The Lionesses Win 6-0... But The Predictable Comments Keep Coming

In case you missed it, England football just enjoyed its most successful night in years, beating Scotland 6-0.
Some guys, though, weren't happy about it.
Euro 2017 has just kicked off in the Netherlands. It's a big deal. It's the most high-profile women's Euros ever. And after coming third in the World Cup just two years ago, the Lionesses, England's team, are among the favourites to win.
The excellent Channel 4, which is airing the tournament, made an incredible advert to kick things off. It follows Andy Murray, Lewis Hamilton, Ian Wright and other famous male sports stars as they cheer on an unseen football team.
Towards the end of the advert, it is revealed that the team they're cheering for is not a men's team, but the Lionesses. The tagline reads, "Support a team that might actually win..." in a side-eyed tone reminiscent of the channel's 2012 Paralympics campaign, which thanked the BBC's Olympics coverage "for the warm-up".
Sadly, though, the oh-so-predictable comments started as soon as the video was posted. "Women should not be allowed to play football, soon they will be allowed to drive cars", "joked" one commenter. "Take it they have all finished there housework if they have time for playing football!do they no have meals to be cooking [sic]" wrote another, in an attempt at "banter" so poor even Love Island's Alex would cringe.
Last night, the game aired. Both teams went for it. England's Jodie Taylor (read our interview with her here) scored a hat trick – the first in an international tournament by an England player (man or woman) since your man Gary Lineker in 1986. The game was fast-paced, exciting and hard-fought. The Lionesses walked away with an impressive 6-0 victory.
Some men, however, just couldn't be placated.
These guys.
Much like the tools who had a problem with Jodie Whittaker's appointment as Doctor Who earlier in the week, the people making these comments sound threatened.
The skill of the women players is undeniable. But hugely important is the exposure the sport has been given over the past couple of years. Until recently, in England, the top-tier professional women's teams didn't receive a full-time wage or full-time training. Their practice schedules were limited to a couple of hours in the evening, a couple of days a week. These practices came after the players had worked full days at their other full-time, non-football-playing jobs. Now, the Lionesses are one of the best women's teams in the world.
When I was young, girls were taught that fitness and exercise was a method of keeping trim and looking good. It's why women's magazines, up until the last few years, focussed on diets rather than fitness. Boys were taught that team sports were an enjoyable pastime. It's why they played football during break while I came up with ever more inventive menstruation excuses to get out of P.E.
When I was a little older, I moved to the United States, where women's football is massive. The professional players are household names and the youth programmes receive huge investment. The teams I joined both at school and in my own time were given the same treatment as the boys. Coming back to England as a teenager to find limited resources for women wishing to play football was a bit of a shock.
Now, it's a different story. Campaigns and initiatives like This Girl Can have seen a huge uptake in women exercising. The women's World Cup two years ago was responsible for an increase in people buying tickets to see women's games and, in 2015, it was estimated that 27,324 women across England were affiliated with the sport. The FA Cup final this year at Wembley, between Man City and Birmingham, saw a record attendance of 35,000, up 30,000 from three years ago.
So things are changing, and it's due to exposure, investment and a shift in attitudes. Saying that women's football is dull and not worth showing on TV will prevent the girls of today from getting the same opportunities as the boys.
Plenty of men, however, were pleasantly surprised by the match.
Although some people were not surprised at all.
England's next game is on Sunday, against Spain. Scotland play Portugal on the same day. Get a crew together, grab some food and drinks and settle in and watch it. I guarantee you'll have a good time. And if not, you'll at least be able to piss off a couple of people with outdated views about women in sport along the way.
Until then, we'll leave you with the heartfelt and wonderfully eloquent words of @jenmore_

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