World Cup Tears (JB)

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Júlíana Björnsdóttir's picture

Another World Cup year. A season of football/soccer games and endless talk of goals and foul play and scandalous or brilliant performances of players and referees.

Football is of little interest to me. Nonetheless, I still have my team. I lived in Brazil when I was younger and therefore support my old “home team.” I also understand how important it is to Brazil as a nation to win the World Cup at home.

It’s an old dream that many hope to see come true, not just locals in Brazil but also former residents such as myself and general fans of the team.

I have also spent time in Greece and France and am happy to see them do as well as they have. The only team from a country I’ve called my home that I don’t support is England. Why that’s the case, I am not sure but at my loyalty rests with Brazil.

But I have only been taking the occasional glance at the screen when my family has been watching a game. My concentration is usually on something else, maybe an article I am reading or a blog post I am writing.

The act of watching a game holds no entertainment value to me.

The regular television schedule is utterly disrupted by this event and even though most people seem to tolerate it at worst, there are those who are a bit fed up by all the soccer talk.

For those people I offer one piece of advice (one I follow myself quite regularly): nap during the games. Even when Brazil plays.

But regardless of my limited interest, I am critical of some aspects of the Icelandic media’s presentation of the World Cup.

I suspect my criticism is not isolated to the Icelandic media. 

Regardless of Iceland being the best place for a woman to live and work (according to global indexes), there are no female commentators and only one professional female footballer who is invited to join in on the otherwise all-male pre- and post-match discussions

Otherwise, it’s all men and nothing but men.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have an issue with men. I am married to a man who is truly a great human being, and all the men in my life are amazing people, as are the women in my life.

I am a feminist with the pure agenda of liberating both genders from the conformities of pre-conceived gender roles and one that celebrates the beauty of individualism.

When the day comes that inequality and pre-conceived gender roles are not an issue, we won’t have a reason to worry about limited female representation in the media. In fact, we’d probably assume there was a reason only one woman was in the team of experts called in to give their opinion.

But we’re not there yet.

Why there is not a single female commentator is beyond me.

I am sure most, if not all, of the male commentators, would be more than happy to have female commentators in their leagues.

So why are we still in this awkward place?

Júlíana Björnsdóttir – julianabjornsdottir@gmail.com

Views expressed here are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Iceland Review.