Just to be clear: Tuesday’s post where I questioned whether men should take their partners with them to football matches was intended as satire.
It was a direct riposte to this article on ParentDish which questioned whether women should have their partners with them when they give birth, suggesting that men “just don’t get it”.* I used it is as a template, & just reversed gender roles where I could. It was a bit tricky trying to think of an aspect of male life that is as exclusive to our gender as childbirth is to women: there isn’t one really. Football was the best I could come up with.
The ParentDish article used (presumably accurate) examples of a few men – who seem, quite frankly, to be really quite unusually stupid – who couldn’t seem to understand pregnancy & birth. Guys: you don’t need to be a Cambridge Professor of Biology to get that growing a human being in your belly for nine months then, after it’s got quite big (that’s the B-U-M-P), shoving it out of a very small exit might just be a little bit inconvenient. And maybe cause a few changes in diet & mood?
The article then goes on to imply that these cultured geniuses are representative of all men, & that women are therefore better off without the lot of us.
“Sexism: … behavior, conditions, or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex” Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Big Tick. My post was meant to be sexist.** Because the article it’s satirising is.
So let me be clear here: telling a man that he shouldn’t be present at the birth of his children is just obscene, disgusting, a disgrace.
For me, holding my new-born children for the first time was & always will be the greatest moment of my life. And I know that very many fathers feel just the same way. What right has anyone to take that away from us? To tell us that we shouldn’t be there? Purely on the basis of our gender?
This is just plain wrong.
And not because we’re men. Because we’re human beings.
And that’s really what this is all about. Whether we’re male, female, not sure, black, white, purple, whatever our lifestyle choices – we’re all entitled to be judged equally as human beings, not through the jaundiced eyes of personal prejudice & stereotype.
And sadly there are still people who “just don’t get it”.
* Best response I’ve yet read to this: “if you feel you can’t have him there at the birth should you really be having a baby with him?!” .
** Although perhaps not sexist enough. Several people, not all of them men, took it at face value, one even thinking that the post might be a blog-hop where others are invited to link up their own stories of going to the footy with their partners. Interesting!
These days wives are usually footy partners. But are they honestly the best person to have there in the stands with you? Not always…
It was the Cup Final, I was on my feet, fists clenched, heart pounding. It was the last minute of play, 0-0, and we had a throw-in from only 5 yards out. As our long-throw specialist takes the ball my mate Dave leans over & says to me: “Hey, I bet the linesman flags for offside!”
Through the haze of adrenaline & anticipation I briefly glanced at Dave’s gurning face. “Haha, yeah!”, I replied. And then, after noticing that the linesman was a woman, I saw my wife’s face. She was shooting poor Dave a murderous glance. “IT’S A FOOTBALL JOKE, NOT SOME HEAVY POLITICAL STATEMENT”, I bellowed, much to the astonishment of the assembled fans.
Our long-throw expert slipped, the best opportunity of the game was lost. It ended 0-0 then we lost on penalties.
You see, when it comes to football, sometimes women just don’t get it. Which is why I think the match isn’t always the right place for them. Or a lot of the whole ‘supporting a football team thing’, really.
It starts early on, this lack of understanding. They think rushing to the nearest TV / internet screen / radio to see the new season’s fixture list as soon as it’s announced is funny. Or sexy. Or weird. It’s none of these things. It’s just something we have to do. And is not in any way similar to that thing that her mate Helen did when she heard that Justin Bieber had turned 16 & was touring.
Then comes nine long months of confusion. She doesn’t get why you are weeping after losing 3-0 at home to Scunthorpe. She doesn’t understand that your need for Sky Sports is not to do with “supporting an evil multi-national cartel”. And she doesn’t appreciate that when you win 1-0 at Man U in the semi-final, you’re covered in sweat & beer, & you haven’t shaved since the quarters that you are still really, really ‘up for it’.
And so, as the big day approaches, why aren’t we all left wondering if this girl in our house who keeps shooting puzzled glances in our direction is really the one we want with us while we are desperately willing our success-starved team to its 1st trophy in 40 years?
Ken Lattimore wondered – and was proved right. So much so, he decided to become a ticket-tout who resells only to men and so give other men the chance to have someone useful present at this crucial time.
His wife had, after all, chuckled heartily when his team had missed a penalty, sang the other team’s songs “‘cos the tunes are better” & throughout the match repeatedly yelled “Nice arse!”. You really couldn’t make it up.
It seems that some women are also fairly ineffectual even when they are in their own homes. Rob Schuler had his hopes pinned on watching the match on TV when he got home from work, due to an unavoidable prior commitment. As it was, his wife was tasked with recording it for him – and ended up recording X-Factor instead. He came home exhausted but excited, having manfully avoided hearing the result all evening, only to switch on to see some spotty teenager singing out of tune followed by Simon’s sarcastic sneering. He ended up over at his single mate’s place to watch the game there. No wonder these men chose to redress the balance by becoming single themselves.
