New football magazine to launch. It’s for men, obviously

// 12 August 2008

As you may know, in real life I’m a journalist and cover a variety of subjects, mostly sport and media, so I was intrigued to find out that Golf Punk are launching a new football magazine.

But wait! Who is it aimed at? According to the Guardian, it’s for the “thinking man”. This is presumably because no women like football and if they did they wouldn’t want to worry their pretty little heads with weighty matters; they’d just want to look at pictures.

On another matter, I was asked to pitch for a regular column in another new football magazine – if I was successful, I’d be writing “for women”, tucked in between the other features in the rest of the magazine that would be “for men”. I said that I’d be loath to turn a page aimed specifically at women into something too “girly”, particularly if it was going to go down the pin-ups and WAGs routes, and made some suggestions (based on my PhD research into female football fans) about what might be appropriate. I didn’t hear back.

(NB – the Guardian coverage of the Olympics has also included much gnashing of teeth from “red-blooded males” about Ana Ivanovic’s departure, and a highly amusing “impressive snatch” gag about the female weightlifting competition.)

Comments From You

chem_fem // Posted 12 August 2008 at 12:57 pm

Being cynical, maybe they didn’t call you back because they didn’t want a page that women would actually read (seeing as they’d have to get passed all the male centered content to even see the column) but a page that men could read and think ‘those stupid women’.

Carrie // Posted 12 August 2008 at 1:00 pm

Hmm, maybe. It just makes me really angry when people differentiate about “female football fans”. In my experience and my work and my research, “female football fans” are no different to male fans in any genuine way, and they’re interested in exactly the same things.

magic_at_mungos // Posted 12 August 2008 at 4:02 pm

I hate it that football fans who happen to women are treated differently to men. But I think it’s partly part of certain high profile female figures who say they only follow football because they fancy the players. It makes it harder for the women who can explain the offside rule to be taken seriously.

One of my friends on Livejournal has been a season ticket holder at Hillsborough since she was tiny and she still gets this sense that she only follows football because it’s fashionable.

Me – I’m not interested in the WAGS. I’m interested in the transfer gossip and the up and coming talent and if women’s ootball can get a highjer profilem, I would be dead chuffed. How many people would be able to tell you who Hope Powell is. She’s a really good role model for young mixed race women in my opnion.

Sarah // Posted 13 August 2008 at 9:06 am

I’ve never understood the whole thing about the ‘offside rule’ thing being some huge mystery that women are incapable of understanding. It’s really not that difficult! I don’t particularly follow or care about football, but that’s not because my feeble girly brain is incapable of understanding the rules.

Tony Moll // Posted 13 August 2008 at 9:07 am

What is wrong with having a magazine targeted at men? In this case it is not even targeted at men per se but a group of fans who are predominantly male.

chem_fem // Posted 13 August 2008 at 10:28 am

Tony Moll, there is nothing wrong with a magazine (or even a couple of magazines) being aimed exclusively at men, but when every magazine for one interest group is aimed at men that is unfair.

For the record male knitters (and if you go looking for them there are plenty around, especially in the blogosphere) have the same problem with being left out by knitting magazines. The thing is though is that female knitters are quite supportive of magazines being opened up and aimed at all knitters. The extreme sexism in football, completely turns me off the game (that and the difficulty/price for getting tickets).

Tony Moll // Posted 13 August 2008 at 10:58 am

chem_fem said:

“The extreme sexism in football, completely turns me off the game (that and the difficulty/price for getting tickets).”

If that is enough to turn you completely off the game, then you were probably not much of a fan in the first place. And indeed you do not have to be.

I followed the league and went to stadiums even when black players got monkey chants (I’m black, by the way) and skinheads were a real threat at the stadium. I still enjoy it even though the football songs and the general fan culture at stadiums seems very white. The fact is that I share the love of the game with men who think it cool to bare their bear bellies and sing ridiculous songs. And you know what? I am not complaining about a thing.

Sabre // Posted 13 August 2008 at 12:02 pm

I hate that perception that women don’t understand the offside rule! It’s really simple, but men do seem to like the joke and the sense of superiority that comes with it. I also hate that if I say I prefer football to rugby people assume it’s because I fancy football players more than rugby players. Yes I admit they have good legs and yes it’s interesting when you almost get a ball shot (the more elusive kind ;-)) but that’s not why I watch games!

