“There must be no male spaces! This is not allowed!”
Or at least this seems to be the message conveyed by a significant proportion of the European media following the appointment of Portuguese-native Helena Costa as manager for the French Ligue 2 football (soccer) club Clermont Foot Auvergne 63.
The middle class Guardianista-style pricks that we usually call “journalists” regarded the news of Costa’s appointment as another progressive step forward and the French press rushed to pick some statements from the (all-male) players in the hope that they can find something to spin into some patriarchally misogynistic conspiracy against the poor little female coach. And they found as the left-back Emmanuel Imorou told L’Equipe that the players have asked questions to each other along the lines of “who is she?” and the goalkeeper characterized her naming as a “smart media stunt” – a characterization which enraged the aforementioned pricks even further, despite the fact that it’s the truth, an aspect which, although uncomfortable, has even been admitted by Costa herself. Because yes, in the feminist mind, google-ing the new coach’s name and pointing the obvious is now misogynistic.
As it’s usually the case with feminist ideologues, the issue is not the naming of Costa per se as supposedly the first woman to coach a team in the first two divisions in Europe. By the way, that information is also false. Duygu Erdoğan coached for Galatasaray Istanbul replacing none other than Fatih Terim. The fact that she spectacularly failed is a different story – but the point is that the press rushed so hard to make ideological points out of Ms. Costa’s appointment that they got their facts wrong. Who would’ve thought?
But as I was saying, the issue is not Costa’s appointment – the issue is the so-called “progressive” journalists’ obsession with destroying anything and everything that could possibly be construed as a male space – and professional European football is one of those spaces – and inserting more victimology and gender identity politics into a field that has largely been free of feminist meddling so far.
Karen Straughan explained multiple times that the women who go into overwhelmingly male-dominated fields and stay there are going because they like the masculine environment and they like it as it is. And this seems to be the case Ms. Costa as well given that she coached mostly boys’ teams (junior level) with which she conquered the World Championship twice with the youth team of Benfica. She then moved to coach the national women’s football squads of Iran and Qatar – a period which she grudgingly admits she didn’t enjoy entirely but it was a necessary stage for her career.
Even more so, if we are to be completely honest, the highest amount of misogyny and disrespect towards her in her career so far didn’t come from male players or the fans – but precisely from middle class progressive “open-minded” pricks who decided to ban Iran’s Women’s national squad from the British Olympiad because they didn’t like the costumes the players were going to wear (despite the fact that players like Petr Čech had played with a similar equipment covering their heads in the recent past).
In other words, her success has so far been curbed precisely by the “progressive” do-gooder westerners who under the guise of “rights for women” actually hurt women more. And, unfortunately for the non-feminist women and the wider non-feminist majority, this is not the first, nor the last case of this occurring.
Yet in the minds of many journalists, Ms. Costa is already a victim simply because many commentators have rushed to question whether she is indeed fit given her young age and lack of experience to be the coach for a squad that will have a difficult time next season in their quest to avoid relegation. Of course, the fact that all young and inexperienced male coaches’ abilities are questioned in a similar manner each time they’re appointed to a club that’s perceived to be “too big” for their credentials suddenly became irrelevant for the feminist commentators.
The Guardian commentator Anna Kessel goes out of her way to paint Ms. Costa as a victim-to-be and acts offended because people who know what football is about asked the questions that are regularly asked when young managers are appointed. And then she goes like this:
While it seems football is quite accepting of appointing men as managers with no qualifications and little coaching experience, a woman’s CV tends to be pored over and minutely analysed.
But is this true? The answer is a resounding NO. “Football” is not even by far “quite” accepting of appointing men as managers with no qualifications – because football in Europe is a multi-million euro business (at least at the first and second divisions’ levels) and appointing an under qualified manager has serious consequences. Even appointing a well-experienced and qualified manager often times has serious negative consequences (the case of Moyes at Manchester United speaks volumes about that) because generally naming a manager is often times like rolling a dice since there are a lot of human factors to consider that the clubs cannot possibly predict.
A couple of politically incorrect truths
There are a few aspects that everyone knows they’re true but they’re increasingly kept out of the discussion. But I’ll spare a moment to at least state them.
1. Women’s football is inferior to men’s football. This is a self-evident truth that anyone who has watched more than two football games notices. The reason is simple: biology. Real biology not feminist biology. Consequently, someone who has never played in professional men’s football and coached junior boys’ teams and women’s squads is by definition a less qualified candidate in comparison with someone who has played in professional men’s football and didn’t coach anyone. Even Jose Mourinho, the statistical outlier that everyone points out when this argument is brought up, still played at professional level for seven years in Portugal and Brazil scoring 13 goals in 94 matches. Yes, unimpressive, but Ms. Costa scored 0 goals in 0 matches.
2. As a manager, coaching a men’s football squad is the real test. As a corollary of the first statement, Ms. Costa’s previous experiences are in many ways irrelevant. In the modern history of football, there is only one example of a coach coming from a women’s squad to a men’s squad who actually succeeded. That is Per-Mathias Høgmo, the Norwegian man who took over the Norwegian side Rosenborg BK when the “Troll kids” were on a relegation spot. In just two months he avoided relegation and qualified the team to UEFA Champions’ League group stage. A huge performance. But Per-Mathias is a statistical outlier. Most of the coaches who came from a women’s club spectacularly failed. So the commentators who are questioning whether Ms. Costa is fit or not aren’t signs of misogyny but signs of realism after looking at the success rate statistics.
In this context, France’s Women’s Minister’s Twitter commentary, Najat Belkacem, who praised the French club for “understanding that giving a place to women is the future of professional football” is at the very least laughable. Giving a place to women (an expression which sounds dangerously close to affirmative action) will not be the future of professional football. Ever. At least not as long as professional football is organized around competence. Are feminists planning to change that? For Messi’s sake, I hope they won’t!
All men are guilty
But if the French and the British press limited themselves to just imply that men’s football’s maleness is a problem, Oana Dușmănescu from Gazeta Sporturilor went one step further and actually said it:
For this is the truth – male football is the last citadel that’s holding on the equalizing ground of today, the redoubt in which estrogen pervades the hardest. (…) Men are defending their bastion as best they can and, from their point of view, any weapon is valid and justifiable.
That’s right folks. All men are guilty because women don’t succeed in men’s football and if they dare to question the abilities of a coach who happens to be a woman, then they are “defending their bastion” to keep estrogen from pervading. Am I the only one who sees this as both misandric and misogynistic?
Now, of course, nobody has a problem with the femaleness of, let’s say, rhythmic gymnastics, a sport in which the presence of a man is more exotic than the presence of a lion in Oslo outside of a zoo. No one is arguing that rhythmic gymnastics’ “femaleness” is keeping men from successfully competing. Yet somehow, when the shoe is on the other food, there’s suddenly a problem.
The reason for which this way of thinking is exhibited are many and worthy of a separate and more ample discussion but the short version is that since immemorial times, many people (mostly women but also some men) have seen the very existence of a male space as a threat. And now, thanks to gynocentrism on steroids (i.e. feminist “thought”) it’s more acceptable than ever to fight tooth and nail for more and more female-only spaces and for the destruction of anything that resembles even remotely as a male space.
Men’s football is not (and hasn’t been for quite some time now) a male-only business as ideologues like Dușmănescu or Anna Kissel would have you believe. Women work and have been working in football related businesses for quite some time as scouters, assistant managers, impresarios, translators, PR, advertisement, medics and even referees as well as many other positions that are necessary in the current way the European professional football (i.e. Men’s Football) is organized.
But yes – European football is a sport designed by men to be played by men against other men and to be watched and understood mostly by men. And it’s nothing wrong with that. Just like it’s nothing wrong that rhythmic gymnastics is a sport designed by women to be played against other women and to be watched and understood mostly by women.
Feminist ideologues have been wondering why is Ms. Costa’s appointment news in the first place – but in the same time, they were the only ones who actually made it news for the people who don’t live in France in the Clermont-Ferrand area. The same feminist ideologues ask everyone to “embrace the new diversity” – yet none of them seems to be capable of understanding that we’re not the same, we never have been, and trying to make us all the same is no diversity at all.
P.S.: Who’s willing to bet that in the very likely event that Helena Costa will be sacked (as most of the managers in general are sacked before the end of their contract) the entire press will cry sexism?
This article is also available in Swedish.