Radical feminists attempting to BAN sport chat in the workplace will isolate, not include women
Leadership expert and apparent oracle on all female interests, Ann Francke, head of the Chartered Management Institute, claims “unchecked” workplace conversations about sport might isolate women and could lead to a dreaded “more laddish culture”.
“A lot of women, in particular, feel left out," shrieks Francke. “They don't follow those sports and they don't like either being forced to talk about them or not being included,"she told the BBC.
Francke’s arrogance blinds her to the fact that not only does she belittle men as one-track-minded bores but patronizes women as fragile beings that zone out at the slightest mention of footy, implying they are more interested in the latest beauty products than the beautiful game.
Did it ever occur to Francke that women might actually like and want to debate matters about football?
Aside from wanting to police which thoughts and words fellow human beings think and use, Francke’s argument echoes the tired adage of women not being able to grasp the offside rule, by condescending to the poor fragile females in the workplace and attempting to cover their ears from the infantile dullards.
In actual fact, women are increasingly occupying roles within the men’s game and female interest in football is at an all-time high, piquing after last year’s Women’s World Cup in France. Consequently, more and more prominent clubs, Manchester United being a recent one, creating women’s teams to nurture the intrigue of young girls and provide female footballing role models.
Even more ironic is women are regularly employed to host debates between ex-players and journalists, such as the charismatic Kelly Cates of Sky Sports or Jacqui Oatley of BBC flagship program Match of the Day, the latter of those has called the initiative a "terrible idea”.
But there is also a secondary hazard of such talk for Francke. "It's a gateway to more laddish behaviour and - if it just goes unchecked - it's a signal of a more laddish culture,” she says.
"It's very easy for it to escalate from VAR talk and chat to slapping each other on the back and talking about their conquests at the weekend."
Now I’m no expert, but I’m sure that not even the most laddish of lads has ever had the conversational gymnastic ability to make a seamless jump from whether he thought Mo Salah was onside for his second goal on Saturday to his exaggerated romps with the local barmaid later that evening.
Simply put: whittling away a few minutes of the working day with unsupervised chatter - supervised or otherwise - will never under any circumstance suddenly lead to locker room tales of casual one night stands where women are viewed with scarcely little more value than a hamburger.
Of course, if we were all to take Francke's opinion of lads constantly nattering on about football leading to the feminist hell of lad culture in the office, then it wouldn’t be outlandish to take the stance that women should reduce time spent on the company’s watch talking about kittens, unicorns, washing, ironing, sugar and spice and all things nice - a typical sexist's view of women's interests.
According to Francke's logic, that way we would save colleague-kind from a dystopian future where women congratulate each other on finding half-price vouchers for manicures and put roses and tiny little pink cushions on every desk, much to the chagrin of their uncouth male workmates.
But the reality is women don't do that. And even if they did, failing to snuff out such behavior by nipping it in the bud as soon as a guilty party opens their mouth would not lead to some exaggerated suffering for male colleagues to the extent they felt isolated.
Another reality is that the Orwellian concept of ‘wrongthink’ is fast becoming less a thing of satire and more a very probable thing of the future, a future in which radical feminism not only seeks to demean and vilify men as uneducated and toxic but also reinforces the very opinion it aims to dismantle - that women can’t or don’t have interests that are typically male.
So please, let’s change the conversation.
By Danny Armstrong