Women and football fandom

Football has been largely the domain of men throughout much of its history. Stacey Pope University of Durham, has conducted a research on sexism and misogyny in men’s football, with the aim to grow the game, significantly increasing attendances and interest. It is the right action to take, both in terms of equality, diversity and inclusion, and financially.

From the report

The ‘feminization’ or ‘opening up’ of more opportunities for women to become fans over the past three decades has not automatically led to greater gender equality. Recent research led by Durham University has shown that misogyny among men football fans remains very common (Pope et al. 2022). The findings were based on a survey of 1,950 men fans on UK football fan message boards. The results show that those expressing hostile, sexist or misogynistic attitudes were by far the most dominant group. This suggests a backlash against advances in gender equality. The study identified three different types of men fans.

Men with openly misogynistic attitudes made up 68% of respondents. Men in this group saw women’s sport as inferior to men’s sport, particularly in relation to football. Some suggested that women should not participate in sport at all – or if they did, it should be ‘feminine’ sports such as athletics, rather than football.

Men with covertly misogynistic attitudes made up 8% of fans. This group would express progressive attitudes in public, but in more private moments revealed misogynistic views. Men in this group would adapt what they said, depending on the social situation or who they were with.

Men with progressive attitudes accounted for 24% of respondents. They expressed more gender- equal attitudes. They showed strong support for equality in media coverage of women’s sport. Many said that the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup marked a positive turning point in terms of the representation of women’s sport. The media was seen as having a responsibility to more fully promote women’s sport.

In order to create an environment that is safe, welcoming and inclusive for women, this researchbriefing paper has identified the following recommendations:

  1. Introduce a mechanism to identify, report, respond to and remedy sexism and misogyny in football.
  2. Redesign stadia to create women friendly environments.
  3. Undertake further research to monitor the effectiveness of recommendations 1 and 2 and identify the best future mechanisms to drive forward change, in consultation with women fans.

0 Responses to “Women and football fandom”

  • No Comments

Leave a Reply