The English Mother

Moments in an English Mother's Life

‘Girls Can Play Football Too, Silly!’

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This is my youngest child- a girl called Nancy Mary Barker Rutherford. Nancy’s father Dominic supports Arsenal football team like his Dad. When Dominic’s little girl was born his ideas of setting her allegiances straight with a newborn Arsenal kit dissipated. Over the five years of Nancy’s life I have occasionally challenged Dominic over this. Would the importance of this family tradition have been so relegated had Nancy been Arthur Gordon Barker Rutherford instead? Sometimes I have threatened to buy Nancy another team’s kit that I like, like Newcastle for example. This tactic has worked the best in encouraging Dominic to pass on his enthusiasm about football to his daughter. I do not really care about football but I do care about giving girls the same options as boys and jump on any opportunity to say so!
But forget my ramblings, nothing like a daughter to set straight any perceptions of inequality between the sexes her Daddy could ever have.
In the spirit of this, Nancy one day declared; ” I want to play football.” And the football discussion was no more ( it will not be difficult to find something else to illustrate the ongoing female battle!)
On Friday evening Father and daughter went off to Westfield, returning with a kit.
And this Saturday morning Nancy went off to play football. Nancy said she enjoyed it but Dominic didn’t. Watching Nancy from the sidelines, the only girl in the group, playing football amongst a bunch of ‘mad’, ‘ nutter’ boys distressed Dominic. He didn’t like it at all. He said; “Never again.” Will Nancy and I manage to persuade Dominic she will survive another game?


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