This weekend’s FIFA Women’s World Cup win by the U.S’s women soccer team was highly reported, shared and discussed, at least on social media, that is. I being the terrible sports fan (sports of any kind, mind I add) had forgotten the World Cup was Sunday, which was kind of a head scratcher for anyone who knows me.
“Aren’t you a feminist? Why are you not watching this?” a friend of mine asked.
“It’s not female sports I don’t like, it’s really any kind of sport, but it’s great that our U.S. team made it to the finals.”
They didn’t just make it to the finals-as you may already know by now- they actually won the World Cup title, and before I knew it, friends of mine were cheering on Twitter and Facebook, even sending me a newly added Facebook messenger sticker of our girls animated and holding “U.S.A” banners.
It was great knowing that our U.S team had won such a prestige title, and that this World Cup finale seemed to receive more audiences than the ones before it, but it also made me wonder:
Why the attention all of a sudden? Where were these fans before? Are they actual fans or bandwagon fans? Is it finally “cool” to like women’s soccer?
Don’t get me wrong- I am all for any women–led sport, but aren’t you even the little bit curious as to where this change came from?
I mean, women’s sports have always, sadly, been a joke amongst the male-dominated world of sports. From jabs on series like Family Guy, and that still stingy “nappy headed hoes” comment, women sports were definitely not as talked about as say last year’s FIFA Men’s World Cup, but this year women’s World Cup finale game shattered TV ratings, attracting 22.86 million viewers, shattering viewing records for any soccer game aired in the U.S., for both men and women soccer games.
This of course is mind-blowing and a major win for women everywhere (Amy Poehler must be doing a dance as I type this), but while all of this excitement was exploding as much as this 4th of July’s fireworks, some facts about women’s soccer were still overlooked, like the women’s team payout of only 2 million, a fraction of the what the men’s team received.
Though the shattering ratings number is a silver lining in the mist of “women professionals never taken seriously”, things still need to go a long way before they actually change. Maybe it was the rise of popularity in feminism, or maybe it was Amy Poehler’s support, but cheering for a women’s soccer team isn’t the solution to breaking the glass ceiling of sports (though it does help of course) but rather sharing facts like their small pay, and trying to change that. Our girls won your attention and the cup, so how about we finally give them the recognition they always deserved.