Anxieties Over Women’s Sports

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Thinking on from my last post, I have always been an admirer of women in sports. Don’t ask me the hows and whys but watching women in sports has always fascinated me. However, that is also probably why I have been fearful of vocalizing my opinions about women’s sports. I’m afraid that if I do, I’ll be branded some strange pervert by women who look down their nose at women’s sports. These are the ladies who think that sports is ‘unladylike’ and are even more brutal than men in branding women who play sports as lesbians and men who support these female athletes are only doing so because of some sexual fantasy.

Now that I have managed to put those fears to one side, I am now going to speak out in support of women’s sports. Women have every right as men do to play any sport they wish without slurring, having their sexual orientation questioned or any other form of discrimination thrown at them. Furthermore, they should have access to the same standard of equipment and training as the men. My example from last week was how 20 years ago, women’s ice hockey suffered inadequate coaching and access to other facilities like decent ice time. In short, women’s hockey wasn’t taken seriously at all and this to me is very wrong!

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My biggest gripe however, is the attitudes towards women’s boxing. This has been the subject of many negative platitudes from both men and women. My ex wife once called women’s boxing ‘disgusting.’ It’s not disgusting. Then there are what I call ‘humanitarian fascists’ who justify their sexist attitudes on supposed humanitarian grounds. They’re argument was that women’s bodies weren’t designed to take such a pounding and in the interests of their own safety, women should not be allowed to box. How can they say this when they do not possess a women’s body? I’m quite sure a lady is very capable in deciding how much punishment her body can take. The decision to box should be hers and hers alone. My anxieties are returning now because this is probably where I stand the biggest chance of being branded a pervert. Let me tell you, I don’t get any gratification from watching women box, some men might but not me. I assure everyone that after every one of Nicola Adams’ fights, I did not go and lock myself in the toilet for ten minutes. I was too busy cheering her victories.

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2012 and 2016 Olympic boxing gold medalist, Nicola Adams

In short, I enjoy watching women playing sports no matter what the sport is. I enjoy watching the men. I don’t think people will question my sexual orientation just because of the latter statement nor should they do so at the former. Nobody else should have any issue with women or men playing sports and there should be equal access to training, coaching and equipment.

To buy He Was Weird go to: https://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1550689778&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird

 

 

 

 

 

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Song Lyric Quote: Jefferson Starship- Lightning Rose

Turn off the city lights I want to be with my lady,

Build up the watch fires, turn down the sun.

I’ve been too long in the green fields of rapture,

Been too long without being on the run.

Carry the fire to the heart of your lover

Carry the fire each and everyone.

There’s a monster lurking deep in the forest

Let’s go and get it before the morning comes.

Rose, I need you. Rose, can’t go without your love

Rose I need you, I can’t go without you, won’t go without your love.

What is a Humanitarian Fascist?

A humanitarian fascist is someone who uses humanitarian grounds to justify ultra conservative or right wing views. Note- this is particularly present in cases of sexism and racism.

Example: View- persons of different races should not be allowed to intermarry because neither race will accept the children.

This sounds humanitarian because people who have expressed the above view are genuinely thinking about the welfare of the children. However, this is just a shield for their own racist views. Wouldn’t it be better if all races simply stop punishing children for the perceived sins of their parents and accept them for who they are?

Just a thought.

If you want examples of humanitarian sexism, then stay tuned for my post next week.

Can We Call It Progress?

My post last week about American Football has given me scope for further thought along a different vein. That’s just how my mind works, I’m afraid. A week and a half ago, in fact, the day before the Super Bowl, I officiated in a women’s 7 on 7 American Football tournament involving four teams. Not knowing what to expect, I have to say that I was rather impressed with the standard of play from the ladies. While, I wasn’t surprised at the gap in the ability between the worst and first teams, I have to hold my hand up to all who played that day. All the teams really got stuck in and I enjoyed officiating it. Furthermore, I have to take my hat off to all the coaches. They took their jobs seriously and the teams were well coached. Even better than some of the men’s university teams I have seen play. Most notable, I did not hear one sexist comment aimed at the teams or players the entire day and that’s a positive in itself. I certainly hope that women’s American Football continues to grow and flourish in my adopted country of Great Britain.

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Not any of the teams I officiated but it’s great to see that women are free to take up the sport.

My inspiration for writing the above paragraph came as a result of seeing the opposite once upon a time. Many years ago, at the turn of the century, I used to officiate ice hockey and officiated a number of women’s games. Back then, there were sexist comments a plenty aimed at these ladies. I remember after one game, the referee I was working with made a comment about the losing team consoling one another in the shower after. Many people, sadly some of them officials I used to work with, were quick to cast aspersions at the sexual orientation of those playing the game. “Women, playing ice hockey? They must all be lesbians.” One fact I discovered that the coach of one women’s team divulged that only one of his players was ‘that way,’ (I hate that term), while the rest of the team was straight.

At the time, women’s hockey was criticized for being slow and not very exciting. Well, I know the reason for that was because, unlike American Football, most women’s ice hockey teams were not well coached. With several clubs, the women’s team was given to a coach who only just obtained their coaching license. So, women’s teams had inexperienced coaches. On top of that, if a coach was doing a good job and that women’s team was playing well and winning, then that coach’s ‘promotion’ would be to go and coach the under 12’s team! That does not help any sort of team no matter the sport or gender of the players.

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How well coached are these ladies? 

