Oh this is ladies night and the feelings right...
September 21, 2011 3:35 AM   Subscribe

Due to being sanctioned for unruly fan behaviour, the football match between Turkish teams Fenerbahce and Manisaspor was due to be played in an empty stadium. Until someone in the Turkish Football Federation had the idea to only allow women and children under 12 to attend.

Manisaspor midfielder Ömer Aysan: “It was such a fun and pleasant atmosphere. At first we Manisaspor players couldn’t believe in what we were seeing and hearing”

Fenerbahçe captain Alex de Sousa: “This memory will stay with me forever. It’s not always that you see so many women and children in one game.”
posted by PenDevil (106 comments total) 37 users marked this as a favorite

 
The cynic in me was expecting drunk women and 12-year-olds rioting
posted by slater at 3:41 AM on September 21, 2011 [39 favorites]


Kids under twelve. Yeah, that's definitely going to cut down on unruly behavior.

Sarcasm. Do you have kids?
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:42 AM on September 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Other than Fenerbahce fans wearing the colors of their team, many women were spotted among the rank wearing the jerseys of Fenerbahce’ archrivals Besiktas or Galatasaray. On a normal night this could end disastrous in terms of hooliganism, yet women showed the tolarance, men never even hope to have.

Heh.
posted by infini at 3:45 AM on September 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


That favourite taunt of visiting fans, "You're supposed to be at home," may have been inappropriate here.
posted by TheAlarminglySwollenFinger at 3:47 AM on September 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Wow. That was an amazing video; I found it extraordinarily touching. And I must say I expected to see a relatively sparse sprinkling of fans, but whoa, the women of Turkey definitely love their football. Beautiful.
posted by taz at 3:52 AM on September 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


the women of Turkey definitely love their football.

At least they are when they're sure the stadium isn't going to be full of men.
posted by pracowity at 3:58 AM on September 21, 2011 [15 favorites]


Loved it!

The cynic inside me wonders why there are not the same crowds and enthusiasm for female soccer matches though.
posted by greenhornet at 4:02 AM on September 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


There's your lemon turned into lemonade. A clever marketing idea and it looks like everyone was having fun.
posted by three blind mice at 4:07 AM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Reminded me of a minor-league baseball game. Lots of positive energy, lots of families and kids having fun.
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:12 AM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Alto rocks the house!
posted by dragonsi55 at 4:16 AM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is great, but as a male football fan who eschews violence, applauds the opposition, and is generally a good sport I feel devastated for the long suffering Fenerbahce fans of similar character who missed out. Yeah, these women had a great time, and it was a pretty amazing spectacle, but if I got banned from attending my team's games because other fans were idiots I'd be pretty bitter about the 45,000 women that got to go for free. But then, my allegiance to my teams is probably stronger and longer than most of my friendships - I sometimes feel physically ill before and during a game - so grain of salt, I guess.

The cynic inside me wonders why there are not the same crowds and enthusiasm for female soccer matches though.
Where I'm from, at least, the quality just isn't there, and as both a cause and result the training programmes and academy spots and money don't exist for young women, but that's changing, and we're already starting to see that - the recent Womens World Cup was a better spectacle than previous tournaments I've seen, and the quality (though perhaps not the speed and strength, but that might just be old stereotypes in my mind saying that) of the game at age group level could be on par with boys in ten years. The problem then will be the depth and grass roots.

There's your lemon turned into lemonade.
Yeah, as an event it deserves pats on the back all round.
posted by doublehappy at 4:22 AM on September 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


Did they let them in for free? I thought part of the point of playing behind closed doors was to take away the ticket income. (Though on reflection, that maybe isn't the case.)
posted by hoyland at 4:28 AM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Did they let them in for free?

Yeah:
Under new rules approved by TFF, only women and children under the age of 12 will be admitted to watch games free of charge involving teams which have been sanctioned for unruly behavior by their fans.
posted by doublehappy at 4:29 AM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Watching it, I got the impression that the crowd would have been just as jubilant if there weren't a game being played at all.
posted by crunchland at 4:45 AM on September 21, 2011


And you thought the line for the ladies room was bad at your local stadium...
posted by MegoSteve at 4:47 AM on September 21, 2011 [10 favorites]


This is amazing and, sadly, a reminder of how shitty European football culture otherwise is.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 5:06 AM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


A totally obvious solution with implications beyond the world of football.
posted by tommasz at 5:08 AM on September 21, 2011 [19 favorites]


Huh, so someone finally realized that, if men are the problem, banning men is a solution? This is shocking progress.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:10 AM on September 21, 2011 [12 favorites]


This is great, but as a male football fan who eschews violence, applauds the opposition, and is generally a good sport I feel devastated for the long suffering Fenerbahce fans of similar character who missed out.

Yeah, but one of them could go round to the other one's house and they could watch it together on TV.
posted by Infinite Jest at 5:23 AM on September 21, 2011 [11 favorites]


That's awesome.
posted by kalessin at 5:24 AM on September 21, 2011


So I suppose no one else sees this as a case of blatant sexual discrimination?

/ I kid, I kid!
// Not really, though.

posted by pla at 5:26 AM on September 21, 2011


Huh, so someone finally realized that, if men are the problem, banning men is a solution? This is shocking progress.

Well, I suppose as a message to the worst actors, "you don't get to act as badly as you wish, and still get what you want" is a pretty good attempt at a beginning of a solution for all sorts of problems.

As doublehappy observes, though, this solution is not without a lot of drive-by injustice and pain to a ton of perfectly typical guys who are probably the majority of male fans. If such an approach could actually work to temper the violent and disruptive behavior of hooligans, though, maybe everyone can win.

I'd like to think so. I'd like to see something reasonable and humane win for once.
posted by taz at 5:27 AM on September 21, 2011


I feel devastated for the long suffering Fenerbahce fans of similar character who missed out.

I don't. The stadium certainly looks like it was full to capacity of passionate fans, just like it would have been anyway. Different individuals, but either way some of the fans get to be there in person and others have to watch on TV.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 5:27 AM on September 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


I've been reading a lot to prepare for my vacation in Istanbul next week...one "safety tip" I found was to never wear any colors associated with any of the local soccer teams. Since one set of colors is "black and white" I'm kind of hosed.

Sweet Honking Bob, do I hate professional sports.
posted by JoanArkham at 5:37 AM on September 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


This is great, but as a male football fan who eschews violence, applauds the opposition, and is generally a good sport I feel devastated for the long suffering Fenerbahce fans of similar character who missed out. Yeah, these women had a great time, and it was a pretty amazing spectacle, but if I got banned from attending my team's games because other fans were idiots I'd be pretty bitter about the 45,000 women that got to go for free. But then, my allegiance to my teams is probably stronger and longer than most of my friendships - I sometimes feel physically ill before and during a game - so grain of salt, I guess.

