It’s Time To Be Honest About Women’s Football


The Women’s World Cup has just started. Now, I know the polite thing to do is to pretend it’s just as thrilling as the men’s version. But I’m not trying to sleep with any blue-rinse bints on Gender Studies programmes, so I don’t have to pretend to like terrible things just to get a shag.

The only thing normal people care less about than women’s football is serious discussion of women’s football — a fact that seems to have escaped the media, who are celebrating this feminist triumph like it’s Armistice Day or the Potsdam Agreement. So we won’t get into too much detail, except to put Guardian columnists back in their place when they start claiming that the women’s game is just as good, or even better, than the men’s.

Granted, it’s not a high bar. Men’s soccer is hopelessly dull, too. But women’s football is even more soporific because women are significantly underpowered when it comes to reflex times and stamina — i.e., the two things you need to be a good footballer. According to a 1992 study, when compared in “running economy,” men use less oxygen than women do. Men are moreover significantly more economical runners, using any method of comparison.

Women’s world speed records consistently lag 10 per cent behind men’s, thanks to insuperable biological differences that hamper female performance in athletic activity. Controlling for a variety of factors and across dozens of sports, women’s results are pretty consistently 90 per cent those of their male counterparts.

There’s also male competitiveness to take into account. Some enthusiasts praise women’s football for featuring fewer dives and fake injuries and less hassling of match officials, but in fact these are competitive strategies designed to eke out crucial game advantage. No man wants to be seen as a girl, or a bully: they do it to win. Women don’t have that “do whatever it takes” edge to their game.

That earnestness, combined with how slow female players are and their 10 per cent lower reaction times that are not improved by practice, has a single result: utter bloody boredom for the viewer.

This is why, as a firm believer in cheating, I’m all in favour of transgender athletes, provided that the only reason they transitioned was for competitive advantage. Look at the drama it caused when a male-to-female fighter entered a mixed martial arts competition, for example! Introducing men in wigs into female competitions may not be fair on the women, but it sure beats watching a room full of pure-blood lezzers slugging it out.

The Women’s World Cup begins just as global football body FIFA is embroiled in a corruption scandal. Which is just as well, really, because watching very rich old crooks getting arrested on live TV is infinitely more entertaining than the women’s game, so we’ve been spared blanket coverage in the sports pages for what is, I’m sorry to say, perhaps the most mind-numbingly boring sport in existence.

Not a lot of people know this, but, in ISIS-controlled Libya, there are only two penalties worse than death. One is being thrown in solitary confinement and forced to watch the late Muammar Gaddafi’s speeches. The other is being strapped to the bleachers in Tripoli and forced to watch the Benghazi Babes face off against the Nofaliya Neurotics.

There aren’t many things you can do, even in the Muslim world, to warrant such a punishment. Even Salman Rushdie’s fatwa only stipulated “death,” and they really had a bone to pick with him.

Elsewhere in the world, the situation is no better. Rumour has it the Chinese government is abandoning its age-old tradition of water torture in favour of endless reruns of the inaugural 1991 Beijing Women’s World Cup. When news of this change hit the state press, political dissidents started hanging themselves all over the country. Getting caught was just too much of a risk.

Over in Moscow, there’s a new snuff movie trend that takes Russian roulette to the next level. Players are handed a TV remote and the penalty for pressing the wrong button is 24 hour rolling coverage of amateur female soccer tournaments with no vodka or cigarettes.

If you ask me, the real FIFA corruption scandal is the politically correct insanity of spending millions of dollars promoting women’s football. I mean, think about it. At this point the only thing that could drive FIFA’s reputation any lower is if people start accidentally tuning in to the women’s cup and asking why the hell this is a thing.

Sepp Blatter must be praying he gets found guilty of corruption and locked up, because the alternative, given his tarnished reputation and the sharks circling around him, is for him to semi-retire and take over the female players. But does even Blatter deserve a punishment so severe?

The BBC claims that a billion people are going to watch the Women’s World Cup, which is being held this year in Canada. (Because of course it is.) But the BBC expects a lot of things that never happen, like acid rain, climate change, Labour winning more seats the last election and ISIS being defeated by us all being just a little bit nicer to Muslims.

Even civilisations that predate soccer somehow had the prescience to warn us about it. The second, lesser-known curse on the tomb of King Tut read: “Ye who enter here, may ye know the horror of women’s football.”

Which brings the only remaining appeal of the female game down to the obvious: watching fit birds get sweaty in skimpy clothes. Alas, with the rise of freely available internet pornography, women’s football is obsolete as a spectator sport. So why does it continue to exist? Political correctness gone mad? Or is it white guilt and the endless capacity of the middle classes and media elites to torture us, because deep down they think we must really all deserve it?

I admit, I’m no expert on women. But, frankly, if I wanted to see a bunch of lesbians sublimating their notorious killer rage by abusing balls I’d head down to Titiana on Charing Cross road at 2am on a Saturday morning. I’d probably see Hope Solo there.

Let’s face it. Soccer played by men is bad enough, but it is a testament to the indomitability of the human spirit that some people can actually make it through a women’s football match without killing themselves. Even the fans are dull. Does women’s football have hooligans, or just goony neckbeards pretending to enjoy themselves in the hope of a hand job later?

The best bit about women’s football is the commercials, because from butch female footballers you suddenly cut to fragrant ads for feminine hygiene products and credit cards for people with poor credit ratings and you’re reminded what real women look like. If you wanted men to pay attention to women’s sports, you’d bring back GLOW.

It’s not that the women on our TVs at the moment are bad at sport, it’s that the sport they’re good at is women’s soccer. I think televised women’s sports should be limited to those activities guaranteed to be thrilling and death-defying. Sport should be dangerous. So, how about competitive parallel parking? An algebra quiz? Synchronised credit card bill-opening?

Or, if the organisers are feeling really brave, what about a round of “Yes, your bum looks huge in that”?

Before you accuse me of misogyny, I don’t hate all women’s sports. Hockey’s great, even though the women’s Olympic team can’t reliably beat high school boys. Yes, you read that right: the women’s Olympic hockey team plays at the same level as most American high school boys.

The women don’t seem to mind, in case you’re wondering: they apparently regard playing high schoolers as great practice for the women’s Olympic competitions. That, at least, provides a bit of comic relief from the tedium of hockey itself: the sight of panting 25-year old female athletes struggling to keep up with the 17-year-old lads who later cruelly reject their advances in the bar.

If I was told to watch women’s soccer at gunpoint I’d put the gun in my mouth and flip the safety myself. Which is a funny coincidence because there’s been a massive outbreak of suicide among senior executives at Hyundai and Kia, sponsors of the Women’s World Cup, as managers realise they might draw the short straw and be forced to pad out the company box. Serves them right, really. Hyundai and Kia are the women’s football of cars.

Fortunately for male spectators — and bullied husbands — the Women’s World Cup is also sponsored by Budweiser. Handy, because you’re going to need a lot of it. Rounding out the corporate backers is Coca-Cola. Because everyone knows bitches love a bit of Coke. Sorry, no offence, but it’s true.


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