Confronting the “lesser ism”.

8 Feb

Racism? Well out of order. Sexism? Just a laugh innit? Terrace Bint gets a bit sensitive.

Now I’ve had some pervs try some tricks at the match before but this bloke really takes it a bit far. Caught by a surveillance operation after rubbing his crotch against a woman at Colchester United’s Layer Road ground, 70 year old Brian Lamb was banned from every sports ground in the country in April after it was discovered he had previously been banned from Cambridge United’s Abbey Stadium for a similar assault on another woman.

Worryingly, Lamb actually lived in Ipswich but admitted he didn’t go to Portman Road as it’s an all seater and he could only get away with this type of thing at stadiums with terracing where he could press up against women then move away without raising too much suspicion. Rumours he’s going to start a fanzine called Terrace Perv are as yet unconfirmed.

Brian Lamb - doesn't look AT ALL like a dirty old man does he?

Taken as a bit of a joke in some quarters, particularly given the photo of Lamb that appeared in The Sun, reproduced above, which shows him in stereotypical dirty old man style, with big glasses, scruffy grey hair and a scrunched up weirdo face that you just know means he’s making “MMMMHH, GRRRGH, OOOOH!!!”” noises while rubbing himself in the trouser area, the matter wasn’t taken all that seriously in a lot of places. But what happened was unbelievably sick- one steward who caught him after seeing what he was doing said it was “so horrible, he couldn’t even bear to watch”. If a steward found it that disturbing to watch, what must the woman it happened to be feeling?

Massive respect to the stewards and the authorities for taking this seriously and giving the bloke everything he deserves. (Actually I’d say he deserves to have his knob shredded off with a cheesegrater but then I’m unfortunately not in charge in these matters.) However this was a particularly sick and fucked up example of a full scale register-deserving weirdo.Supposedly “lesser” examples of sexual harassment at football matches are all too often shrugged off as part and parcel of being in a male environment. A lot of people just don’t seem to accept the divide between light-hearted banter and explicitly aggressive sexual behaviour when it’s in the context of a football match. Behaviour that would be acknowledged as completely unacceptable in any other setting, and that even in a nightclub would nine times out of ten get the perpetrator a slap, gets passed off as just a bit of daft machismo, blokes showing off in front of their mates and having a laugh.

What fucking right have they got to “have a laugh” at our expense? This stuff is never done when the woman in question is with other men as that’s obviously disrespectful and so off limits, but a single woman (or sometimes a pair or small group of single women) is considered fair game. When I’m with my mates or in a group I never get any hassle, unsurprisingly; but if I’m on my way to the bogs, or at the bar, or in a seat in a different part of the ground to the others, or going between pubs or on the way to meet someone after a game, that’s when the trouble generally happens. Because the blokes who do it are cowardly fuckers who can only be hard when they’re in front of their mates and Stella’d up. Hard as fuck eh.

Terrace Bint's matchday wear - Valerie Solanis goes casual.

I’ve had the full range of nonsense at matches, from the odd cheeky comment and chat up attempt that’s intended in good humour and taken in the same way, (and come on, being honest, is pretty welcome at times, though it does seem to be decreasing as I get older…) to the slightly OTT touchy-feely goal celebrations and attempts at getting chatted up in the bar at half time which are generally just a bit annoying and get put right with a few sharp words. But more often than I’d like I’ve been subjected to some really dodgy stuff from groups of blokes mouthing off or trying it on really strongly that’s made me really uncomfortable, angry, scared and upset. When I confront it (which I generally do, being a bit of an angry fucker a lot of the time…) the “It was only a joke” get out clause is usually used to defend the behaviour. Sometimes when they’re being particularly twattish I just get abuse hurled back, which in a lot of cases is actually easier to deal with than this “it’s just a laugh, lighten up you miserable cow” bullshit which is REALLY insulting. It’s not a fucking laugh to me if I’m offended by it, and that’s reason enough to stop doing it. Who are they to tell me what I should and shouldn’t feel insulted by?

We as women have the right to define what is sexual aggression, what makes us feel threatened and what needs to be stamped out. Confrontation is the only answer, but it’s hard to do so a lot of the time; when you’re scared or embarassed the last thing you want to do is kick up a fuss. But ignoring it helps no one and allows stuff like this to continue to be accepted. In an ideal situation those around you will say something to put them in their place but there’s nothing snide about reporting to a steward or someone else if someone’s acting up; if you can’t deal with a situation on your own there’s no reason not to ask someone else for help. Both clubs and supporters have rightly recognised that racist abuse and aggression in stadiums is abhorrent and should be dealt with. It’s about time sexism was treated in the same way.


One Response to “Confronting the “lesser ism”.”

  1. Jewell August 3, 2013 at 3:28 am #

    I hardly leave responses, however i did a few
    searching and wound up here Confronting the lesser ism. | Terracebint’s Blog. And I actually do have a couple of questions for you if it’s allright.
    Could it be only me or does it look like some of the remarks come across like they are left by brain dead visitors?

    😛 And, if you are writing at additional online sites, I’d like to keep up with anything new you have to post. Could you list of the complete urls of your public sites like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: