World Cup 2019: What’s so annoying about “women’s soccer”

Whether you are interested in football or not, you should read this because it concerns us all. To everyone. Fußball-WM it’s the same. People keep asking me the same three questions:

  1. You watch women’s soccer?
  2. If so, why?
  3. If not, what’s bothering you?

My answers are always the same, only now I write them down:

  1. Yes, if it fits in time, just like other sports.
  2. Because I like watching football. I’m at a loss to understand why.

And then I answer the third question, although I would not actually have to. But there is actually something that really annoys me about “women’s soccer”: The word.
Yeah, right, the word “women’s soccer.” I think it is deeply exclusionary, divisive and, yes, sorry, hammer-blow argument: discriminatory. Because: it’s the same sport, with the same rules, not even the ball is smaller or the half time shorter. No, the only difference is that in this case women kick the ball and stop it.

And that can’t be the reason for such a conceptual distinction.

Why women’s football is a divisive concept

Think about it: Are we talking about women’s swimming, too? Or about women’s surfing? Or do we think about more everyday activities and skills to make it even clearer: If we talked publicly about “women’s driving licence” or “women’s studies”, what do you think would happen? Right: Hell. And rightly so. Because, to return to “women’s football”, this term says: Real football is only what men play. That’s the last straw.

Of course, I understand if we are talking about the “Fußball-WM of women” to put that in perspective. There are so many tournaments, you usually get confused… On the other hand, you could just as well remember that a senior national team tournament of the FIFA be a women’s tournament in a year with an odd number MUSS . The A-men always play in even years.

No, “women’s health” is not the same

Yes, haha, funny that this text comes from a guy who works for a WOMEN’S magazine, which is also called “WOMEN’S HEALTH”. Fail? Sorry, but that’s something else. In some areas it makes sense to make this differentiation. For example, when it comes to specific interests or to something that is sensibly aimed specifically at women or is made for women. Nobody says anything against gynaecologists.

But for things that VON Women are made to talk about “women something” is problematic. Especially when they don’t say “man-something” in return. If everyone says “men’s soccer” from now on, as soon as DFB -boys kick, I’ll shut up right now, I swear. But I don’t think that’s gonna happen.

It doesn’t get any better when “women’s soccer” is praised in particular

Of course, one could still praise the fact that “women’s football” has undergone an enormous development in recent years, has become much faster and more exciting – but what kind of ball sport is that not true for? It would again be a concession to those who make a difference between men and women. No, this term should be removed. It is football, period.

In fact, it is no trivial matter and no quibble to talk about this term. We are not doing the goal of bringing women’s football out of its niche and onto the big stage any favours by separating it from the rest of the world. Language forms consciousness, on the streets as well as in the stadiums. We will only achieve true equality in football when all ball madmen say: “Cool, Fußball-WM ! Men or women? Oh, it doesn’t matter. I’m watching it anyway!”

The Fußball-WM of women in France runs from 7 June to 7 July 2019. The matches of the German team will be broadcast live on television by ARD and ZDF transmitted, other games either also in the TV or on the Internet (sportschau.de, ZDF sport.de, DAZN ).