I don't know about any of you, but women's football is sexy any way you look at it. A lot of sexy women play and pretty much any woman you don't need to use complex shopping analogies to explain the offside rule to definitely is.
The feminine qualities they bring to the game make it even more graceful, flowing and easy on the eye, not to mention the gilt-edged guile and cunning that comes with it. (Did you see the goal Brazil scored against the Matildas in last year's Women's World Cup Qtr Final tie? Quite honestly, one of the sexiest goals I've ever seen.)
While I may have offended people with the sweeping generalisations I urge you to read on. The book I'm talking about will change your mind...about a lot of things, not just me. It has impact - I'm probably just not showing it.
While it's certainly not a football fiction publication (this site's primary concern), it is a significant work about football and since the media-culture reviews asked me to review Jean William's wonderful book I thought this blog could live with one non-fiction review.
Here's what it says on the back of the book...
FIFA, the world governing body of association football, declared ‘The Future is Feminine’ in a 1995 press release. Since then, football has been claimed as the fastest growing participation sport for women globally. An estimated twenty million women play the game around the world, and that figure is on the rise. However, the history of women's participation goes back to at least 1895 and in our enthusiasm for the present, the memory of that longer history can be overlooked or forgotten. A Beautiful Game examines contemporary women’s football internationally, with case studies from England, the United States, China and Australia. In each case study, Jean Williams considers the evolution of the women’s game against a backdrop of issues, such as media representation, access to facilities, lack of resources, coaching, sponsorship, talent identification, training and professionalisation and contentious questions, such as women's absence from the highest levels of professional football, combining source material from archives, oral history and artefacts. A Beautiful Game analyses the status and image of the women’s game from the late nineteenth century to the shifting social values of the present.
The author Jean Williams (a Senior Research Fellow in Sports History and Culture at De Montfort University, teaches the MA in the History and Culture of Sport and Leisure and the FIFA-sponsored International Masters in Management, Law and Humanities of Sport) is a bit of a boffin and must love her football - while the two things rarely occur in the same place (I'll get to philosophyfootball in a future blog) thesimplestgame thought'd it be worth a mention.
It's very good. Like very, very good, fascinating to be honest. Jean Williams has done her homework, and while at times it reads like a boffin wrote it, it always reads like it was a fan too. It's well worth a look.
A far longer, far more in-depth and comprehensive review will be posted on M/C Review very soon. It even gave me an opportunity to recall the famous line from Bill Forsyth's 1981 film "Gregory's Girl"...if women were meant to play football... ...read the review M/C Reviews
or buy the book at Footprint Books NSW