Monday, December 10, 2007

Futbol: Only for los hombres?

"I'd love to see a soccer game but I won't get a chance to this trip," I told my tablemate, an American who frequently visited Brazil and Argentina, at the tango show.

"That's for the best," he said. "A woman showing up at the stadium would not be recommended." His tone was forboding, implying that I'd be raped, ripped apart limb from limb or both in broad daylight.

Excuse me?

I've gone to soccer games live in Africa and in the United States and watched them in bars and restaurants around the world - never received a bit of trouble. Could I believe this guy? He was, of course, the same one with the wild tales of Copacabana beach.

It seems true, however, that participation in soccer remains guys-only in many areas of the world. My male colleagues in Africa were able to pick up games with the locals, while that option was never available for us women.

Living here in Chevy Chase where every teenage girl seems to pop into Panera wearing the gear of her private-school team, it's hard to believe (and a testament to how much Title Nine has accomplished in the United States).

Maybe los hombres just need a break from las mujeres at times and the stadium/tv set is where they find it - sacred territory like the fishing hole, duck-hunting blind or the poker table in the U.S.

Chauvanistic? Maybe. On the other hand, even though women aren't welcome on the soccer field, in some of these nations (Chile, Argentina, Liberia), they have found their way into the president's office.

The Boca mascot in storage

Outside the stadium

A pick-up game

Evita (not Madonna or Andrew Lloyd Webber) wants you to click here.


At 10:46 PM, Blogger media concepts said...

Maybe it's the pee. I once read a theory about British soccer hooligans. According to the article, many guys at soccer ("football") games are extremely drunk ("pissed" in Brit slang). Ok, no news there. But, according to the article, these drunkards are not about to make their way through the crowd to the more crowded bathroom, missing the action on the field, when they need to go, which may be often. So, the most discreet of them stand at their seats, roll up their copy of Hooligan Daily or whatever the football sheet is called, and use it as their, um, private tunnel. As a result, all kinds of male pheromones are released into the air, causing the drunk fans to become very violent. I'm not making this up. Brazil isn't necessarily Britain, but if there is any truth to the pee theory, maybe this has something to do with your friend's warning.


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