Another look at a current news-worthy item, inspired by a moribund fish.
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I don't know about you, but I have no problem whatsoever with females officiating at football matches. For too long now our national obsession has been a bastion of machismo, of outdated traditions and blind referees. So why not let the 'lasses' have a go? Let's face it fellas, they don't miss a trick, do they? When was the last time you got away with an extra four-pack in the shopping basket, or a glance of appreciation at a huge pair of passing knockers? They see everything.
Apparently, that's what all the hullabaloo is about, you see. On the 22nd of January 2011 the chauvinist stronghold was finally breached and the English football association allowed its first female official to participate in a premiership match.
Her name was Sian Massey and..............she was a girl.
I didn't see the game in which she so effortlessly policed the lines in her capacity of 'assistant referee' (linesman to the purists), but the ensuing shit-storm has provided plenty of opportunity since.
And I'll tell you what, a more sterling performance you could not have wished for.
Miss Massey more than kept up with the pace of play, curtseyed demurely when flagging for offside and possessed a keen, positional awareness; not once did she back-chat, complain or sulk.
A fine job so far, I think you'll agree. So it was with mild surprise that I read the comments of Messer's Andy Gray and Richard Keys with regard to, what appeared to be, Miss Massey's mere presence in their 'man world'.
Though somewhat tactless, I personally don't think their little off-air discourse was all that offensive. Conversations of this ilk are conducted everyday in pubs and clubs the length and breadth of the UK.
In my local social club, all the way up in the cold, cold North-East of England, we hold many a discussion about women's lib and all that. But unlike Mr Gray and Mr Keys we show the ladies a little respect. Eschewing the lounge and the concert chairman's 'bingo voice', we instead conduct our conversations in the bar where women have been prohibited from entering since alcohol was invented and we men can find a little peace.
I have to admit, though, that the pair did seem to come away from all this looking a trifle bitter. But I'm sure many red-blooded males would appear the same if some nosey man-hater decided to bug their 'bloke chats' and pipe them through to the lounge or concert room or, indeed, 12 000,000 homes.
What we must remember here is that their conversation was off air, their words broadcast later after being surreptitiously recorded. What kind of man-hating bitch would stoop so low? But, hey, if you're willing to provide the bullets.........