The other day I walked past a café that was full of people watching the telly and wearing South African rugby shirts. I wondered why, so I asked somebody and she stared at me, was I crazy? It’s the World Cup, she said accusingly. World Cup what? I wondered. She glared at me, it’s World Cup Rugby, don’t you know?? and stalked off muttering.
My bad. It’s sacrilege in South Africa to be white and not care about rugby. Probably it’s sacrilege to be any race and not care if our country wins a world cup. I guess it’s sacrilege not to be patriotic. Well I think patriotism is a very destructive thing. It’s just a way of controlling people, getting them to do things they wouldn’t dream of doing on their own, getting them to accept things that are inhumane. Patriotism is responsible for Nazi atrocities. Patriotism is the reason Robert Mugabe is still in power. It’s the reason Mr. George W. Bush managed to plough America into the ground and get away with it.
Right, so I don’t care about rugby and I’m not patriotic, but I decided to have coffee in the café and be a fly on the wall. The room was full; mostly men, but there were plenty of women there, rooting and shouting and booing just as much as their mates. Well, why shouldn’t they? They should, if that’s what turns them on, and it’s none of my business.
Still, it drives me crazy, that women are so nuts about a sport they can’t even play. It’s the unequalness of it all that bothers me. Gaahh. I used to think I hated rugby, but I don’t, I don’t really care about it one way or the other. Probably because I’ve never played it so I don’t know what it feels like. The thing I hate is how much South African identity is caught up in male sports where women only have a supporting role.
And so many women don’t care, it doesn’t bother them. Well it bothers me. It would be different if men showed an interest in women’s sports, then both sexes could support each other and have a lot of fun doing it, but men couldn’t in general give a damn about women’s sports which are never even shown on TV.
Let’s face it, we’re not nearly as interesting as they are. I guess we aren’t as important, either. How did we ever let this sorry state of affairs develop? Is it too much to ask for people to wear the national colors and for sports cafes to be filled to the brim with both sexes when women play world cup matches?
Is it really unreasonable to want women to expect the same kind of support and enthusiasm that they give so willingly to men? It’s not unreasonable, but it’s sniffing glue and in this country it’s likely to get you branded as a wet blanket and a feminist. Let me not get started on that. I’ll get off my podium, and tonight instead of watching the re-hashing of whatever transpired in today’s game, I’ll stretch myself out on the couch and watch two episodes of The Mentalist. Much more fun.