Category Archives: Sports

Sexism in Camfoot

Female Football teamOn June 20th 2015,while Cameroonians home and abroad were getting vocal (on and offline)  in support of their Female National Football squad, ahead of the march pitting Cameroon and China at the ongoing FIFA Women’s World Cup, Camfoot.Com (A suppose  reference for information on Cameroonian Football) published  a ridiculous sexist  article titled “Ecclesiastes 9:9”. This article questions the participation of Women in a sport like Football.

Finding an article which questions both the participation of women in Football and the overwhelming support Cameroonians were putting up for the Lionesses on a medium that is supposed to be professional and unbiased, looks quite out of place especially at this time when the Lionesses have proven their worth. So far, they have triggered more applause and won the hearts of many than the present Male National Football squad.  According to the author of the said article, who purportedly got his inspiration from the Bible:

“Bible commands clearly, in no uncertain terms, to enjoy a woman all the days of your life of vanity. My take on this overrated adventure of Cameroon women playing the manly game of soccer in Kanuckland is far from being ambivalent. First I have my reservations about football being played by nappy-haired or blondish females with glossy lips. Second, I do not really believe that women could ever play the beautiful game with a fair measure of panache, flair and technicity. I could be wrong, granted. But I will stick to my guns. I do not believe that the Bible ever meant for us to enjoy them on a football pitch. Léon Gwod- Camfoot.

Gwod, did you say you could be wrong? In fact, you are not only wrong but your statements are quite ridiculous. Gwod quotes, “Ecclesiastes 9:9”. Which when extrapolated word verbatim from the New International Version of the Bible says, “enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun-all your  meaningless days.  For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun”, as the base for his weird assertions. For possible alterations in Bible translations, the highlighted words are only changed to “Live happily with the woman you love ……”.  There are basic things every writer of any sort should know when drawing reference from another body of work. Firstly, you need to understand the context of whatever text you are citing. Secondly, you do not cite texts in isolation and thirdly but most importantly, Bible principles are NEVER based on one scriptural passage. One does not necessarily have to be a theologian to know that this reference was incorrectly used to perpetrate the opinion of an apparent gender-biased individual. This verse talks of enjoying life with the woman you love. I don’t see how playing Football makes a woman not lovable. In fact, a woman representing her country is even more honourable and loveable. Mind you, these ladies are in their line of duty, not in some romantic relationship.

Football is a game played between two teams of eleven people, where each team tries to win by kicking a ball into the other team’s goal. Nowhere is it said Football is for Men. Without sounding like a jerk, enjoying women as explained in the verse above has nothing to do with the profession an individual chooses to pursue. If this passage is actually the rationale for Gwod`s reservations towards female Football, I will suggest he re-examines his motive(s) for this write up and not misinform Camfoot`s audience with an inappropriate and misguided paraphrased verse from the Bible.

It is quite hilarious to find such an outrageous display of gender prejudice on a suppose reference  for information. It brings me to a position of questioning the values and editorial policies upheld by Camfoot .Who wakes up from his bed and publishes his sexist feelings on an official source? Who publishes a seemingly primitive opinion about a set of people who are bringing nothing but honour to their nation? During my days at the University, my News Writing lecturer, Diffang Funge always said “Let your opinion and feelings stay with you. Just give us the facts.”I will advise Camfoot takes heed to these wise words.

While I applaud my friends and colleagues who are fervent in their course of Feminism-”Feminist”, I have always tried to identify more with “Justice” than  “Equality”  when discussing gender issues. It’s true that these two terminologies are somewhat interwoven when discussing gender issues, however, advocating for justice gives more meaning to every gender than just equality. That notwithstanding, this perspective of women in Football is surely an issue to frown at, with the two sets of gender advocates since it propagates prejudice and marginalisation.

Cameroon´s Lionesses` participation in this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada definitely brought a couple of pleasant surprises to the tournament and once again made Cameroon a proud Football nation.  Despite Cameroon`s elimination, the Lionesses no doubt put up a remarkable and historic performance at just their first outing to the World Cup.  In a quick summary, the Lionesses beat Ecuador in their opening game 6-0.The ladies accepted a honourable defeat of 2 goals to 1 from one of the competition`s favourites-Japan and then secured a comfortable qualification ticket to the second round of the competition by beating Switzerland 2-1. Cameroon`s experience in Canada ended on Saturday 20th 2015 following a 1- nil defeat in favour of China. They left the tournament as the best African team.

In the past, the country relentlessly supported the Men’s Football team which has brought nothing but humiliation to the nation lately while rigorously consuming taxpayer’s money. The Female squad has dared to prove its worth despite all odds. With Poor training facilities, relatively low match allowances, these ladies have brought honour to the nation. Qualifying for the second round at their first outing to the World Cup with spectacular performances  from names like Manie, Enganamouit and Onguene, what these girls deserve is gratitude and not attitude from people with unguarded male egos. I will request Camfoot to pay attention to the implications of articles published on her website. It will not be an exaggeration to say that, this article falls short of news worthiness, good journalistic writing, responsible journalism and patriotism.


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