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Fantasy Football #6: WAG-ging my fingers

Fantasy Premier League has undoubtedly been fun. Scoring points and being better than Killian feels great, but I’ve never really been the biggest fan of the Premier League for a number of reasons.

I would consider myself a complete feminist. This does not mean I hate men, or that I am a lesbian: it means that I am completely opposed to the objectification of women and am in favour of equal rights. Unfortunately, football is not really an environment in which this happens.

Look at the WAGs. A WAG (‘wives and girlfriends’) is the arm candy of a premiership footballer. The typical WAG lives a life that is really quite tragic. Sure, she has all of the money she could want, an endless wardrobe of designer clothes… but what exactly does she do? I’m not saying that there are not women whose husbands or boyfriends support and love them, but, for the most part, these women are tabloid fodder. Their personal lives are splashed all over red-top newspapers, their fashion senses are mocked and their every move is followed, simply because their partner kicks a ball around for a few hours a week.

The case of John Terry’s wife Toni is particularly sad. Her husband cheated on her with her best friend, a French underwear model, and allegedly paid for her to have an abortion. What is Toni to do now? In a way, she has to forgive John. His career assures her comfort and that of her children. She has no career of her own. These women are essentially bound by their men, subject to years of humiliation and defeat at the behaviour of those who provide them with their endless wardrobes.

Similarly, the ways in which women are completely disposable to football players is horrendous. A platter of soap actresses and page three models offer themselves up to these men to be used and abused. It is not only the men who are at fault however. These women promptly sell their stories to the same red-tops, detailing the number of orgasms these footballers gave them and how big their penises were. We routinely hear of footballers being accused of rape and sexual assault, as well as drink driving and violence.

It’s just such a nasty system. I can’t understand the women who choose to live a life like this and the men who feel that this is an acceptable way to exist and to treat women. In the fun of Fantasy Premier League, there is a niggling behind that completely goes against everything that I believe in. I think that a reduction in the salary (the lads tell me it’s a ‘salary cap’?) is necessary. The endless money afforded to these men is not reflective of the work that they do. These men entertain. Why are those who save lives on pittances? Nurses who keep us comfortable during our illnesses, researchers working to cure cancer and AIDS… these are the people who deserve five figure weekly salaries. Problems arise because these men think that they can do what they want. I’m not for a nanny state, but I don’t think that the behaviour of these men can be tolerated.

It’s not that I want to give up the fantasy league, it’s just a hard sell at times. I was serious in keeping people I found morally objectionable out of my team. I’d rather come fourth with people I like, than first with people who treat women like possessions. It’s the culture in which we live, so they’re not fully accountable, but maybe it’s time for all of them to grow up and learn that respect is the most wonderful thing in the world – and, best of all, it’s free.