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Old 29-Jul-21, 21:31
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Default Re: Men vs women comparison in soccer

I used to post on a Tennis forum, and I remember an older American woman that used to post on there was once talking about Riggs Vs. King.

It was before my time, but she was about 15 when it happened and watched live on TV. She said people are either too young, have forgotten or don't care to remember how "big" this match was at the time. People now look back with a "no big deal" attitude. But it was an incredibly big deal at the time.

There was a hell of a lot of trash talk leading up to the match. Many men were hugely emotionally invested in Riggs winning to prove a point. Sports journalists, players, athletes from other sports, "expert" commentators, everyone was talking about it, everyone had an opinion, everyone had a "side". There were many heated arguments that spilled over into male vs female debate, even in the home as men were getting triggered by "2nd wave feminism".

The internet wasn't around back then, but it was talked about on TV, on the radio and in newspapers, magazines, etc, constantly.

Finally when the big match came around. 30 thousand were in attendance and over 90 million tuned in to watch on TV. It was huge. Families watching, crowded around the old box set. Fathers, sons, uncles, cheering on their man Riggs, while King played for all women; wives, mothers, daughters, all behind her.

I'm thinking it must have been a wild time as women began to realise they had been underestimated for decades, told they couldn't compete, couldn't have equal rights, couldn't do as good a job as men, had no place working alongside men in roles such as Policing.

Now all that was being challenged. Men were feeling the pressure. Some ended up feeling extremely humiliated when Riggs was defeated.

--

The closest I have ever come to experiencing that was in 2005, watching the Indy 500 with my family. I was 21 and lived at home with my 2 sisters. Towards the end of the race, female racer Danica Patrick was leading and it became apparent she had a legitimate shot of winning. She had been one of the fastest all race long and now it was reaching its final few laps and she was up front and looking fast. Uncomfortably fast.

My 2 sisters, who had always shown little interest in auto racing, were suddenly entranced and vocally cheering for Danica to "beat the men at their own sport". So was my mother.

It no longer mattered that British driver Dan Wheldon was in the mix. Danica transcended nationality. She could have been Chinese, Russian, whatever, she was racing for ALL women.

In the cold light of day, this was very uncomfortable. This was a man's sport. Men built cars, men raced cars. Macho men that risked death. Sure, we had become progressive enough to allow women to race now. But women like Janet Guthrie and Sarah Fisher who were "just happy to be here" and were perpetually running last or near the back ... Now here was a woman that had forgotten her place once again and was humiliating the males.

I felt like Danica was humiliating ME. I was hoping and preying Danica would not win and I still remember the relief washing over me when she was passed and fell back to 4th before the checkered flag.
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