women supporters testify to the violence suffered in the stadiums

women supporters testify to the violence suffered in the stadiums

2023-06-02 19:07:23

Will the #MeToo wave reach football stadiums? In any case, it is with courage that several supporters of the Lens club have taken the floor in recent days to denounce on social networks and in the press facts that can be qualified as assault or sexual harassment during matches at the stadium. Bollaert.

These testimonies provoked numerous reactions of indignation and support for the women concerned in the northern club which, this year, was especially talked about for its excellent career in Ligue 1.

songs of a sexual nature

“Lens, the best public in France…”. In the world of football, it’s a kind of refrain that keeps coming up because of the fervor and passion of local supporters. But for the past few days, we have been hearing a different discourse. In an article published Wednesday, May 31 by The voice of the North, a woman says she was saved by a stadium steward when three men blocked her access to the toilets, one of whom allegedly touched her buttocks. Other women report sexual songs targeting a supporter, and touching during moments of jubilation in the stands. Thursday June 1, the club announced the launch of an internal investigation.

“This week, I made contact with one of the women who testified. She told me that she hadn’t come to the stadium for a year because of some idiots who had bothered her. There, I realized the gravity of the situation. indicates Gilles Dumur, head of Gueules Noires de Bollaert, one of the many clubs of Lensois supporters.

« I had no idea the extent of the problem. Even if we knew that some individuals were not always correct. We sometimes saw women going to complain to the stewards about certain inappropriate gestures. This can happen in the stands where the audience is standing and very crowded. Some have wandering hands. It’s unacceptable but it’s not easy to catch them in the act”adds this official, whose group brings together 150 members, including about forty women.

Same feeling of dismay at Laëtitia, president of the Magic Lens group. “I started going to the Bollaert stadium at the age of 8, with my family, she explains. And since then, I haven’t stopped. I’ve been going to the stadium for 23 years and never had a problem. But of course I support the women who dare to testify today. »

The example of England

But if Lens focuses attention today, the problem is much broader. “Many clubs are concerned and it is a very good thing that the word is starting to be freed up”, explains Hadrien Agnew François, ambassador of Her Game Too France, an association founded at the end of 2022 to fight against sexist violence and stereotypes in football. “We are the branch of an English association created in 2021 on the initiative of the two Bristol clubs”, he specifies, adding that across the Channel, the problem is already well recognized. “Over there, we see clubs withdrawing their subscriptions from supporters who behave badly with women. »

In 2021, the association of football supporters in England published a survey of 2,000 regular female spectators in stadiums: 20% of them indicated that they had already been touched, or at least “unwanted” physical contact in bleachers. A figure that has doubled in seven years. And this is not without consequence since 5% of female spectators questioned said they no longer wanted to go to the stadium because of sexist behaviour.

The arrival of female supporters in stadiums is certainly not a recent phenomenon. But in recent years, it has grown, with many young women no longer hesitating to join support groups. “These groups are usually very masculine strongholds with a somewhat exacerbated virile culture, based on honor or physical strength. Some of these groups welcome women without any problem, but in others, they have to prove, much more than the men, that their passion for football is very real and that their commitment to their team is genuine. explains Nicolas Hourcade, sociologist and supporter specialist.

“It conveys an ultra-sexualized vision of female supporters”

In some cases, women begin to frequent the stands in the company of their companion. “What can protect them from gravelly drifts”, note Nicolas Hourcade. “But we also see many women coming to the stadium alone and joining fan clubs, including ultras”, says Sébastien Louis, historian and supporter specialist “I investigated in Sweden, one of the countries in Europe where there are the most women in football stadiums. Even there, we see groups of ultras refusing all membership of women. They fear that this will end up dividing the unity of the group in the event that certain members enter into a process of seduction towards these supporters. »

Women, sorts of intruders who would break the virile cohesion of “real” football fans? In any case, the image of the supporter “seductive” is widely maintained by certain media. “At each World Cup, the TVs keep showing images of women in the stands with low necklines and very tight outfits. This conveys an ultra-sexualized vision of women supporters which is not without consequence on their representation in the male imagination. adds Sebastien Louis.

#women #supporters #testify #violence #suffered #stadiums


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Recent News

Editor's Pick