Miss O’Gyny presents: A Guide To Terrace Etiquette.

8 Feb

As most of you ladies are no doubt aware, being, as you are, at the very forefront of social trend setting, association football has recently emerged as one of the most popular spectator sports of the day, with football matches overtaking horse races, pheasant shoots and public hangings as THE sporting event at which to be seen. Here we present for you a useful guide to football that will help every modern lady to act in the correct way when encountering the game for the first time.

Selecting a team
For a lady, the choice of which football team to support is usually made for them, as they simply acquire the allegiances of father, husband, potential suitor or the other most significant man is in their life. However should a lady not have a suitable male role model with an interest in football to make this crucial decision for them, they can freely choose a team for themselves according to social class, family wealth and background, religion, and political affiliation. It is preferable to choose one of the teams which came into existence via Christian sporting associations, such as Everton (formerly St Domingo’s) Southampton or Bolton. However, avoid those teams which combine their Christian ethics with some form of socialism, thus attracting large numbers of the working class and other undesirables. Be sure also to avoid teams whose origins have Catholic, or even worse, Jewish, associations; teams who originated in factories or other lower class working environs such as Arsenal (don’t let the former “Royal” tag confuse; they have no real ties to royalty, originating in the decidedly unfashionable environs of the munitions factory at Woolwich) and teams whose supporters are prone to fits of violence and unsporting behaviour (for example Aston Villa, whose howling roughs attacked Preston North End players with stones, sticks and their own spittle recently in 1885). It is best to avoid any team from further north than Oxford; the brutish inhabitants of the northern lands cannot be trusted to behave themselves in sporting fixtures, as in the rest of life.

The "Dashing Moustaches" of Blackburn, firm ladies' favourites.

Whilst there are no strict rules on how a lady should present herself at a footballing match, it can generally be advised not to wear too much finery for fear of having it dirtied or spoiled by other spectators. Full skirts and petticoats are best rejected in favour of narrower skirts in order to avoid being stepping on. Bear in mind that when approaching a turnstile be careful to gather together ones skirts and petticoats to avoid entangling oneself, causing tags and snares to one’s outer-garments and perhaps even unwelcomely displaying one’s undergarments.Sun umbrellas are generally frowned upon in the stands as they may impede the viewing of the spectators behind. To protect delicate skin from sun a wide brimmed hat with lace veil is regarded as more suitable. Please ascertain that hats do not feature protruding feathers, overlarge floral corteges or other decorations which may obstruct the view of others.

Flowing skirts and parasols - what NOT to wear to "the match".

Etiquette During Play
It is considered wholly improper to experience lustful thoughts of players, who are sporting professionals, not postcard pin up boys. If one does feel that ones bodily reaction to the sight of so many dashing young men with partially exposed knees may cause offence or embarrassment, discreet use of a handheld fan can be useful to play down symptoms of heated flushes, decrease body temperature and disguise facial redness. Rehearse controlled breathing exercises before players appear upon the field of play to prevent hyperventilation or excessive panting during the match. Remember, fainting at the sight of the players entering the pitch is NOT a dignified way to conduct oneself in public.

Though finding oneself in an arena of such raw emotion and excitement, ladies should maintain an air of dignity and decorum throughout proceedings and resist the temptation to follow the behavioural examples of the surrounding menfolk. Just as in the outside world, no one appreciates a hysterical woman at a sporting venue. Should your chosen team be involved in the scoring of a goal, then applause, hurrahs and other congratulations should be genuine but composed. Vocal encouragement for the team during moments of excitement should be avoided. Whilst you may feel that a helpful “That’s the spirit!” or similar may be acceptable and even expected in these circumstances, remember that the shrillness of your voice may cause more harm than good by both offending the ears of the men around you and even potentially distracting the players, both of whom do not want to be reminded of the high pitched nag of women in a footballing arena. Should the opposing team score, allow yourself to emit no more than a quietly disappointed sigh before heartily applauding the effort and valour of the opposition.

Finally, should the referee make a decision the male spectators regard as potentially unfair, do not join in with their vocalised demonstrations or indeed make ANY comment whatsoever; not only are you incapable of understanding the rules of the sport but as a woman you have absolutely no right to question the decisions or disrespect the authority of a man.

Should you hear any form of excessive profanity from a nearby male spectator a firmly disapproving look in their direction should be enough to emit an apology and doffed cap. However remember that you are encroaching upon male territory and they should not have to change their behaviour in their own environment to satisfy your overly delicate little ears. Just as should a foreigner come here and demand the use of their own language by British natives they would be immediately shipped off back to the colonies for offending our national honour, so any woman who attends a football match and demands the end to vulgar or profane language in their presence will be rightly requested to return to their drawing room.

As one of the extremely few ladies in a pre-dominantly male environment, an amount of amorous advances are to be to some degree expected. However should any man act in an excessively or inappropriately direct way or resort to groping, alert the manfriend who has accompanied you who will most certainly intervene to defend your homour. However should you have attended the match independently and without a manfriend to protect you, you are blatantly a brazen hussy who deserves everything she gets, and more.

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