Right now the Euro 2013 Games are underway, and women’s soccer is receiving loads of attention. The Swedish soccer team has already played a few games, and a sexist backlash of homophobic comments immediately followed the first match, where Sweden and Denmark tied.
According to The Local, post-match comments on Twitter focused not on the Swedish players’ competence, but rather on their attractiveness. Some comments included, “Women’s football is small breasts, lesbians and short hair” and “Swedish women’s football… lesbian whores is what you are.” Swedish handball coach Andreas Stockenberg also weighed in, writing that “When the Swedish squad in women’s football has dinner with their partners there are 40 women and 4 guys” and that “they can hardly trap a sandbag.” Stockenberg defended his comments by saying that the team received “far too much undeserved media attention.”
Apparently the ultimate insult to women is saying that they are ugly lesbians who cannot attract a man, as if the purpose of women being in the world is to attract men, to want to attract men, and to care more about attracting a man than anything else. It is so tiresome to hear this kind of crap over and over again. At the same time, being beautiful is the ultimate compliment; if men like the way you look, you should be happy and not take offense that your looks are being discussed. But we’re not talking about beauty in a way that is open for personal preferences; instead, women need to be stereotypically beautiful with long hair and big breasts, and of course a straight sexual preference. Being called a lesbian is another way of insulting women, because it removes men’s attraction from women–which is the ultimate way of putting women down. Focusing on women’s appearance and telling them that they are unattractive in a world that values women’s looks more than their talent and intelligence is an attempt at keeping women quiet and “in their place.”
Furthermore, Stockenberg’s comments are not only idiotic but also make no sense. Let us recap: he meant that the players are lesbians and unable to attract even a sandbag, and that there would be no men at a dinner which the players would attend. But if they are all lesbians, why would there even be any men at the dinner? Why would the players want to attract men if, according to his line of argument, they are all lesbians? All we can conclude from his statements is that Stockenberg is an unintelligent jackass.
Fortunately Ida Lindqvist, sports editor for the journal Feminist Perspective, has reported the insults to the police. Lindqvist has said that “I expect the Swedish Football Association to do something about this… This hate and threats against women who play sport has to stop… We have had enough.”