Beat around the Bush

By Sandy Lerman WHY is it that women watching football still seems so incongruous for so many men? I obviously have a personal interest in this question! Frequently, I find myself facing a supposedly witty comment – which is more patronising than witty

By Sandy Lerman

WHY is it that women watching football still seems so incongruous for so many men?

I obviously have a personal interest in this question! Frequently, I find myself facing a supposedly 'witty' comment - which is more patronising than witty - about my knowledge of the beautiful game.

Guys think it is 'cute' that I follow a team. But their jaws drop open with utter disbelief when I tell them I am a season ticket holder, have been for over 20 years, and even go to away games!


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My husband has been described as a 'lucky man' because his wife likes football. That is so condescending and makes me mad!

My gender has absolutely nothing to do with my ability to follow, understand and comment on football. I have followed the Rs since the early 1970s - long enough to know what I am talking about.

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Yes, I do understand the offside rule! Yes, I do have an opinion on anything and everything, from referees to the best position for Matthew Connolly to play in, for example!

Yes, I am passionate about my team and yes, I do enjoy going to the Springbok for a drink and a chat with my fellow VitalQPR posters - where they listen to my opinions and thoughts as they do each other's - overlooking my femininity but respecting my knowledge, as they do each other's.

And yet I am still patronised by so many of you football-loving fellas out there! I have frequently been asked for a date just because I love football - really!

And then there's the guest of the man who sits behind me at Rangers. He didn't stop rubbing my shoulders during a recent match - because, so he claimed, it was just so lovely to see a woman enjoying football. Excuse me! Would he behave like that to another guy?

Of course, I am not speaking just for myself. There are many women, like my own daughters, who love nothing more than watching a good game of football - and who recognise when it is anything but good! They have season tickets and go to away matches. And they do not want to be patronised either, thank you!

So the next time you see a woman at football, just remember - she probably knows at least as much as you do about the game, so treat her with respect. She'll appreciate it - I know I do!

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