The 2010 World Cup in upon us and with it a host of things to keep a critical eye upon. I’ve written before that women are rarely perceived to sports fans or knowledgeable about “real” (i.e., men’s professional) sports, even though both are true.
I’m keeping my eye on how female fans of the World Cup are being included, erased and portrayed in the media. I have two contrasting examples to share.
1. The first is a page on Deadspin dedicated to “sexy world cup fans” (i.e., scantily clad women). The narrative accompanying the photos suggests the featured attractive women in attendance could not possibly be real fans, but planted there as marketing ploys. I’m not naive enough to believe this doesn’t happen, but the text is offensive. The author insinuates that women would not attend a World Cup game possibly because they enjoy and know the game, but were paid to attend. You would never see pictures of sexy male fans and text that implied they were planted…would you?
2. The second is a Portuguese ad that suggests women do enjoy and know soccer. It is a nice contrast to how female fans are usually portrayed. As Jezebel.com points out, this ad is in nice contrast to the 2010 Super Bowl ads that insinuate that women ruin the lives of men.
If you have anything to share along these lines, please comment here or send it my way!