Ladies who curse, I’m talking to you!
MEHVEŞ EVİNThe talk of the country for days has been the violent incidents which followed the championship derby match. For a person like me who does not support a team, who watches even the most exciting game with indifference, this is quite a puzzling situation. It can only be explained with social psychology theories that those who listen to atrocities and frightful stories as if listening to a tale, those who turn a deaf ear to the most unacceptable injustices and corruptness, simply lose themselves when it comes to the topic of football and wish to talk endlessly on their opinion.
It is not new that football in Turkey has become something other than football and is now associated with fanaticism. However, I can see that things have gotten out of hand and that those who call themselves “supporters” are filled with resentment and rage.
Add to this the passion politicians of this land have for “creating tension” (how they excel at this) and the accumulations of layer on top of layer of unsolved essential social issues and you have a brand new puzzle!
Personally, I fly into a temper
If I have watched a total of 20 matches in my whole life, I have not come across one free of curses. I have frequently seen the most moderate gentlemen assume chain swearing within the heat of the game and almost become monsters.
Only gentlemen? By God, female supporters also lose themselves in the passion of the match. This situation did not escape Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s notice. While counting the actions he disapproves of regarding violent incidents in football, he said, “Personally, I fly into a temper when I see how ladies curse even in a match that is closed to male spectators and open to women and children.”
Personally, I fly into a temper also, but I have much different priorities than women cursing.
It is indeed interesting that while there were numerous incidents, clashes and debates regarding the super league final and violence in football the prime minister chose to especially point out the use of curse words by women. As far as we can understand from this emphasis, the most serious issue in football hooliganism is the fact that women are swearing!
The hooligan inside us
Well, indeed, they are the gender responsible of grooming the men. They are the parents who will set examples to their children. However, there is no highlighting of the lowest form of curses and attacks coming from men, the subject of which is always women (mothers and wives) or gays.
Dear Prime Minister Erdoğan, no other hooligans have infiltrated inside us. Hooliganism is everywhere and first and foremost it is at the parliament. Addressing the women instead of the men and saying “get rid of this ugly ritual” is not only discrimination, but at the same time advice which has no substance.
If we lived in a more peaceful, fairer, more equal society, if hate speech was not so widespread, if our political leaders did not speak everyday with resentment and otherizing, almost the equivalent to swearing, if rules and punishments were clear and fair starting from media and players to administrators and supporters…
Then maybe we, men and women, might have an opportunity to watch a game “like a human being.” Then, only at that time, would you not feel the need to sermonize like this.
Mehveş Evin is a columnist for daily Milliyet in which this piece appeared on May 16. It was translated into English by the Daily News staff.
MEHVEŞ EVİN - firstname.lastname@example.org