The only time when female football fans aren’t invisible is when there’s a tournament like the World Cup on. Then everyone’s included in the excitement, which is great. On the downside I could strangle some of the cameraMEN who almost always focus on big-titted women in small t-shirts on the terraces. And the classic photo montages comparing female footie fans from different countries: look how hot the Brazilian chicks are! With an accompanying photo of a fat English woman eating chips (poor English men, look what they have to put up with!)

Making womens’ sports and female fans invisible through media (including magazines) only adds to the perception that football (and sports in general) are a male thing. Only showing women when they are WAGs or sexy-looking further distances women from being considered as a valid intelligent audience.

Disclaimer: I do not have anything against big-titted women, WAGs or fat people eating chips! Just using these examples to illustrate my point. OK WAGs piss me off a little I admit.

Jennifer-Ruth // Posted 13 August 2008 at 2:02 pm

The myth that women are unable to understand the offside rule is blatently sexist yet socially acceptable to say.

I don’t like football, follow football or watch football (unless my boyfriend has it on the tv). And you know what? I can can actually *recognise* when someone goes offside! Me! With my tiny lady brain! Who would have thought?

Aimee // Posted 13 August 2008 at 2:27 pm

I have no interest in football whatsoever and I can explain the bloody offside rule. It’s really quite simple.

chem_fem // Posted 15 August 2008 at 1:13 am

Tony, If racism or threats of violence aren’t enough to turn you off football then more power to you.

That kind of hatred and threats are enough to turn me off anything- regardless of how much I love it. I don’t want to be a part of anything where I am made to feel excluded or hated for who I am.

I respect that you don’t feel the need to complain, but why should that take away from my need to stand up and talk about my frustration.

Sabre // Posted 15 August 2008 at 4:20 pm

chem_fem and Tony:

Sexism and racism can put you off anything and everyone deals with this differently; it depends on how much you love the thing in question. The difference for Tony perhaps is that probably he only had to deal with the racism, whereas non-white women have to deal with both. Add that to the fact that at least there are black/ethnic minority football players on prime time TV, but never any women players thus no role models either.

I’m quite pleased I managed to use the word ‘thus’ today, ’tis an oft-underused word!

Alice Hoey // Posted 24 March 2009 at 10:37 am

I’m the editor of a new magazine for the League Managers Association (, which focuses on the various disciplines required by football managers. I regularly go to football related events and am quite often the only woman there. I love the look on the men’s faces when they realise the editor of the mag is a little blonde girl! But, as in every area of business, football offers a great opportunity for men to do what they do best and what much of the ‘man’s world’ of business is built on – networking. It’s a club in more ways than one. And as in business, it will take time for us ladies to get ourselves integrated into these circles. Check out the mag – I hope to run a feature on women in the industry soon so welcome any comments.

Anne Onne // Posted 24 March 2009 at 3:09 pm

‘If that is enough to turn you completely off the game, then you were probably not much of a fan in the first place.’

No. One shouldn’t have to ‘prove’ one’s true devotion to a hobby by putting up with the kind of abuse that most people don’t have to put up with. This isn’t about proving how much someone is willing to put up with for what they enjoy. It’s about making it easier for everyone to enjoy it. The abuse shouldn’t be there to put up with in the first place.

‘I am not complaining about a thing.’

Ah, the ‘shut up and put up with it’ argument. Look, if someone feels like enjoying something in spite of all the problems and hostility, good for them. Good for you. But you can’t argue it wouldn’t be better for that hostility to not be there, surely? It could surely have been less hostile without sacrificing what football is really about (cameraderie, adrenaline, one team against another).

You talk about the days when skinheads made ‘monkey’ chants (and they still do, but assuming it’s better) and how you enjoyed football even then, but surely you don’t want to go back to those times? Surely it’s easier to enjoy now? Inclusivity is an improvement which makes it easier for minorities to participate and try things considered traditionally to belong to one group.

Have Your say

To comment, you must be registered with The F-Word. Not a member? Register. Already a member? Use the sign in button below

Sign in to the F-Word

Further Reading

Has The F-Word whet your appetite? Check out our Resources section, for listings of feminist blogs, campaigns, feminist networks in the UK, mailing lists, international and national websites and charities of interest.

Write for us!

Got something to say? Something to review? News to discuss? Well we want to hear from you! Click here for more info

  • The F-Word on Twitter
  • The F-Word on Facebook
  • Our XML Feeds