Sure - but it's not like the fans of your kidney were going to see that game anyway. They were already excluded from that game, because it's a closed-door match. Those happen partly to punish fans - the ones who cause the trouble - and partly to encourage fans who don't cause the trouble but do enjoy it, or tolerate it, or cover for fans who do, to find that there are consequences to being part of a support that causes trouble, and that preventing it is a shared responsibility with shared punishments. Whether you sign up for that doctrine of collective responsibility, and how far, is another question, but that's the idea. Your kind of fan being excluded is both a bug and a feature.

Making the club pay to host a match with the stands packed with people who wouldn't normally be there, and who are getting in for free, seems like a remarkably inventive way to punish the club without punishing the players (who are usually blameless, and who hate playing closed-door matches).
posted by running order squabble fest at 5:38 AM on September 21, 2011 [12 favorites]


That looks like such a cool environment to have been in for the players and the fans. I'm glad this happened.

But seriously, won't anyone think of the poor entitled soccer hooligans?
posted by Blasdelb at 5:45 AM on September 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


if I got banned from attending my team's games because other fans were idiots I'd be pretty bitter about the 45,000 women that got to go for free.

Why the hell would you be bitter about the women? Be bitter about the other fans.
posted by ninebelow at 5:46 AM on September 21, 2011 [38 favorites]


Just curious, what are ticket prices like for european football? Do they have season tickets? Wondering if well-behaved fans with season ticket packages got screwed out of a game. For USA football, with average NFL tickets around $85 and easily double that on the secondary market, that could be a multi-hundred dollar penalty for fans who don't cause any trouble.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 5:53 AM on September 21, 2011


This was profoundly clever.
posted by aramaic at 5:58 AM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


> Making the club pay to host a match with the stands packed with people who wouldn't normally be there, and who are getting in for free, seems like a remarkably inventive way to punish the club without punishing the players

If this was an American televised sport (bear with me for a moment), the TV network and team owners would have cooked this up as a way to ensure the stadium stays packed with cheering fans to make the game sound exciting and retain viewership, all to keep the sponsors happy.

Since this is (not-American) football, and the game isn't disrupted for sponsor breaks, that notion falls apart. So I'm less sure what the team owners got out of proposing this.
posted by ardgedee at 6:01 AM on September 21, 2011


As a soccer player and fan, and a woman, I think this is awesome. And for those of you who are lamenting the well-behaved male fans who weren't at the game, would you rather that it had been played in an empty stadium? It's not like the women and children took their tickets.

Bear in mind the fact that in some countries, (Iran, for example), women are banned from attending men's soccer games. If I ran the world, that would be grounds for revolt.
posted by emd3737 at 6:02 AM on September 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Oh - the federation proposed this change, not the team owners. My misread. Hm.
posted by ardgedee at 6:03 AM on September 21, 2011


(On a tangent, there is a sweet Iranian comedy about women trying to watch a soccer match called Offside.)
posted by running order squabble fest at 6:04 AM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


As doublehappy observes, though, this solution is not without a lot of drive-by injustice and pain to a ton of perfectly typical guys who are probably the majority of male fans.

Well, true, but, for at least 5000 years, the go to solution to bad male behavior has been "restrict the freedom of women." It's rather refreshing to see the result of bad male behavior as a restriction on the freedom of men. It is a crude and coarsely-grained solution, yes, but at least it's pointed in the right direction.
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:05 AM on September 21, 2011 [39 favorites]


@ardgedee: Actually, from a commercial point of view, soccer in Turkey is pretty much the same as football in America, so the notion doesn't have to fall apart :) They even do "virtual advertising" overlaid on the field.
posted by Kickdrum at 6:11 AM on September 21, 2011


I feel devastated for the long suffering Fenerbahce fans of similar character who missed out.

I don't, because those "long suffering fans" have been tolerating the hooligans long enough that they've become the most noticeable force in the fandom.

There are almost never any pure innocents in a group that is doing wrong. There are those actively doing wrong, and the rest are letting them do it, and quite possibly cheering them on.

Where are the fans protecting the visitors who are being beaten? Where are the fans calling the authorities? Where are the fans testifying in court about what they have seen.

In fandoms with hooligan problems, the answers is "they're not".

What do you call a good cop that won't take action against a bad cop? A bad cop. What do you call a fan that won't take action against a hooligan? A hooligan.

So, those long suffering Fenerbahce fans need to find, call out, and expel those who are committing crimes in their name. Or they need to deal with the consequences of voluntarily associating themselves with people who are known to assault people for the horrible crime of wearing the wrong colors.
posted by eriko at 6:15 AM on September 21, 2011 [12 favorites]


>>As doublehappy observes, though, this solution is not without a lot of drive-by injustice and pain to a ton of perfectly typical guys who are probably the majority of male fans.

Well, true, but, for at least 5000 years, the go to solution to bad male behavior has been "restrict the freedom of women." It's rather refreshing to see the result of bad male behavior as a restriction on the freedom of men. It is a crude and coarsely-grained solution, yes, but at least it's pointed in the right direction.


This is not as enlightened a position as you would like it to be.
posted by Nanukthedog at 6:26 AM on September 21, 2011


This is not as enlightened a position as you would like it to be.

I didn't say it was an enlightened position, nor even the best possible position. However, it's not exactly unjust, as eriko points out above (from what little attention I have paid to the issue, I understand that Turkish football fans have a pretty bad reputation), and, it's a step closer to justice than "men behave badly, let's punish women."
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:46 AM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Here are a few more videos:
Singing
More singing
Chanting
posted by PenDevil at 6:56 AM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I would love to see this happen for an NFL game. Just once.

Reminds me of a WNBA Seattle Storm game against the LA Sparks a couple of years ago. The Key Arena - a dump of an indoor stadium - was truly rocking with women, girls, young boys, and maybe 5% men... and the energy from the crowd was just as intense as an NBA game but it had a very different feel. It was great.

Much more intense than a Seattle Sonics game... and now we can't even make that comparison.
posted by andreaazure at 7:05 AM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


A surplus of young males in a population are statistically significant to the amount of violent crime in that population. (Turkish or otherwise.)

