Alas, life is tough for soccer-playing women in this repressive, sexist, overly-religious, weird little backwater of the globe. It's not easy in Turkey, either.
Let us count the woes of these Turkish footballerettes. First off, they can't fill the stands:
But at this game, between host Kartalspor and Ankara’s Gazi Universitesispor, the 22 players on the field outnumbered the people shivering in the stands. The weather was probably not to blame for the poor attendance; it was more likely because of who was playing.Poor turnout for the ladies? Yep, we've got that here too.
"We’ve had men come to watch our practices and yell at our players: ‘What are you doing here? You should be at home, cooking!’ ” said Ozbar, one of the few women accredited as a soccer coach in Turkey, and the only one in Istanbul.Obnoxious commentary? Check.
An amateur league of about two dozen teams existed in Turkey for a decade until it was shut down in 2002 amid allegations of mismanagement and rumors of affairs between female players — particularly scandalous in this country.Lavender Menace? Check.
"Some believe that playing football can harm a girl’s build and make her manly,” Or said.Hand-wringing over the damage the brutal, Hobbesian world of sport might inflict on women's tender willowy limbs? Check.
Selling women’s soccer also requires dolling it up. One of the new logos for the league features a slender woman’s hand with long, red-painted fingernails cupping a soccer ball. The background on Or’s computer screen is a photograph of a soccer cleat with a stiletto heel.Tarting it up for the almighty sponsorship dollar? Check.