The English FA Has Some Very Bad Ideas For Bringing Girls Into Soccer
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The FA, in its infinite wisdom, has decided there needs to be more girls playing the beautiful game in England. This in and of itself is a reasonable thing to want. Gender equality is good and the FA should want that.
What is not reasonable or good is the document they made full of suggestions on how to get more females playing soccer.
Specifically, these suggestions were clearly not written by women, or girls, or anyone who has ever met a woman or girl.
Just look at the suggested slogans (read the whole document here, it is highly entertaining):
Anyone can take part
It’s all about having fun
The group are really friendly
Absolutely bring your mates…
Get together with the girls
Who needs Facebook friends...
Love what ya do, do what ya love
Keep calm and play football
We play football – come and join us!
I play football, and you?
Health & Fitness
You won’t even notice you’re getting fit!
It’s a great workout!
Get in shape with a mate
Just for girls
This one is just for the girls!
Football 4 girls
Girls on the ball
Here come the girls
Let us know your goals or we can help you set some
We’ll tailor it to you
I asked a professional advertising copywriter what he thought of these slogans and he said, "they're all really bad."
Not only are they really bad copy, but they derive from a mishmash of shallow stereotypes, like what a guy sitting in his basement playing World of Warcraft thinks women will respond to.
Actually, I take that back. Plenty of women play World of Warcraft and plenty of the men who do are not misogynist trolls.
It seems to me the FA went wrong when they forgot women are normal humans and will respond to normal human things, not flyers specifically put in bathrooms (a real thing in the document) and colorbul bibs (another real thing in the document).
There are many real things in the document that are as dumb as the above, obviously made up by old men who use the word "girlie" unironically and as a term of endearment. These are not the people who will get women into soccer. These are the people women don't want to be associated with when they choose to not play soccer.
Here is our guide to getting women into soccer: be a person, be nice, don't harass anybody and don't use any of the suggestions in the FA's document. It is not that complicated.