That being said, rabid sports fans of either sex are probably equally prone to bad public decisions.
posted by clvrmnky at 7:06 AM on September 21, 2011


The best part is the new official Manisaspor cheers:

"Who's a poopyhead? You's a poopyhead!"
posted by bpm140 at 7:23 AM on September 21, 2011


I would love to see this happen for an NFL game. Just once.

Remove alcohol concessions in the stadium and most the problems will go away. It's been years since I've attended an NFL game because I'm so tired of having to endure sloppy-drunk fans screaming obscenities and threatening anyone who has the nerve to wear the away teams colors.

Is alcohol sold at soccer matches in Europe? What about Turkey?
posted by photoslob at 7:32 AM on September 21, 2011


That is BRILLIANT
posted by ciderwoman at 7:32 AM on September 21, 2011


(and photoslob, you can drink at football grounds in the UK, but at the bar only, you can't take the drinks to your seats and the bars are only open before the game and at half time)
posted by ciderwoman at 7:33 AM on September 21, 2011


> Remove alcohol concessions in the stadium and most the problems will go away.

Prices are hovering around nine bucks per can of watered-down beer in American sports events. If anybody's drinking enough in the stadium to get drunk, their sense of good judgment was gone before the first drink crossed their lips.
posted by ardgedee at 7:45 AM on September 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


The cynic inside me wonders why there are not the same crowds and enthusiasm for female soccer matches though.

I bet this was a sort of one-time-only thing for a lot of those women, a chance to take the kids out to see a real game without worrying whether they'll be frightened or hurt by drunken idiots squabbling with other drunken idiots, and just a chance for girls and women in general to enjoy a safe night out without the guy pressure. And it was free, wasn't it?
posted by pracowity at 7:51 AM on September 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


If anybody's drinking enough in the stadium to get drunk, their sense of good judgment was gone before the first drink crossed their lips.

How long does it take to administer a random breath test? "Sorry, sir, but you can't come in drunk. We'll just stamp your ticket INTOXICATED and let you go home. If you'd like to come back sober, we'll be glad to test you again."
posted by pracowity at 7:58 AM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't, because those "long suffering fans" have been tolerating the hooligans long enough that they've become the most noticeable force in the fandom.

This x 100.

Consider that there's enough social pressure that people wouldn't wear rival colors at a game but not enough social pressure to stop people from (fighting/grabbing women/being a dickhead), and what's that tell you? That people are more worried about their gang colors than the people around them.

Given that a lot of times this behavior makes a lot of women and kids not go to games, I think the general male populace can afford to sit one out without lasting damage.
posted by yeloson at 8:12 AM on September 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


Why the hell would you be bitter about the women? Be bitter about the other fans.
Yeah, collective punishment always works and innocent people always blame the person you're trying to punish and not the people dishing out the punishment!

Not that there is anything they can do it in this case, but I don't really agree with it in principle.

I'm sure it was fun for the women, but this does kind of suck
would you rather that it had been played in an empty stadium?
I think it would have been more fair.
I don't, because those "long suffering fans" have been tolerating the hooligans long enough that they've become the most noticeable force in the fandom.
...
There are almost never any pure innocents in a group that is doing wrong. There are those actively doing wrong, and the rest are letting them do it, and quite possibly cheering them on.
WTF does that even mean? How would you, as an average fan, stop hooligans from rioting and causing problems? Let's hear it. What should the non-rioters have been doing differently? What specific, concrete actions should they have taken that they didn't?
posted by delmoi at 8:13 AM on September 21, 2011


If anybody's drinking enough in the stadium to get drunk, their sense of good judgment was gone before the first drink crossed their lips.

Fans get drunk tailgating and then get totally smashed off 3 or 4 XL Bud lights in the stadium.

I attended a college football game last weekend and it was amazing how well behaved everyone was. Is it coincidence that the NCAA doesn't allow alcohol to be sold in college football stadiums?

It's sad that any participation in the enjoyment of professional sports is so intertwined with the consumption of alcohol. You're repeatedly hit over the head with alcohol advertising whether you attend a game or watch it on TV. Even listening to play-by-play on the radio you can be guaranteed to be interrupted every 15 mins with 2-3 commercials for alcohol.
posted by photoslob at 8:14 AM on September 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think it would have been more fair.

More fair to whom? Male fans who aren't hooligans still wouldn't have been able to go watch the game.
posted by rtha at 8:23 AM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


There's a couple of dudes at 0:03 in the video. Not young guys by any means, they look like they're in their 40s. What, did they sneak in or something?
posted by daHIFI at 8:31 AM on September 21, 2011


There's a couple of dudes at 0:03 in the video. Not young guys by any means, they look like they're in their 40s. What, did they sneak in or something?

Assistant coaches, trainers etc.
posted by PenDevil at 8:33 AM on September 21, 2011


My family of origin did a lot of truly fucked up things, so I don't usually hold them up as paragons of any sort.

We were very well behaved in restaurants. If anyone wasn't, we left. Food packed to go, kids loaded into car, and everyone went home. of course, the "culprit" was roughed up, at a minimum, but that's not the point of this anecdote. I think this works better if you don't beat kids after you've hauled them out of a restaurant, but good luck convincing my parents of that.

What this meant was that with time, infractions were squashed by the other kids who enjoyed being at a restaurant for a special occasion, usually with grandma. So we'd tell each other, "Stop that, we'll have to leave," before things got "out of hand."

The unruliness in "male spaces" has gone unchecked for a loooooong time, and I suspect it will take many different types of responses to rein it in. Just removing all the men from the stadium isn't enough, but in conjunction with other things, I think providing the example of women and children having a good time without anyone's face getting bashed in might be pretty enlightening.
posted by bilabial at 8:39 AM on September 21, 2011 [6 favorites]


I'd love to go to a big sports event that was just ladies' night. How amazing would that be, if for a week, say, all the televised sports were all-female audiences? How positive for intergender cultural relations to see the differences in behavior, how empowering to girls.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 8:42 AM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Consider that there's enough social pressure that people wouldn't wear rival colors at a game but not enough social pressure to stop people from (fighting/grabbing women/being a dickhead), and what's that tell you? That people are more worried about their gang colors than the people around them.

Why should it be incumbent on the men to stop these things? Female fans who attend these football matches are, by this 'logic', just as guilty as the men who do. Why do they get to come back, for free, to cheer on their team, even though they've stood by and watched hooligans bully and hurt people?
posted by TypographicalError at 8:44 AM on September 21, 2011


More fair to whom? Male fans who aren't hooligans still wouldn't have been able to go watch the game.

Since when has it been fair to punish one innocent person arbitrarily but not another? If this had been done on race would anyone say something like "How is it unfair? Black people wouldn't have been able to watch the game anyway!"

