Monday, 31 January 2011

Now let's forget our troubles with a big bowl of strawberry icecream

Sexism on the football field. Are we bovvered?

Well, I must say I enjoyed the Question Time debate on the "Sky sexism scandal" involving Richard Keys and Andy Gray. (You can watch it here.  I had very little idea who "Katie Hopkins from The Apprentice" was, but found myself agreeing with all that she said – unlike the rest of the studio audience, who maintained a stony silence whenever she spoke and clapped whenever anyone disagreed with her. I expect if she'd said "Women are victims! Men are sooo meeeean to us" she'd have got a standing ovation. Poor old Edwina Currie only put feminism back by about 50 years when her take on women in football was summed up with "Have you forgotten Bend it Like Beckham? Wasn't Keira Knightly gorgeous?!"

Miss Hopkins dared to point out that "women actually don't want equal treatment....What a lot of women are actually asking for – and you can look aghast at this – is special treatment." I agree – and it's silly bints like Edwina Currie and Harriet Harman, who propose "positive discrimination" (no such thing) who do the real damage. When we start having "Women Only" short lists, we are basically saying that women ARE inferior, that they can't get jobs based on their merit, and they need a special leg up, as if being female is some sort of disadvantage.

Similarly, when women are awarded millions because they threw a hissy fit when a fratboy-type colleague said "nice knockers", they may think they're striking a blow for feminists everywhere, but actually they are making women look like humourless wimps, and making bosses understandably leery about taking on such volatile employees. What's wrong with laughing in the faces of these dinosaur-like men? You can't really take them seriously...  can you?

Maybe I see the funny side of these things a little too much, but after listening to the infamous exchange between Andy Gray and Richard Keys, I couldn't help but have a giggle. It's SILLY. It may be sexist, but it was also freaking hilarious, right down to the final line from Mr Keys: "Did you hear charming Karren Brady this morning complaining about sexism? Yeah, do me a favour, love." The spirit of Andy Capp lives on.

I also enjoyed the way they huffed that "of course" women didn't understand the offside rule. I find it odd and sort of endearing that men have made this into some mythical esoteric knowledge that women may never know, even though they are privy to exactly the same information that men are. Perhaps it's revenge for the way women always insist that men can never understand the pain of childbirth? I have to admit, I don't know the offside rule, but then again, I don't care to. I certainly wouldn't consider myself in any way inferior for this, any more than I would call Andy Gray inferior because (I suspect) he could not name Hello Kitty's twin sister (Mimmy). I've never felt any desire to join a men only club, either. It's the "grown-up" equivalent of a tree house with "No gurlz alowd" pinned to the stepladder – let them have their fun, bless 'em.

Giggles aside, Richard Keys shows his non-comical colours on another occasion, when describing an ex girlfriend of Jamie Redknapp – frankly, his description "You could have gone round there any night and found Redknapp hanging out the back of it" is pretty vile. Forget sexism, I'm concerned about the state of his soul. Who calls a fellow human being "it"? Astonishingly, he has a 25-year-old daughter – who claims “Dad’s comments were totally out of character." (Am I the only one who thinks it would be quite funny if she dated a footballer?)

But before Edwina Currie bans it from the airwaves, let's enjoy this clip – if you listen carefully you hear Andy Gray plaintively slipping in "Why do they call them linesman?" and the Creature Comforts-style repetition of the word "Potty."

Keep 'em coming boys!

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