Yes the violence used by this soccer player is chilling, but her gender is what some find the most shocking.

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YouTube commenters are writing things like “I WOULD FUCK HER UP!!!!!…what a bitch!” and “Bitch. Kill her!” apparently without irony. A number of copies of this or related video clips are titled with references to “cat fights.” This NYT article questions what role the coach and referees played in allowing or even encouraging the violence, but never puts the level of violence into context. Watch this video, and this one. Men play soccer very aggressively too. Doesn’t make the violence okay, but it makes the current media focus on one woman player odd to say the least.

–Ann Bartow

ETA: See also.

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3 Responses to Yes the violence used by this soccer player is chilling, but her gender is what some find the most shocking.

  1. David S. Cohen says:

    And let’s not forget hockey….

  2. dmpill says:

    I’m a woman who plays sports, especially fencing, and I can say that there is a big difference between male and female aggression in sport. Women tend take things personally and use violence as a personal attack against an opponent. When women are losing, they direct personal hatred against the opponent. Men tend to be aggressive in going for the goal, and if they accidentally hurt someone in pursuit of the goal, so be it; but the violence is not usually aimed at a specific person, as retaliation or an expression of hatred or resentment at losing. If you watch the two videos posted, you can see that dynamic very clearly. The BYU players are doing nasty, harassing things to Lambert, like poking her in the stomach and yanking on her shorts, and she loses her cool and retaliates with even more violence. It’s a fine display of people who have not learned to control their emotions under stress and start lashing out at the opponent who is “in the way of winning”. The men’s fouls, in contrast, are caused by recklessly aggressive pursuit of the ball. None of the men were yanking on each other’s shorts or poking each other just to poke each other. They were chasing the ball as hard as they could, and if someone’s leg or head got in the way, well, too bad. That’s very different from taking aim at another person and deliberately attacking them. I think women need better coaching on how to channel aggression in sport and how to play hard without crossing the line to nastiness. Basically, we need to learn how to disengage our egos from the results. We need to learn how to fight as hard as we can, and then let it go. Next point. Top female athletes do display that quality, but it often isn’t demanded of amateur-level female athletes. Not sure why, but it should be, for the athletes’ sakes. Sport builds character, but only if it is done the right way.

  3. Ann Bartow says:

    dmpill – Essentialize much? Head over to YouTube and you will see clips of men poking, punching, tripping and headbutting each other quite aggressively. Yo may prefer to assume this is simply reckless and accidental when men do it, as opposed to women, who you prefer to see as meaner and more ego driven for some sexist reason, but it sure doesn’t look any different to me. Nor does it seem any different to the male high school and college soccer players (and basketball players, and football players, and lacrosse players) I have discussed this with.

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