My question from all this is: Have attitudes towards women’s sports changed or is American football more open towards women playing the sport than ice hockey? Maybe I should go see a women’s ice hockey game to get a true vision. But sexism in sport, while improving, still has a long way to go in the UK. Other sports also need to improve their attitudes towards women players and not just the successful ones. After all, it took Nicola Adams winning gold at the 2012 Olympics before many in Britain began to rethink their sexist attitudes about women boxers. I bet if Nicola didn’t do so well, those attitudes would not have changed. Even in 2015, after the England Women’s Soccer team came hope from the Women’s World Cup with a third place medal, some idiot man in the England Football Association made a crass comment about the women’s team going back to being wives and mothers. With comments like this, even England’s beautiful game still has a long way to go with women players. Maybe they should pay more attention to those women who play American Football.

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Nicola Adams sporting her gold medal

To buy He Was Weird, go to: https://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1550088121&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird

 

 

 

 

 

Song Lyric Quote: Iron Maiden- Can I Play With Madness

Oh, he then fixed me with a freezing glance and the hellfires raged in his eyes

He said, You want to know the truth son, Lord I’ll tell you the truth

Your soul is going to burn in a lake of fire.

Can I play with madness? The prophet stared at his crystal ball

Can I play with madness? There’s no vision there at all

Can I play with madness? The prophet looked and laughed at me, ha ha

He said, Can I play with madness? He said you’re blind, you’re too blind to see.

32 and a Half Years of the Same Stupid Jokes

That’s how long I have been living in the United Kingdom and almost since my arrival, I have had British people make the same jokes about American Football. It happened again when I read a blog post about something the writer would rather do than watch American Football. Some of these I would never try because they sound rather excruciating. FFI, last Sunday was the night of the Super Bowl which is like English Soccer’s FA Cup many times over, so I can understand why the author would be posting it at this particular time.

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Philadelphia Eagles

My thought was, “Okay, you made your point, you don’t like American Football.” Well, I don’t like cricket, in fact, I find watching it very boring but I don’t go on and on about it. Besides, there are a lot of people in my adopted country who do love the game and all the power to them. For the record, I also find baseball boring to watch on TV, though live is a different story as well as golf. But I won’t go on and on about how I won’t watch them. If you don’t like something and find it boring, fine. You can think what you want and say what you want but after thirty-two years, try to come up with other jokes about it.

What annoys me is that in spite of the facts, many people in the UK still believe the myths about American Football in their country. Therefore, I think I should point out a few facts and other points.

Myth: Very few people watched the Super Bowl in the UK.

Fact: The Super Bowl draws over a million views in the UK on both the BBC and Sky Sports Channel. I have tried to get the official viewing statistics but Google is not forthcoming. It did say that the game was watched by 104 million people worldwide.

Myth: No one in Britain likes American Football.

Facts: There are over 100 American Football teams in the UK. There are two main leagues, the Senior League in the Spring and Summer and the University League in Autumn and Winter. So, you can say that you have American Football all year round in the UK. There are also affiliate groups like Youth and Women’s American Football. Another fact is that ever since the NFL has been having regular season games in London in 2007, I have never been able to get tickets. They just sell out too fast.

Much of the animosity towards the game seems to be generated by the British left who hate all things American. This has only fueled my disillusionment with them because American Football is only a symbol of capitalist greed if you choose to let it be such. I choose not to do that.

Whoa! I feel better getting that off my chest. See, one thing I have struggled with my Asperger’s Syndrome is stereotypes and facts I know to be wrong. In these cases, I feel the need to clear the air and portray the facts. I hope I have done that here.

To buy He Was Weird, (American Football as well as my real favourite sport ice hockey, gets a lot of mention in it), go to: https://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1549470022&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird

Song Lyric Quote: Overkill- In Union We Stand

A peaceful coexistence is dropping out of sight

So band together, together we will fight

Blasting all resistance, marching to the top

They started this, we say when it stops.

Strike fear in their hearts, strike down those in our way

Let them know that we live today

They threw us into flames, did not heed our cries

But now, from the ashes we arise!

In union we stand as they blaze across the land

In union we make a final stand.

Curse or Blessing?

My computer has been in the shop for service and repair the past week, which is why I haven’t been around much. My stepson did let me go on his computer sometimes so I was able to keep up with the blogs that I follow but I haven’t been able to post. At first, I thought this was a curse and my usual anxieties about modern technology out to make my life hell came to mind almost immediately. This is usual for me, I have this belief that when an item is manufactured, whether it’s a computer, CD, a car or anything else, that there is a design programme in said item saying that it must go wrong and not work properly if owned by me. To most people, this sounds absurd but there are times when I think this is real and the past week, it was the case with my computer.

Fortunately, this time, I was able to apply rational thought and realized that I hadn’t had my computer serviced in a few years, even though I pay a small monthly fee in case it goes wrong and it also includes a yearly service. After a brief moment of getting angry with myself for being stupid and not servicing it, I took it in and had it looked at and now it’s back and working better.

At first, I thought that being without a computer for at least a week was going to be difficult. That’s the curse part of it. However, there was a blessing in it as well. Because I haven’t been spending hours on the computer, being sidetracked by playing Age of Empires, I was able to get quite a bit of writing done. After many scribbles, I am nearly ready to type up the next chapter of my book, which I will share here when it’s done. So being without a computer has had a positive effect on my writing. Therefore, I have decided to get myself into a discipline of doing the necessities on the computer, blog posts, emails and of course checking how my Philadelphia Flyers are doing, (not too well at the moment), and then going to my scribbles for my book. See, everything has a positive.