My wife, apart from the throw-in incident, was actually pretty good. There were no requests for an explanation of the offside rule, no chatting about make-up & cooking, no ill-timed comments about what sexy legs the other goalie had (although I could definitely see her leering). And in her second season, her technique was even better. Chips were handed over at the correct intervals and she’s never mentioned what I shouted at the Ref after that disallowed goal once. Well, not much.
They don’t all improve though, and certainly not in the case of Stan Ockwell, Manager of Barnstoneworth United & a veteran of 4 cup finals: “With number one, I asked her to be ready after lunch, she panicked, went out with no glasses on, walked into an open cupboard door and knocked herself out.
“With number two, she spent the whole match shouting for the opposition, then fell asleep – the coach had to wake her after the presentation. With three and four I kept her occupied doing pretend jobs. If I ever get to another one I think I might just ‘forget’ to tell her…”
These days, having our partners present has become the norm. Let’s start a backlash, I say. A return to the old days, where the women stayed at home cooking & cleaning & making themselves pretty and the men did all this football stuff together by themselves.
That would be much better. But wait, hold on – if they don’t see what we have to go through, how do we explain why we have to be away so much of the time? Darn it…
Do you have your partner with you when you go to the footy? Share your stories below…
Or is this maybe a bit much? Even a bit ‘sexist’, perhaps?
What it is actually is as direct a paraphrase as I could manage of this article on ParentDish, which they were publicising on twitter this evening. All I’ve done is change the gender roles as best as I could.
Now what do you think?
And the ‘joke’? You can’t be offside from a throw-in
Got a witty, profound or just plain silly caption for this picture? Then leave it in the comments below!
Then click on the little boy’s head here & you will be magically transported to the funsome Mammasaurus’s blog for many more pictures crying out for a witty / pithy #satcap caption. Have fun, I know I do
Jake has had his first ever haircut; it was getting a bit long & wild (as is mine…). We tried to get him a 1950s-style short back’n'sides – we think it really suits him!
Ellie now has a centre parting with less of her gorgeous hair in her eyes, & she looks great with bunches! She still needs more off tho I think.
I’ll try to get some decent photos soon – if I can!
You may have noticed that there’s been a dearth of posting-type activity on my 3 active blogs recently. You knew I had 3 blogs, right?
The truth is I’ve been in a bit of a funk. And I’m not even sure why. I mean Spring is springing, the Sun is sunning, we’ve had 2 nights in a row where I haven’t needed the heating on, Jallie are eating & playing in the garden. Most importantly, Jallie are happy & developing well.
Their seemingly constant illnesses has been bothering me though I think. Through most of the winter they seemed to either have a cold or cough, often both. Recently they both have had stuffed & constantly very runny noses & a nasty cough, both of which were disturbing their (& obviously our) sleep. Jake’s cough was often so bad that it caused him to throw up. Now that they’ve both lost the cold & the cough Jake has caught some sort of bug. He’s vomitting regularly, is pale & a bit subdued & has slight diarrhoea, although he’s mostly happy & playful, as ever. It takes a lot to get my Jakey down!
Unlike me, it seems. There are other things I could point to that might be a factor, but nothing certain.
Everyone copes with the blues in their own way – some good, some not so. Some drink (when I was younger maybe), some turn to legal or illegal drugs (not my style), some comfort eat (guilty! mostly sweets). When the real world is getting me down I tend to escape into fantasy worlds, which for me means gaming. My game of choice at the moment is an online game called Guild Wars, an MMORPG. For those not familiar, it’s a bit like World of Warcraft, like a strategy game with swords (or in my case mostly bows & arrows).
I’ve been spending most of what leisure time I have building my characters’ skills, exploring, following the many story-lines & slaying monsters – immersing myself in a fantasy world, pure Escapism. And great fun.
So my blogging has suffered. And I’m now starting to feel bad about that. Not only have I not been posting much, I haven’t been reading much & – worst of all I think – I haven’t been responding to comments.
So I’ve decided to give myself a big kick in my Drakescale-armoured backside (now that takes some agility – all this hero stuff must be rubbing off on me!) & just get on with it. Hell, I enjoy blogging!
So: apologies for the break in transmission, normal service will resume as soon as possible
UPDATED: In cricket they call it “The Commentator’s Curse”. Since writing the weather has turned cold & wet again, Ellie has caught the vomit virus – & so have I. Anyone out there played “Quake“? Remember the Vomitorium? Yep. At least I have better reason to be feeling down…
UPDATED AGAIN (Thursday 14th): We all seem better now. And there seems to be evidence of sunshine outside. *Happy face on*
Have a look at all the other Silent Sunday photos at Mocha Beanie Mummy: