Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Do You Know the Offside Rule?

And what is more - do you care? I don't - but then football is only a game isn't it? Who was it who said football wasn't a matter of life and death - it was more important than that?

You will gather from my first paragraph that I am not particularly interested in football. The farmer is vaguely interested in the local teams - Newcastle, Hartlepool, Sunderland - and now that our god-daughter has a partner who supports Bolton Wanderers, we always look at their score too (they lost last night if you are interested.) But other than that we can take it or leave it.

But it is a real partisan thing isn't it? And not just amongst the young, or amongst the male population. The National Game of any country, whatever that game is, always seems to get feelings running high. I remember touring Eire with the farmer some years ago when the Hurling Championships were being played out (if you are reading this TFE - what is hurling exactly?) and every road seemed to be festooned with banners rooting for one team or another. There was recently a local 'derby' here between two teams and feelings were so high that the polioe had to erect a barrier between the two lots of supporters before the match began.

But, having said all this I can't really get all that het up about those two stupid Sky reporters who, forgetting that the microphone was still on, made sexist remarks about a female lineswoman. Had the mike not been one we would never have known, and who amongst us has not made a sexist remark (I often think sexist things about some of our daft male politicians who make decisions about things which affect woman).
I really think that that sort of stupidity is best ignored. I think they deserved to be suspended by Sky (and I hope their pay was docked too, although I doubt it) - I also doubt whether the reason for their suspension had anything to do with the remarks they made - it probably had much more to do with viewing figures.

I must say that I can't remember an occasion when I have felt discriminated against because of my sex. If there were adverse comments during my working life then I never heard them - thank goodness. At my age I suppose I have lived through the whole of the sexual revolution - after all women only got the vote a very few years
before I was born.

When I was a child, the woman stayed at home and got the meals and the man worked. My father gave my mother her housekeeping money on a Friday night when he got paid; in return she looked after the house and cooked the meals - even to the extent of standing in the window and watching for the bus going past bringing my dad home from work, so that she could actually put his dinner plate on the table as he opened the back door. She never asked questions about his ability to earn the money and he never questioned her housekeeping skills.

Now, sixty years or so later, the lines between the sexes have got blurred - nobody has a particular role any more and that is a good thing, but it is not all going to happen overnight as if by magic.

Men like Andy Gray and Richard Keys (both of whom have a bit of a history of ridiculing women in football) deserve our contempt and deserve to be taught a public lesson - as does anyone else who makes sexist comments - or racist comments - we still have a long way to go to gain total equality.

Women still earn on average 20 per cent less than men, and as Harriet Harman rightly says, "while domestic violence claims the lives of women every week then feminism is not bigotry."

Do you have views on this? If so we would loe to hear them.

today's aros: grey skies, cutting east winds, spring is still a long way away.


mrsnesbitt said...

I think it was Andy Gray who went on, after the event to further ridicule women and make further unecessary remarks in which case I hope Sky seek to find a more suitable replacement!

By the way - interesting you suggested the name Mackenzie - I want to come over to the gallery in Richmond who stock his paintings - I want to possibly buy one as an investment with some of my pension - would be a good place & time to meet!
Will be in touch Pat.

Heather said...

This might be a long comment!! If a woman does exactly the same work as a man, with exactly the same conditions and provisos, then of course she should receive the same pay. But how many women would be prepared to move 200miles away to another branch? And how many husbands would accept it if their wives did move? We would have been no better off had I gone out to work and paid someone else to look after our children, but that was 40 years ago and things have changed - not always for the better. Young couples expect far more than we did - not a criticism, just a fact. I have been content to be female and to run the home while my husband earned the money and I regarded that as partnership. I can't see the point of the ongoing battle of equality for the sexes - we can never be equal, we are so different, and as my mother often said 'we will always be better than men'. Her little joke! You may have opened a real can of worms with this one Pat! As for the sexist remarks - I didn't hear them but guess they were made by two immature bigots.

Reader Wil said...

I pity those men who are too stupid to admit that women have sometimes more brains than they have.They probably don't see a woman as more than a sex object. Life is so much nicer if men and women are equal partners and friends, who take mutual decisions. Only then they can become loving mates. On 8th March it is women's Day and once I wrote about the struggle women had in the past and still have to get equal rights. One of the male commentators said:"Why do you bother, as far as I know women in my country (Greece) have everything they want: Nice clothes, a husband, children, time to visit friends and to go shopping. I was so angry and said: As long as there are girls and women forced to marry a partner their father chooses for them, as long as they don't get proper schooling, as long as they are beaten by their fathers, brothers or lateron husbands, as long as this is still going on, there is still a lot to do for women's rights.Women are half of humanity, they are the childbearers and deserve the highest respect. They work harder than many men in Asia and Africa.
We have a long way to go.

jeanette from everton terrace said...

Oh dear, of course being way over here in Arizona I know nothing about these remarks made by some probably very regretful now men.
I care about equal pay and domestic abuse very much but not comments or words. For me it just shows the character of the mouth they come out of and has nothing to do with me. I also think there is a vast difference between equality and being the same, we are not the same, not even close.

Eryl said...

I don't know much about football though I do know the offside rule. I made a point of learning it - two opposition players (one is usually but not always the goalkeeper) must be between the player who will receive the ball and the opposition's goal when the ball is played - to quash those sexist comments.

I think people tend to make derogatory comments about others when they feel threatened by those others. Now more women are entering the world of football, and doing well, some men, having only had other men to compete with thus far, probably do find those women a threat. And, in truth, they probably are: attractive young women who know as much as these men about the sport could be considered more media friendly and be chosen over them for jobs. These aren't easy times for men.

Sal said...
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Sal said...
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Sal said...

Personally,I think the whole thing has been blown out of proportion...as these things usually are!
They were daft to not check their mics but having said that this is meant to be a country of free speech those who were offended by it need to lighten up.
I occasionally make derogatory comments about the opposite sex and sometimes even at a footy match...and yes I thought that a woman linesman was useless at Torquay! We are all entitled to an opinion and if some women were not so damned insistent about trying to be equal to men in certain areas of life then maybe life would be easier!
As for the offside rule..it is a nightmare since they have changed it and none of us in my house really
understand it totally!
(That's when my hubby lets me out of the kitchen to watch footy!) ;-)
So...in short..a lot of fuss about nothing and just to sell papers!!
Well that's what I think anyway!!
A great one for debate though! ;-)

NanU said...

So many angles. So much to discuss.

The modern definition of "hurling" in the US would be vomiting, at least among the college-aged.

Having a favorite team can be great fun. It's always a pleasure to go out and yell for the ASM, our local rugby guys. But no matter how much I want our team to win, it's terribly disappointing and off-putting to hear jeers and boos from a crowd putting down the opponents.

It continues to astonish me that people really do (did?) like to walk in the door after a day at work, and have their dinner on the table before they've even taken their coat off. A strange custom! Whenever I read that in books I think 'naw! how odd this fictional world'. I like to unwind a bit first, or my digestion will be all off.

I too can't put my finger on any instances of being actively discriminated against because of my sex. And again without specific anecdotes, I know I've taken advantage in order to get out of some onerous task.
I think women, as a group, really are more willing to negotiate, more concerned with long-term goals, and less focussed on getting ahead right now. This all leads to it being easy for men to maintain their lead in pay and power. We are coming up, though. It's a long road.

Anonymous said...

NOT a lot of fuss about nothing. Women's participation in both cricket and football has been dogged by neanderthal sexism, overt and institutional, for a long time now. What progress has taken place over the past 40-odd years comes as the result of steady, patient, systematic pressure from highly motivated women and sensible men. That there are still crass and ignorant saloon bar pillocks at the front line of foot ball commentary is depressing. It is to be hoped that this very public leg-slapping will either shut them up or shunt them on.

annell said...

It is my opinion, we still have a long way to go. It seems the more things change, the more they are the same. As artists we are in a most discriminated against field, other than maybe football.

Totalfeckineejit said...

I think the latest is that they've been sacked. And that might be a tough decision but I think it may be the right one.People in privileged positions on big salaries have a bigger responsibility to do the right thing than the ordinary joe soap in the bar.I think what they said was not only wrong but technically innacurate.
Hurling Mrs WEaver is a game played by two teams of 15 all armed with hurleys or 'camans' made of ash who fight over a small stitched leather ball or 'sliotar'.
At either end of a HUGE field are posts similar to rugby posts. If you propel the ball over the bar (and between the posts) you score one point. If you propel under the bar and between the post , it is a goal, worth three points. Unlike socccer each player has a player to mark, if he has a good day , you have a bad one. The idea of the game ( at club level) is to render your opponent as close to death, legally or illegally, without acually killing him. Whilst at county level an enormous degree of skill and sportsmanship and professionalism is evident between the multiple efforts to kill or maim your opponent.The team with the highest score after two halves of 35 mins is deemed the winner. The holy grail of Hurling is the 'All Ireland championship the wionner of which is awarded the Liam McCarthy cup. Tipperary (the home of hurling) are currently champions after a period inthe wilderness. One of their all Ireland winning team is a relative of mine. UP TIPP!

Tom Stephenson said...

Very well put, for a lady, Weaver. Well said, darling.

( security word? 'studdi' ! )

Titus said...

Oh Weaver, I could go on for hours (and reading Adrienne Rich this week - what a coincidence!). As you probably know, Gray's now been sacked, and in my opinion rightly. Words spoken are just indicators to attitudes, and beliefs, held, so I don't find anything very funny in their comments.
My first career was in an almost exclusively (in those days) male environment, and I certainly had to put up with, and find cutting and funny retorts to, sexist comments nearly everyday. It was sink or swim, and I still feel sorry for some other female officers who were not as hard-skinned as me. That said, I undoubtedly progressed far faster in the police than a man of similar competence, simply because I was a woman, and women were in short supply on CID and on the Regional Crime Squad, and then in further specialist departments. So there was some justified resentment from some male officers.
Equality? I think first we have to define it, and with men and women biologically programmed to get together and have children, well, that is no easy matter. We can't both have it all as someone (in my opinion) has to stay at home for the children. I had the 'bigger' career of the two of us, but I'm the one who gave it up and changed direction to find work that is utterly flexible enough to suit having children. My choice.
But in the West, we have made astonishing progress. There are millions of women living in totally oppressive societies in the rest of the world, so I, for one, will stay feminist to the core! Until we're all free to choose.

And other such ramblings...

steven said...

i cook and love it, i clean and enjoy it, i do laundry and derive pleasure from it, i take care of my children - real care - i write poetry, paint, keep decorated journals, i do all the painting in the house, shovel the snow, do the groceries, cut the grass, take care of all the houseplants, teach for a living, i don't drive - my wife does that! yes i am a man and i love soccer (manchester united fan from birth), ice hockey, cycling. i have no time for roles - even less time for put-downs or ridiculing of people by gender, race, creed, preference whatever - i wish no one did - they're empty and bogus and fill a need that is often not the need of the person filling them. nope, i'm here to love and love this world and everything in it for what it is!!! sweet day in the dale weaver! steven

Dominic Rivron said...

A player is in an offside position if three conditions are met: first, the player must be on the opposing team's half of the field. Second, the player must be in front of the ball. And third, there must be fewer than two opposing players between him and the opposing goal line, with the goalkeeper counting as an opposing player for these purposes. It is not necessary that the goalkeeper be one of the last two opponents. Any attacker that is level with or behind the ball is not in an offside position and may never be sanctioned for an offside offence. (A player temporarily off the field of play is considered to be ON the boundary line at the point that he crossed over the boundary line).

Obvious really.

Cloudia said...

My view is that it is a privilege and quite edifying to hear your view!

