That FIFA chose to allow South Africa to host the World Cup, despite the fact that, at the time of the selection, " a woman born in South Africa ha[d] a greater chance of being raped, than learning how to read," underlines the depth of institutional misogyny associated with the World Cup.
So it is no surprise that there are a slew of aggravating articles about the World Cup embedded with misogyny and narratives of the rape culture. Still, I've got to give it to Yahoo Sports for featuring not one but two real doozies this week.
Shaker Tammy forwarded this pile of dogwank that ran Wednesday about English footballers' wives and girlfriends, which contains such gems as: "The WAGs, as they have become derisively known, are a marauding force of champagne-guzzling, credit card-wielding, wild-partying paparazzi fodder who did such a spectacular job of focusing the spotlight upon themselves at the last World Cup that they were cited among the primary reasons behind England's failure to get past the quarterfinals."
And I saw this delightful piece yesterday, in which the author "debunks" the rumor that there will be 40,000 prostitutes pouring into South Africa for the World Cup, casually conflating consensual prostitution with human trafficking:
But the only evidence of any organized prostitution rings – the kind of movement that would generate great numbers – is that there appear to be more women from Thailand. Yet even then, the source suspects, there are hundreds of them. Not thousands.He even found a lady to quote who laments soccer fans getting "targeted" by the nasty rumors they might want to have sex with prostitutes.
…Back in 2006, when the World Cup was held in Germany – where prostitution was legal – there was talk that the country would be buried by 40,000 sex workers. Interest in them was said to be great. Yet they mostly wound up sitting around brothels waiting for the parade of willing men that never happened. Later, a study commissioned by the European Union and uncovered by the British internet magazine Spiked found only 33 cases of human trafficking at that time. And just five of those cases turned out to be related to the World Cup.
Meanwhile, Iain sends along this piece about England's awareness-raising about domestic violence, which reportedly rises on days when Team England has matches: "[The Association of Chief Police Officers] is using a football jersey covered in blood reading 'Strikeher' to encourage people to report domestic abuse, and so-called experts on domestic violence are recommending, per the usual, that women do something to preemptively protect themselves."
I cannot begin to convey the depth of my odium at the bullshit preemptive victim-blaming that imagines staying out late is really going to stop a monstrous fuckwad who uses football as an excuse to beat his partner and/or kids. I'm sure he'll use that extra time while his partner is "staying out with friends of family members on England game nights or arranging for their children to go to a friend's house for a sleepover" to cool down, not build up a big head of steam wondering where his punching bag is.
And "Strikeher"—seriously? Ugh.