Give Women a Chance

Yesterday was World Women’s Day.

It is a sad commentary on life that people feel the need to demarcate a particular day to celebrate and appreciate womenhood. In a fair world, every single day of the year should be women’s day.

Unfortunately there is still a whole group of Neanderthals in the world who look at women as possessions. A woman is never an individual free to make her own choices, she is always someone’s daughter, someone’s granddaughter, someone’s sister, someone’s girlfriend, someone’s wife, someone’s mother etc. A woman can’t do anything without thinking about all these relationships first, about how her actions will impact  each and every one of these people.

And then there is society with its sneering condescension and criticism and judgments.

We guys have it easy. Just by having a penis and two testicles, we have for some reason got a free lifetime pass regarding numerous activities. How having a penis makes us superior I will never understand but that is society’s diktat.

Thankfully, things are changing – slowly – but changing nonetheless.

Just 40, 50 years ago, if a woman wanted to be financially independent, she had a handful of options – a teacher (that too only in school), a nurse or a secretary. Now – at least in the civilised world – the whole world is her oyster.

In the civilised world, its increasingly a person’s ability – irrespective of gender – which is determining the career. No door is closed (at least theoretically) because of a person’s gender.

However, some professions are still for some reason considered a man’s domain. Women are allowed in, but just nominally. For example, the army, the police, the firefighters, driving and chauffeuring and group sports like cricket, football etc.

Am not advocating that women should play alongside men in physical contact sports like football – that’s a disaster waiting to happen.

But why can’t there be women coaches, managers, doctors, referees, umpires, commentators, administrators?

If you count the percentage of women in group sports – barring the sportswomen themselves – it will come to less than 5.

Which undoubtedly is a sad state of affairs.

There is only one lineswoman in English football – Sian Massey. And she is undoubtedly the best one, I have not seen a single mistake from her. Her work should give inspiration to future generations.

As usual, Chelsea FC is at the vanguard of changing things. The person in charge of all decision making as far as the business is considered is Marina Granovskaia, who has been doing a fantastic job. Southampton and West Ham also have female directors doing a great job.

And then there is Dr. Eva Carneiro. She is our first team doctor and assistant medical director and she is without a doubt the best doctor in men’s football in England at the moment – the extremely low amount of injuries, general fitness and fast recuperation from injuries of all our players over the last 5 years bear testimony to her prowess. She played an invaluable part in us winning the Champions League. Pamela Jordan and Kate Jordan are also in the team.

We at Chelsea love and respect her – not because of the way she looks – but simply because of her achievements. She has earned the respect of millions of us Chelsea fans and is  great role model for kids worldwide.

Unfortunately though, the troglodyte fans of Manchester United and Arsenal do not agree.

As you can see, Dr. Eva has been subjected to vile disgusting sexist chants by the Manchester United and Arsenal fans. I can understand abusing opposition players and managers, its part of the game. In fact abusing Red Scousers (Liverpool fans) is a fundamental duty of every human being.

But that is because of the club that they support, not because of their race, skin, nationality, gender.

Abusing someone because of the colour of their skin is a big taboo nowadays, its a socially unacceptable behaviour.

But how come sexist chants are still tolerated and passed off as banter? Neither of the clubs have showed any inclination towards naming and shaming the perpetrators.

And therein lies the problem. When those in power turn a blind eye and take no actions, no amount of lip service will help.

When a young girl sees and hears this kind of abuse directed at a respected figure, she will lose all interest in joining the industry and things will remain the same.

I am inherently anti-quota but you know what if there’s one industry, its the football one. Sian Massey and Eva Carnerio have undoubtedly improved the conditions and affairs of footballs and more women need to be given a chance to improve it.

Lets have a 20 or 25 % quota for women across all facets of football -except the playing part, and the only reason for that is that men and women playing football together will only lead to a boulevard of broken bones.

Let’s give women a chance eh?


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