Of course I realize that the rowdy nature of guys at games would often scare off women, so they might not (practically) be able to games in a lot of cases. Having a scheduled 'ladies night' would probably be a more fair solution then banning all men.
posted by delmoi at 8:49 AM on September 21, 2011


What this meant was that with time, infractions were squashed by the other kids who enjoyed being at a restaurant for a special occasion, usually with grandma. So we'd tell each other, "Stop that, we'll have to leave," before things got "out of hand."

The unruliness in "male spaces" has gone unchecked for a loooooong time, and I suspect it will take many different types of responses to rein it in.
That's practical in a family where you have to live with a person later on. But how would that work in a sports stadium with a hooligan. They could either ignore you or punch you in the face.
posted by delmoi at 8:51 AM on September 21, 2011


> would you rather that it had been played in an empty stadium?
>> I think it would have been more fair.
>>> More fair to whom?


Those poor discriminated upon males. It's one thing for a woman, or all women, to fear for their safety and not go to a game. That's OK because we aren't discriminating against them, just creating a hostile environment which is totally different and OK. Maybe some "gals" night where there's lots of pink?

Interesting definitions of fair to be sure.

>Why should it be incumbent on the men to stop these things?


Yeah because I see all those video of women rioting, and other women cheering them on while the men try not to get caught up in it. Wait... I don't see that. I've NEVER seen that. And I watch a lot of World's Blanky-iest blanks on fox. Show me a single hooligan beating by women, or a sports riot by women and I'll believe the culpability is more than 100% on one gender.
posted by anti social order at 8:57 AM on September 21, 2011 [12 favorites]


A lesser evil is still a lesser evil

(It's why I vote Democrat)
posted by Mick at 9:01 AM on September 21, 2011


delmoi: I think you're missing the point. Allowing the women and under 12s was an afterthought. Men were not going to be allowed in, whether hooligan or impeccably mannered, and that is what rtha is saying. There were meant to be no spectators. Thus, the decision to allow women and children had no impact on well-behaved males. Men were not going to be let in anyhow.

Hence, your comment would be more apt on a post which is about a no-spectator match rather than a post about a cool innovation: since the reason we have no-spectator matches is keep unruly men out, let women and kids in to enjoy for free!
posted by Azaadistani at 9:05 AM on September 21, 2011


damn: is *to keep
posted by Azaadistani at 9:06 AM on September 21, 2011


I can't favorite this post enough. Thank you, PenDevil!

And I am also cheered to see the discussion of male responsibility come up.

Yes, delmoi, we all know that taking on hooligans (in almost any situation) can put men in danger (which is why women are sometimes better choices to to step in with their 'Big Mama' authority). Still, the comment about shared responsibility should be taken seriously. You don't have to physically restrain people -- your every word and movement conveys where you stand on violence in crowds.

How would you, as an average fan, stop hooligans from rioting and causing problems? Let's hear it. What should the non-rioters have been doing differently?

Start small - report all abuses to those who can manage them; demand better security and oversight; support and respect the security (overtly, publicly); enjoy and be boisterous, but halt abruptly with stern attention when there is any word or action that is bordering on violent. This is what parents do (this is what flagging in mefi is) this is what we do when we care about civility.
posted by Surfurrus at 9:07 AM on September 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


But how would that work in a sports stadium with a hooligan. They could either ignore you or punch you in the face.

We went to a baseball game last week. Baseball fans are not generally known for their hooliganism - not that there aren't incidents, but they're few and far between enough, and involve few enough people, that I don't think they rise to the level of hooliganism as it's known in the UK/Europe. There was a guy sitting a few seat below us and a few rows over who was apparently causing a ruckus; what the ruckus was, exactly, we couldn't see, but people who could see notified the ushers, who came up and saw what was happening, and escorted the guy out. (FWIW, he was wearing a Dodgers cap, and this was at a Giants game - though the Giants and Dodgers were not playing each other at that particular game).

So there's that. See someone making trouble? Call for an usher/security, and the troublemaker(s) get ejected. Don't have enough ushers/security to handle to crowds? Then that's a problem.
posted by rtha at 9:10 AM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


delmoi: I think you're missing the point. Allowing the women and under 12s was an afterthought. Men were not going to be allowed in, whether hooligan or impeccably mannered, and that is what rtha is saying. There were meant to be no spectators. Thus, the decision to allow women and children had no impact on well-behaved males. Men were not going to be let in anyhow.
Yeah as I said before, that doesn't make it fair, because instead of punishing everyone you're selectively punishing one group of people, the vast majority of whom are not responsible for the problem.

Imagine of a club or bar decided that it wanted to kick out all black people and then say that if they didn't they would close down. Would that be fair because "the decision had no impact on black people, because they wouldn't be able to go to club either way?" Obviously not. The only difference here is that you're using gender instead of race to make the determination.

As I said, doing something like a "ladies night" would be fair, because then you're not punishing one group specifically, but rather dividing things up so that both groups can enjoy the game.
posted by delmoi at 9:15 AM on September 21, 2011


Imagine of a club or bar decided that it wanted to kick out all black people and then say that if they didn't they would close down. Would that be fair because "the decision had no impact on black people, because they wouldn't be able to go to club either way?" Obviously not. The only difference here is that you're using gender instead of race to make the determination.


You realize that being black is not an action that anyone has any control over? You analogy does not work when you start with an entirely different premise. It's inherently unfair and illegal to not allow black people into a bar or club, and we're all aware of that.
posted by oneirodynia at 9:26 AM on September 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


The cheering for discrimination is this thread is disgusting.
posted by MillMan at 9:33 AM on September 21, 2011


Are we sure that some on the original holligans were not women and children under 12? It is a bit sexist to say that only men can be hooligans, I'm sure there are many women who are just as big dunken assholes as men.

The imbalance in hooliganism is really the problem here. Is there any way we can get more women interested in hooliganism? Perhaps we should start by letting little girls know that it is ok for them to drink and fight.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:42 AM on September 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Azaadistani : Men were not going to be allowed in, whether hooligan or impeccably mannered, and that is what rtha is saying. There were meant to be no spectators. Thus, the decision to allow women and children had no impact on well-behaved males. Men were not going to be let in anyhow.

If they had allowed only non-Jews, would you still consider it okay, since the Jews wouldn't have gotten in anyway?
posted by pla at 9:44 AM on September 21, 2011


Imagine of a club or bar decided that it wanted to kick out all black people and then say that if they didn't they would close down.

