Home Sport England at the World Cup: women football fans, words of supporters

England at the World Cup: women football fans, words of supporters

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Looked askance in the stands, tested during discussions… The daily life of female football fans is more difficult than you might think. Stereotypes are tough and sexism, less and less frontal, remains latent. It prevents. The supporters intend to be heard this Saturday, December 10 to encourage the Blues against England in the quarter-finals of the World Cup.

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But in everyday life, female football fans know that they regularly have to justify themselves. Just when a woman is interested in football, her word automatically seems discredited. It is immediately tested: Which team are you on? Since when ? Can you name some players and their stats? What results in 1987 against this unknown team in the battalion?

The sequel after the ad

“When I meet someone and we start discussing football, I’m going to be one-upmanship, to spread what I know and chain referencesentrusts to “Obs” Pauline, 24 years old, passionate about football for ten years. And if ever by misfortune you don’t answer or don’t have a reference, you get lynched in the public square”.

“We women, as supporters, feel like we have to prove that we really are football fans. We can’t just know about it, or be a little interested in it, no. We have to know everything well because they want to test us.assures Johanna, youtubeuse football.

The loneliness of the stadium

Gene, 56, has been a supporter of FC Nantes and the local club Jeunesse Sportive du Layon for around thirty years. During international or European competitions, she participates in predictions with her friends. Often, when one of his results is right “Men say it’s a stroke of luck, whereas when they’re right, it’s because they’ve made the right calculations”.

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This implicit exclusion becomes visible when female supporters enter football stadiums. Most assure it: they have never felt insecure in a stadium or experienced sexist reflections. But they do attract some curiosity. “When I’m there, I feel like I’m a girl. I’m a bit alone, in my bubble and I have to adopt masculine codes. Often, there are eyes that land on you. Looks that mean: “Who is she with?” »confides Pauline.

For Lucile Dumont, member of the Les Dégommeuses football team, an association founded to fight against sexist, homophobic and transphobic discrimination, and a doctoral student in sociology, “there is a form of virilism that materializes in the stands”. “The supporters are not necessarily more sexist or more manly than groups of men in other areas of society. It is an effect of concentration and limitation of space which reinforces certain relations of opposition […] For the men, we cultivate the value of the group from the start, while we push the girls a lot in the individual paths »she adds.

The sequel after the ad

Marine, 25, says she feels surrounded by men as soon as she is in the stands:

“Often I go to the stadium with a friend, and I think a lot of people must think that I am his girlfriend who accompanies him to the match to please him. »

“In your family, who likes football? Your father ? Your brother ? »

If female supporters feel lonely at the stadium, it’s also because they feel they have to appoint some kind of male guarantor to justify their interest in football. “Each time, we send you back to this: in your family who loves football? Your father ? Your brother ? Nope ! I’m a little bit alone in my family, I got interested in football on my own”, launches Pauline. For Johanna, it’s the same refrain every time: “I grew up in football. Every lunchtime I played football with my friends […] It’s a shame to ask ourselves who transmits the passion to us, as if we, a woman, weren’t able to come across football by chance.

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Little by little, the minds get used to it and the reflections move away all the same. “I see more women in the stadiums”, observes Gene for whom the “zoom on women’s football has positive side effects on female supporters”. Lucile Dumont also advances the desire “very explicit and legal to gentrify the stadiums, which changes the audience of the stands”. A slow revolution that has only just begun.

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