On WAGs and snobs

Submitted by Matthew on 10 June, 2010 - 1:00 Author: Rosalind Robson

So the WAGs (Wives and Girlfriends) of England’s football team are to be banned by England coach Fabio Capello from attending the World Cup.

Boozing, too much sex and the stress caused by competition over who had the biggest and most expensive handbag (and that’s just among the players) was the reason for failure in the last World Cup… apparently.

Leave aside the heterocentric nature of the tag “WAGs” (so potential boyfriends would be allowed into the team camp if they are not acknowledged to be part of the usual entourage?); is there a sexist undercurrent to Capello’s ban? And do we care much about the reputation of the female partners of some staggeringly overpaid young men?

According to Capello, WAGs are a “virus”. That’s nice isn’t it? What kind of virus does Capello have in mind?

But if you thought Capello’s opinion of women couldn’t get any lower, look at a recent Daily Mail interview.

On women who hang out with football players he says: “These girls are all the same, all part of a set. Adjusted here, inflated there. They are all interchangeable and false.”

I’m not so sure that Capello is just being a big sexist pig. I think he’s also being a snob, and at £6 million a year an obscenely highly-paid snob at that.

Not for him an “inflatable” woman. His darling wife of 40 years, Laura, (who will be joining him in South Africa), is a “real” woman. That’s because she loves to join him at the theatre, at the opera and strolling round the art galleries of the world.

It must be nice to be a globe-trotting culture vulture. But somehow I don’t think Fabio and Laura will backing the call from the Creative Workers of South Africa’s for more South African artists in the opening concert at Orlando Stadium, the shiny new stadium in the middle of Soweto.

Of course, it’s hard to like any of these people. Victoria Beckham’s plan to spend the World Cup visting underprivileged children is just another side of the vomit-inducing spectacle.

Don’t get me wrong; I enjoy watching a game of football from time to time. What I don’t like is hearing stereotypes of women kicked around as a substitute for intelligent conversation about sport… or any other subject.

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