I think this statement may be the Rosa Parks of comparing the plight of male football fans to the struggle against segregation.
posted by running order squabble fest at 9:45 AM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh the dog-piling and whinging, oh_poor_men_getting_all_pounded_on_again.

No comments on responsibilities? Shared responsibility for violence?

I didn't think so.
posted by Surfurrus at 9:47 AM on September 21, 2011


I didn't think this was true until I clicked the link.....
posted by mitrieD at 9:47 AM on September 21, 2011


And, just to show there's always a trapdoor in Hell:

If they had allowed only non-Jews, would you still consider it okay, since the Jews wouldn't have gotten in anyway?


Man. The... David Ben-Gurion of the Rosa Parks of comparing the plight of male football fans to the victims of anti-Semitism?

Really, I got nothin'.
posted by running order squabble fest at 9:49 AM on September 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


I just typed up a huge, hurried response to some things in this thread. But then I realized, this is the same lazy "men are being put upon so that others may enjoy the privilege of safety and fun. That's not fair!" argument that I see all the time.

Yes. Men are being asked to deal with a bit of inconvenience or discomfort for the benefit of the greater good.

If by inconvenience you mean, stop tacitly allowing dickheads to hurt people without consequences.

However, participating in social events without fear of bodily harm is a right, damn it.

The prevailing social message to women so far has been, "if you're at a ball game, and someone starts smashing beer bottles, try to calm them down. If you can't get them to stop, call an usher. Or actually, ladies, maybe you'd be more comfortable at home." In sociology, we call this blaming the victim.

The message needs to be, "DUDES! Don't break shit or hit people."
posted by bilabial at 10:02 AM on September 21, 2011 [8 favorites]


Are we sure that some on the original holligans were not women and children under 12? It is a bit sexist to say that only men can be hooligans, I'm sure there are many women who are just as big dunken assholes as men.

Well, the evidence we have from this football game is that excluding men resulted in a lack of hooliganism. So, no, women aren't as big of drunken assholes as men (there are always exceptions of course, but as a generalization this one seems to hold up). I wouldn't call it sexist, just a difference of sex.
posted by nasayre at 10:12 AM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Between the "it's not fair" and the "but how are we [non-hooligans] supposed to deal with this?" I don't even.

No, it's not fair. It's not fair that non-hooligans get barred from games because the hooligans are assholes. But it's not like hooliganism is set in stone (they just throw them ha ha). For non-hooligan fans who want to go to games without fear of being beaten up for wearing the wrong jersey, no, you're not required to physically intervene when you see violence in the stands.

But you can vote with your wallet, and you can organize other non-hooligan fans to put pressure on the clubs/stadiums to do something about it. You can refuse to give clubs your money until they hire enough ushers or security personnel; you can pressure them to institute some sort of text-message security report number (maybe this already exists - it does at my ballpark) so non-hooligans can report troublemakers. Maybe teams should just refuse to play if their fans keep being violent.

There are many different solutions to this problem - a common obstacle to all of them is money, of course - but it's better than wringing of hands and going "But it's not fair and anyway we can't fix this!"
posted by rtha at 10:18 AM on September 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


Yeah because I see all those video of women rioting, and other women cheering them on while the men try not to get caught up in it. Wait... I don't see that. I've NEVER seen that. And I watch a lot of World's Blanky-iest blanks on fox. Show me a single hooligan beating by women, or a sports riot by women and I'll believe the culpability is more than 100% on one gender.

That is not the argument I was responding to. To clarify:

If your position is that men who don't stand up to hooligans are guilty of contributing to hooliganism, then also women who don't stand up to hooligans are guilty of contributing to hooligans, unless you believe that men have some sort of noblesse oblige to protect women. I would vociferously reject that.

Controlling a mob isn't as easy as raising your voice and being stern. That sort of behavior is likely to get you hurt or killed - calling men guilty for avoiding positions where they could be harmed is, yes, blaming the victim. Because non-hooligan men are also the victims of hooligan men, just like women and children.

In the scheme of things, allowing this game to take place with a crowd who was unlikely to riot was probably quite enjoyable for a lot of persons, but let's not conflate this easy feeling of good with something morally correct.
posted by TypographicalError at 10:31 AM on September 21, 2011


What do you call a good cop that won't take action against a bad cop? A bad cop. What do you call a fan that won't take action against a hooligan? A hooligan.

Bullshit. The answer to your second question is "perfectly reasonable" or even "admirably responsible." Unruly thugs get worked on by trained riot cops with rubber batons. An ordinary fan should not be expected to subdue a violent hooligan, nor should he be expected to expose himself and his family to retributive violence by pointing out the troublemakers. This dreamworld where any fan is either a courageous lion willing to publicly take on organized violent gangs or a supporter of said gangs is an ignorant joke.

The teams and police know more than just the ringleaders of these groups. They slide on their responsibility to keep criminals out, because they make money and win games when there's a hellish atmosphere in their home ground. The point of instituting an empty stadium sanction or an enforced free women's and children's night is that these things cut into the bottom line, so the teams ostensibly respond by smartening up and working to keep the rowdies out.

Blaming Ordinary Omar for not spontaneously volunteering for the riot squad mid-match, or for not identifying himself in court to a violent gang, or for quietly avoiding the violence of others because he's got his own safety and the safety of his family in mind, smacks of the kind of privilege that never really has to consider what it takes to step between a fist and a face.

I'm all for cutting down on hooliganism with empty grounds and women's/children's nights; long jail terms for incitement; careful screening of fans for known agitators, blackout drunks, and anyone carrying a railroad flare; gerrymandered seating to break up firm sections; video surveillance of the grounds; and heightened security and police presence, especially during fixtures between notorious rivals.

Calling ordinary men hooligans for not risking their lives to do what team owners, police and security staff are unwilling or unable to do is bizarre. It strikes me as coward-shaming and victim-blaming of the lowest order.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 10:42 AM on September 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'm a dude who likes football. If my team's other supporters invaded the pitch I'd expect a closed door match, which would suck, because the lack of atmosphere results in worse games. If my local football federation thought to make the game female-and-children-only I'd be thrilled. The pitch invaders would be punished without it affecting me, a fellow supporter, or the team, which did nothing. The invaders and those who stood by would be kept out of the stadium and the club would be punished financially for its negligence. It seems completely win-win for me.

As to whether this is sexism... oh please, I'm a thirty-year old man in a Western democracy. I'm drowning in privilege. Not being able to go to a single game doesn't hurt me one iota. Yeah, in a society with perfect equality it would be unfair discrimination to ban men from a single game, but such a society doesn't exist, so it isn't unfair discrimination. Most countries levy higher tax on those who earn and own more. Only libertarians whine about this being unfair. To me it seems equally silly to whine about men being barred from one game.

