the ‘Elite’ players. Set up independently of any clubs, false promises and no regulation.

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