Football and Feminism

(AP Photo/Matthew Hinton, File)

Let me begin by saying that I am an unapologetic patriarch who deeply appreciates female beauty and intelligence. I count among my friends women whom I admire enormously. I have a lovely and brilliant wife whom I regard as the greatest blessing of my life, as per Genesis 2:18. I say this to dispel any notion that I am a misogynist or some sort of knuckle-dragging chauvinist. That being said, I should also declare my convictions touching the gender wars tearing apart the time-honored relations between the sexes in the decadent West.


I firmly believe in the biological, psychological, and domestic differences between men and women, who are God’s or Nature’s determined partners in the drama of both survival and individual flourishing but occupy distinctive and natural domains commensurate with their genetically given talents, aptitudes, and strengths. We might say that men and women are binary but complementary beings. There are anomalies and “crossovers,” obviously, but the general pattern is pre-ordained regardless of the theories and practices of the feminist sorority and its enablers who claim precedence under the deceptive rubric of “equality.”

This basic distinction was vividly brought home to me during the five years I lived on the Greek islands. I learned many interesting things in those years — the two levels of the Greek language depending on social status, local viticulture and the unique taste of retsina, the “lift” of bouzouki, sirtaki, and chasapiko, the meditative zembekiko, the archaic power of modern Greek poetry, and, especially significant, the nature of domestic arrangements pertaining to spheres of marital influence. Broadly speaking — and this is not a cliché — men hold sway in the tavernas, women control the home.

The trade-off works exceptionally well, if at times a tad too enthusiastically. I have seen dishes fly when the men come home late and tipsy — the area between my house and my neighbor’s was cobbled with broken crockery. The women, for their part, do not intrude on the rummy games and heated political discussions — every Greek man is a potential prime minister—in the sacred precinct of the taverna. But both join hand and spirit when it comes to the raising of children, on the whole, training boys and girls in their respective social roles, though allowing for individual qualities and faculties.


Relations between the sexes are mainly harmonious — if, let’s say, somewhat vigorous at times — so long as the rights and privileges of each are neither resented nor confused. (There are exceptions to the rule, primarily in the big cities where a globalist or international culture has taken root, diluting the natal Greek character. This is a form of urban blight we are all familiar with.)

Marriage is not only a sacrament, elaborately celebrated but an implicit contract regarding the cultural territory discretely reserved for men and women. There are no half-female political cabinets in Greece, as there are, for example, in an effeminate nation like my own. Island Greeks, for the most part, are not interested in feminist doctrine and regard the trans phenomenon with undisguised distaste. The major sports spectacles, in particular soccer, a national pastime, are dominated by men, both on the field and in the announcer’s booth. Which brings me to one of my major pleasures, as some PJM readers may recall, namely, watching NFL football.

Football is a synecdochic expression of the essential male character, on the one hand pugnacious, rowdy and boisterous; on the other analytic, rational and problem-solving, as anyone who understands the strategic, chess-like nature of the game can attest. The element of sacrifice for the team and for the brotherhood — as is evident in the concern among opposing teams for an injured player and the post-game, fraternal ritual between winners and losers — is what binds these two aspects of masculinity. It is something that feminists have never been able to come to terms with.


Since football is a man’s game, I wonder what a woman referee is doing on the field. Must I endure female intra-and-post-game interviewers who have little idea what the game entails and trade mainly in inanities? Or female commentators who have never played the game expounding on its involutions beside former players and coaches sitting on the same panel — those who know firsthand and from experience what they are talking about? Having spent some time back in the day on my varsity practice squad as a free safety, I know how difficult it is to execute a proper tackle on a six-foot-four tight end hurtling toward you without breaking your neck in the process. I know when to cover zone or play the man, to join the quarterback rush, or to fake it and drop back. I recognize when the coach is calling a bonehead play. I can appreciate what is happening on the field. Most men do. And they are the ones I want to listen to when the progress of a game is being described, discussed, and analyzed.

The men, we might note, are always chivalrous and amiable to a fault in their comportment, but eye candy belongs elsewhere. It’s rather a jarring spectacle, the men formal in jackets and ties, the women often looking as if they’re about to go out on the town. What is a young woman wearing a bright pink, form-fitting, slant-décolleté pantsuit doing on a football panel? Carrie Underwood’s dynamite performance introducing Sunday Night Football represents the extent of my appreciation for the female contribution in this context.


Of course, there are several full-pad tackle female teams, but women’s football is not a truly serious game and may often resemble a comedy act, like the Lady Yellow Jackets of yore. The caliber of play exhibited by the gridiron girls bears no comparison to the skill and robustness and the ever-present threat of severe injury of male college and professional teams, any more than women’s soccer or hockey comes close to the speed, intensity, and finesse — and interest — of male soccer and hockey. It’s a fact that must be faced despite the ideological intent to render the masculine estate female-inclusive.

An illustration of the manly character of the game and its players is provided by Tampa Bay Buccaneers backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert who, along with his two brothers, rescued the occupants of a helicopter that had crashed in the water. This is the sort of thing that men do, taking risks both on and off the field and doing their utmost to excel and contribute, whether in the game of football or the game of life. Of course, all human beings are flawed regardless of the distribution of chromosomes, but the slur of toxic masculinity is a feminist canard and a dogmatic libel.

This is not to say that good women do not appreciate what men do in the world — or that they do not appreciate NFL football. My wife enjoys the game and is learning, with my assistance, to understand its tactical offensive and defensive adjustments from snap to snap, the subtle disposition of configurations like the Okie Front, and, in short, its intricacies and complexities. And she, too, has had enough of the female interloper from whom we both wish to be rescued.



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