Yeah, it's not gonna solve the problem of hooliganism, but it solves the immediate problem of having a game played in an empty stadium.
posted by Kattullus at 10:55 AM on September 21, 2011 [13 favorites]


There are occasionally gender issues we talk about here on MeFi where I feel like men are getting the short end of the stick, but this is 100% not one of them. One of the big reasons hooliganism has gotten to the point it has is tacit acceptance by other fans. At this point, I think Ice Cream Socialist may be partly correct in saying that it's not exactly safe for other fans to keep the hooliganism from starting up, but those who refused to speak out before it got to be this big a problem certainly bear some responsibility.

I still don't see how that makes it a problem to let women and kids see a football match for free.

BTW, you can drink alcohol at NCAA (US) football games; you just have to be a skybox owner/guest and pour your bottle of beer into a cup so the plebians down below can't tell you're not having an ice cold Coca-Cola. And not take it out of the nice air conditioned room.
posted by wierdo at 12:23 PM on September 21, 2011


Another point to consider is that Turkey has some of the lowest female attendance rates at football matches in all of Europe. So having one night where 45 000 obviously football crazy ladies can attend doesn't seem all bad.
posted by PenDevil at 12:36 PM on September 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


One of the big reasons hooliganism has gotten to the point it has is tacit acceptance by other fans. At this point, I think Ice Cream Socialist may be partly correct in saying that it's not exactly safe for other fans to keep the hooliganism from starting up, but those who refused to speak out before it got to be this big a problem certainly bear some responsibility.

Well said. No one would advise anyone to jump in front of a crazed violent person, but that person was surely showing some 'danger signs' well before he got our of hand.

We've all been there - do we just look the other way and laugh? Not if you are a responsible adult.



... weary of the Peter_Pan_I'm_The_Only_Important_One_Here derailing on mefi ...
posted by Surfurrus at 1:00 PM on September 21, 2011


If your position is that men who don't stand up to hooligans are guilty of contributing to hooliganism, then also women who don't stand up to hooligans are guilty of contributing to hooligans

Judging by the video, women had exactly zero problem controlling hooliganism.
posted by anti social order at 1:25 PM on September 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


This "shared responsibility" doctrine confuses me a little. It seems to imply that people who stay home to watch on TV because of fears of hooliganism also bear some responsibility for not controlling these organized groups of ultras. After all, they're doing even less to combat violence than the guys who are there trying to enjoy the game and keep their kids safe next to them. Home viewers aren't putting themselves at risk in the least. Freeloading hooligans.

I feel like people are overestimating the power of group shame on an intentionally violent mob, or underestimating the level to which the thrill of violence and the fact that they're in a group of their own inoculate most hooligans from feeling that shame. The steps that should have been taken to discourage this sort of thing, should have been taken by federations, teams, and municipal authorities, but federations and teams stood to gain much more from rabid ultra fans, even when they boiled over now and again, than they did from putting those louts in jail and banning them from attendance. So they let it run rampant and now it's a problem, but it was never the responsibility of other fans.

Being near a rioting section of stands is scary, you spend your time looking for the people you're with, helping other people who look like they need help, and making your way as safely as possible for the exit. You think, "Where are the police? Someone's getting killed in there!" and it's really not your responsibility, you aren't a hooligan or a security guard, and when people tell you that you are to blame, you know they aren't speaking from real experience.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 1:54 PM on September 21, 2011


Elif Batuman, who is just so wonderful and funny, wrote about Turkish soccer and masculine identity in the New Yorker earlier this year. Her article isn't easily available online, but here's her on the New Yorker podcast. It is really interesting.
posted by ferdydurke at 2:02 PM on September 21, 2011


The steps that should have been taken to discourage this sort of thing, should have been taken by federations, teams, and municipal authorities,

Agreed. And those who stay home to watch the game on television instead of going can let the clubs know that this is why. I mean, the clubs want eyeballs on the telly as well, so it may mean fuck-all to them. It may well be too late to stop hooliganism now, as things are. Which sucks.

So they let it run rampant and now it's a problem, but it was never the responsibility of other fans.


This, though, I dunno. Like I said above, I've never been to a baseball game where a troublemaker wasn't pointed out pretty immediately and chucked out even faster. This may vary from park to park. But it's really not culturally okay at a ball game to Start Shit - other people will not participate, generally. Other people will call security and get your ass thrown out.

So way back at the dawn of time, when hooliganism was just some lads having a bit of fun, a tone and policy could have been set - by other fans, by team and stadium management - that anything approaching violence or abuse would get you tossed out immediately. This doesn't seem to have happened, and we can't turn back the clock.
posted by rtha at 2:18 PM on September 21, 2011


This "shared responsibility" doctrine confuses me a little. It seems to imply that people who stay home to watch on TV because of fears of hooliganism also bear some responsibility for not controlling these organized groups of ultras. After all, they're doing even less to combat violence than the guys who are there trying to enjoy the game and keep their kids safe next to them. Home viewers aren't putting themselves at risk in the least. Freeloading hooligans.


Hold on - are you saying that this game wasn't televised? Only, it seems like the YouTube footage that it was shown in some form on television - there's a station ident.

Don't get me wrong - you're ahead of the game for not having compared male Turkish football fans to victims of ethnic segregation or antisemitic persecution. But unless you think that it's a punishment to watch a game when the stands are occupied by women, I don't really get why you're upset on behalf of the folks at home.
posted by running order squabble fest at 2:34 PM on September 21, 2011


Don't get me wrong - you're ahead of the game for not having compared male Turkish football fans to victims of ethnic segregation or antisemitic persecution. But unless you think that it's a punishment to watch a game when the stands are occupied by women, I don't really get why you're upset on behalf of the folks at home.

I must not have been clear. I made two comments above. First I responded to the claim that all fans who don't act to control hooliganism are by their inaction hooligans themselves. Aspects of this shared responsibility and a supposition that those responsible could have nipped hooliganism in the bud at some time in history were posited, and I then responded to that, wondering how far the doctrine of shared responsibility extended.

Frankly, I love what they've done. I agree with Katullus and others; this is a great solution to the problem. Players have fans in the stands, which is an important element. Women and children get to cheer their team live, which is usually impossible due to the kind of behavior that merited sanction. The team loses revenue, which in my opinion is the only thing that will get them to take hooliganism seriously enough to muster the will and force to clamp down on it. And the crowd; I mean, watch the video! It's awesome!