Thank you for your dear friendship here in the blog-world, Weaver

Please stop by today to share a special moment with me if you have the time. Warmly, c-
Comfort Spiral


Jo said...

I am a married feminist, married to a feminist, as well. When we married, I took my husband's last name (more for the sake of sharing our future children's last name), but first told him how very difficult the switch in identity would be. I kept my birth surname as my middle name.

Shortly after our wedding, my new husband went to the local courthouse and petitioned to have my birth name added to his name, also as a middle name.

All three of our sons have the same middle name...my original identity. Only our daughter was spared the name of "Floyd" as a middle name. We just couldn't do it to her! We gave her "Joy" instead.

That set the tone for everything else in our marriage. A marriage of equality, cooperation, and sharing, not of ownership, control, or power.

I happen to love sports...I know all the rules! :-)

The Weaver of Grass said...


I knew I had hit on a subject that would get you all talking - isn't cyberspace marvellous for the exchange of opionion.

Do take a minute or two to read through all these wonderful opinions - and to learn the offside rule from Dominic - and to learn about hurling from TFE.

Thank you so much for joining in the debate - I feel like printing all your comments off and pinning them on the wall above my computer.

Have a lovely day and remember -
Spring will soon be here.

The Weaver of Grass said...

PS And don't get cross with Tom!!!

Heather said...

I laughed at Tom's comment - I think he liked poking sticks down wasps' nests in his youth!! I had meant to add that I don't know the offside rule - it's mens' stuff!
I admire the way Stephen has ignored the stereotyped role for men, and chosen his own - it sounds great to me.

Dave King said...

It's been a long time coming, but they've got their come-uppance at last. What does puzzle me is the frequency with which supposedly experienced and professional people say sensitive things in front of microphones thinking they are off! Will they never learn?

Masia Mum said...

Yes I do know, and can explain, the offside rule and The Man tends to boast to his friends about my knowledge of not just football but cricket [a whole other subject].

But I am getting increasingly concerned about "off the record" remarks being reported and people's private conversations exposed to the world at large. This latest incident with the Sky Sport Presenters is minor in comparison with Vince Cable believing he was talking in private with two of his constituents in his MP's surgery while in fact they were undercover reporters out for a scoop. When is private conversation private?

On the particular issue of sexist remarks I do think men are hit harder for any slip in approved standards. Are any of you regular watchers of "Loose Women" on ITV at lunchtimes? I feel they regularly make extremely sexists and derogatory remarks about men that would never be allowed in reverse. Double standards I think.

Jules said...

Hello Weaver, this has been a topic in our home too... I wasn't offended by the remarks of the Sky presenters, although people in the limelight today should know by now what happens when you make throw away comments in a politically correct society.
I've worked in environments dominated by men and by women, and (unless it's meant maliciously, in which case ignore it) I've shared countless laughs at the expenses of both sexes. I think both sexes are guilty of sexism, and both sexes are also guilty of playing victim in some circumstances. For the most part, I find most men and women perfectly respectable and easy to get along with. There's no danger in being different, and no danger in acknowledging this. We're not meant to be the same, but we can do a lot of the same things. That's why it's a good partnership.
As for the offside rule - I was criticised once by a boyfriend for my lack of knowledge. I read up on it and recited the paragraph I'd memorised. My boyfriend went red, then he and three friends smirked sheepishly, and admitted that most men don't know the in's and out's of it either!
As usual, wonderful post, I love something that get's me thinking! x

Jules said...

By the way - Dominic! I'm impressed!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Don't you just love Heather's metaphor for Tom's 'stirring it all up'!

Rachel said...

Bill Shankly said it.

If you like football, and I do, Andy Gray and Richard Keys were always good fun to watch so I feel a little bit sorry for them. I regret to say this was just waiting to happen though in this very pc country that we now live in.

I used to live in the North East and we were once going to a Hartlepool game only to hear on the radio on the way there that the stand had blown down in a gale! We turned back and went to the Sunderland game instead. (We were attempting to visit all the football grounds in the North East at the time).