Please don't make me into the bad guy by seeking to interpret what I've said as sexist. If I'm wrong in my opinions on hooliganism and shared responsibility, tell me how so. I neither thought nor wrote any of the points you suggest, and I'm shocked and baffled that I came across that way.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 2:59 PM on September 21, 2011


Ah - OK. I think I see the problem. You are baffled because your contention was baffling. So baffling, in fact, that one had to try to divine its purpose from context.

You don't think that the TV audience was being punished, as the male fans who would normally be in the stands are being punished by not being able to attend. However, you think that if there is a sense of collective responsibility, they are also being or should also be held responsible. But not being punished.

So, basically, you're trying for a slippery slope, or possibly a reductio ad absurdum. If fans in the stands who are not acting in an unruly fashion are punished (by not being allowed in to see the game) because they have tacitly condoned the unruly behavior of others in the stands, how are those watching the match on TV also not responsible? To which the obvious answer is that those watching the TV have no power to see possible trouble brewing, or alert a steward. They are at the mercy of the cameraman, who will be largely concerned with the game. By that logic, why not hold people not watching on TV responsible? Their ability to spot and flag potential problems is about as great. Or people not in Turkey? How about Yanomami tribesmen with no understanding of television? What are they doing to fight Turkish football hooliganism? And so on.

So, OK. It's an incoherent rhetorical approach, but not a sexist one. And not, blessedly, as incoherent as the frankly terrifying ultra-is-the-[racial or religious minority of your choice]-of-the-world stuff above. At its heart, I think, is the idea that the clubs need to shoulder both the blame and the financial cost for hooliganism, which doesn't feel like a bad idea. So - perhaps it would sit easier if you were to take the "decent fans" as the regrettable but hopefully willing (because they understand the stakes) collateral damage of sanctions intended to penalise thugs and clubs alike? I don't think it changes the functional model much, and it exonerates the set of people you seem to want to exonerate - fans who are at the stadium but not directly involved in the behavior which leads to the next match being played behind closed doors.
posted by running order squabble fest at 3:28 PM on September 21, 2011


You didn't really read what I wrote, nor did you read what the other people involved in the conversation wrote.

Do you follow soccer? Are you aware of how hooliganism usually plays out, with large groups of thugs going to a game expressly to commit acts of violence? Terms like "ultra" refer to these groups.

You keep trying to make what I wrote be about my perception that non-unruly male fans are being punished by having to watch on TV. Not only did I not write that, but I wrote that I did not think that. It looks like rtha understood what I meant, and raised what I consider an excellent point, that TV fans indeed share a responsibility and should tell the teams why they don't attend games, but that it may well be too little, too late. You, on the other hand, keep telling me what I said and responding to your own words, ramping up the angry rhetoric all on your own.

There isn't much point in my writing this, because you've shown either no willingness to read what I've written, or little capacity to understand it. It seems like you're hot and hell-bent on disagreeing with me, and there was really never anything I could do to prevent that. I hope you start watching soccer, though; it's really a great sport, especially when you see it live in a stadium full of chanting fans.

I bet you'd like it.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 3:46 PM on September 21, 2011


I'm not angry, dude. If you're looking for angry rhetoric, you might want to look at:

Bullshit

or, from the same comment:

It strikes me as coward-shaming and victim-blaming of the lowest order.

(The rhetorical device you use there, by the way, which plays on the language of "slut-shaming" and "victim-blaming" used on MetaFilter in discussions of the sexual harassment and assault of women, is pretty horrible in this context.)

And, of course, where we came in, with:

Freeloading hooligans.

That's rhetoric. It's rhetoric to advance your contention that fans watching on TV are as blameless as the non-violent fans in the crowd, or more precisely vice versa. As I said, it's a reductio ad absurdum. If you blame the decent man in the stands, goes the reductio ad absurdum, why not blame the man watching on TV? I was simply extending the unspoken ad absurdum. Why not blame the man not watching on TV? He is as responsible as these other two groups. Goes your rhetorical line.

However, there are differences between the man watching a match on TV and the man watching in the stadium. And, however heavily invested you are in thinking that I have no idea about what people who actually play it tend to call football, that remains the case. A fan in the stands can observe where trouble is brewing and, if the club is doing its job, can use some mechanism to alert a steward or police presence unobtrusively to that fact. A fan in the stands can also provide information on where trouble began, if they witness it, after the match. And, for that matter, a fan in the stands can decide to stop going, tear up their season ticket and write to the club Chairman to explain why.

Fenerbahce's stadium is all-seater, I believe as any stadium used regular for UEFA Champions League football has to be, so identifying a particular sector of seating as where trouble originated might actually be quite useful. However, I think we agree, if you had read what I wrote, that the club has to take a chunk of the blame for failures to manage crowd trouble. However, if management is in place, there are things that a non-violent fan can do either to help to police the stadium or, indeed to register protest.

With that in mind, I have no idea where you got:

You keep trying to make what I wrote be about my perception that non-unruly male fans are being punished by having to watch on TV.

In fact, I precisely said:

You don't think that the TV audience was being punished

Pretty much the first thing I said, in fact, although I was talking about a slightly different conception of "TV audience". I misunderstood, you corrected. Using your correction, I then understood what you were trying to say. It was an incoherent reductio ad absurdum - but, to be honest, if I'd known you were going to get this upset at having that pointed out I wouldn't have mentioned it.
posted by running order squabble fest at 4:31 PM on September 21, 2011


How did they check that the attendees were actually women?
posted by Metro Gnome at 4:39 PM on September 21, 2011


You realize that being black is not an action that anyone has any control over?

Right... and you realize the same thing thing is true about being a man, right?
posted by delmoi at 4:49 PM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also I haven't heard a single example of what, exactly a non hooligan is supposed to do other then "call an usher".
posted by delmoi at 4:50 PM on September 21, 2011


delmoi : Also I haven't heard a single example of what, exactly a non hooligan is supposed to do other then "call an usher".

Why, physically subdue the offending hooligan, of course! How else do you stop a riot, but with an act of easily-misinterpreted preemptive violence?

And if his friends take that (erroneously, of course) as you getting rowdy on behalf of the "other" team's fans and the riot starts a few minutes early, well, you've at least tried, right?


/ Don't we usually disagree on most topics? Has one of us lost our minds in the past week? I've found myself agreeing with you twice in as many days. :)
posted by pla at 5:09 PM on September 21, 2011


this is wonderful. i'm going to pretend the bleating of about men's rights didn't come up and just go on be delighted. i would welcome a women&children's day in the nfl. they can even make it during october when they turn everything pink. or maybe during the preseason when they have a problem filling the stands anyway.
posted by nadawi at 5:24 PM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm not angry, dude.

Well, you are calling me "dude."

Look, this is ridiculous, and if you weren't at first, by now you're just trying to live up to your handle. I had made a couple of comments in this thread, to the second of which you responded with three points (and we can dispense with the predictable escape hatch of "No, they were just questions," as it's beneath us):

1. I said the game wasn't televised even though the clip is obviously from television.
2. At least I wasn't whining about male persecution.
3. I'm upset on behalf of the folks watching at home.

The second one is true, but by bringing it up you meant to point out that I was wrong, but at least not as wrong as these other guys. The first and third are so far off the mark that I couldn't understand how you got there from what I wrote.

Then it got stupid. You argued with yourself over a bunch of stuff about TV and sexism that I never wrote, and throughout you told me what I said was incoherent. You were wrong, and you've proven it by finally grasping what I wrote, now that you've gone back and actually read it through once.

When I wrote "Bullshit," it was in response to a particularly loaded phrase calling all fans who don't actively combat hooliganism, hooligans themselves. The other phrases you've cherry-picked from that comment in order to show how angry I was and how calm you are, were all deployed in the context of a comment explaining exactly why I think it's low to say that by not fighting violence, men participate in it. Pulling those down into the squabble you've run up and started, as proof that I'm sexist -- no, not sexist, incoherent! -- no, not incoherent, angry! -- no not angry, sexist again! is just so much more weak sauce. It sure reads like you want to pick a bone, any bone, with me. Shuffle the deck, try again. Did I offend you in a previous incarnation?

However, there are differences between the man watching a match on TV and the man watching in the stadium...

...However, if management is in place, there are things that a non-violent fan can do either to help to police the stadium or, indeed to register protest.


Thanks. It took awhile, but you actually got out of my ass and down to something germane. Sure would have been easier if you'd read a little more carefully from the start.

what people who actually play it tend to call football

Cute. I'm American; we call it soccer. Finally:

So baffling, in fact, that one had to try to divine its purpose from context.

Do you really try to read Metafilter comments separate from their context? Cut it out; it makes you seem thick.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 5:34 PM on September 21, 2011


nadawi : this is wonderful. i'm going to pretend the bleating of about men's rights didn't come up and just go on be delighted.

Don't worry, those guys burning crosses won't bother you. Just wave and smile and for the love of Zeus keep driving.


i would welcome a women&children's day in the nfl. they can even make it during october when they turn everything pink.

As would I. This ain't it, however you spin it.
posted by pla at 5:49 PM on September 21, 2011


ISS - I didn't call you a sexist. I didn't call you incoherent. I didn't call you angry. I said your rhetoric was incoherent, angry and - when it aped the language used to discuss the dismissal of acts of sexual harassment and assault - horrible. It remains so. It is not getting any better. You are becoming personally abusive. Please don't do this.

delmoi: Also I haven't heard a single example of what, exactly a non hooligan is supposed to do other then "call an usher".

Well, I said:
A fan in the stands can observe where trouble is brewing and, if the club is doing its job, can use some mechanism to alert a steward or police presence unobtrusively to that fact. A fan in the stands can also provide information on where trouble began, if they witness it, after the match. And, for that matter, a fan in the stands can decide to stop going, tear up their season ticket and write to the club Chairman to explain why.
Which was largely running onto a pass provided by rtha, who said:
But you can vote with your wallet, and you can organize other non-hooligan fans to put pressure on the clubs/stadiums to do something about it. You can refuse to give clubs your money until they hire enough ushers or security personnel; you can pressure them to institute some sort of text-message security report number (maybe this already exists - it does at my ballpark) so non-hooligans can report troublemakers. Maybe teams should just refuse to play if their fans keep being violent.
So, there are some things. Notwithstanding, being a Fenerbahce supporter whose team has been forced to play a match behind closed doors (or in this case host a free women-and-children match) is not equivalent to being a) an Black person in a nation which permits segregation or b) a Jewish person in a nation which permits anti-Jewish discrimination. Nor is failing to stand against this equivalent to permitting the burning of crosses by the Ku Klux Klan. These are gutsy metaphors, to be sure, but they are a bit off.

First up, the closed-door match has a pretty well-established history, and is not used primarily as a means to exclude men as punishment for being men. They are sometimes instituted as a punishment for crowd trouble - often when a game is being replayed because of a pitch invasion - or because a stadium has not passed safety checks at the beginning of the season. On occasion, a match that has been rescheduled will be played behind closed doors, to simplify logistics or if it is a prohibitively long way for away fans to travel.

This isn't a cruel and unusual punishment invented for Fenerbahce. Turkey's national team actually had to play a whole qualifying campaign's "home" matches behind closed doors and in a neutral country because of crowd trouble. The idea there was that the the Turkish Football Association was penalised by the lack of gate receipts, the need to travel before playing and the lack of home support in its qualifying matches.

It isn't stated, but I would imagine that in this case season ticket holders will be entitled to a refund on this game's portion of their ticket. Walk-in fans (if there are any - many big clubs' games are season ticket only) and away fans will not be able to buy tickets, but they also won't be out of pocket for tickets. The idea is that it hits the club in the pocket, not that men in general should be punished for being men.

The women and children thing was clearly an afterthought. They aren't taking up seats that would otherwise be occupied by men. They are taking up seats which would otherwise be empty, in order to provide atmosphere for the players and the TV audience. It may also have been proposed because it's a good way to improve community relations and get children into football. "Kids days" at smaller clubs are actually quite common, where children are let in for free or for a much reduced cost in the hope of forming bonds with the club.

Those women and children may not be back for the next match, but they might start watching the games on TV, buying merchandise, supporting domestic expenditure on premium sports channels... it's probably good business. If I supported another Turkish team, I might actually object that 'Bahce weren't being punished enough.
posted by running order squabble fest at 6:00 PM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I didn't call you a sexist. I didn't call you incoherent. I didn't call you angry. I said your rhetoric was incoherent, angry and - when it aped the language used to discuss the dismissal of acts of sexual harassment and assault - horrible.

I am represented here only by what I write. You chose to launch a few wildly inaccurate attacks at me, putting words in my mouth and scolding me for taking stances I never took. When none of these gambits worked, you took a more reasonable tone, and are now chiding me for my annoyance at your earlier misrepresentation. When you actually write about the matter at hand, I don't see much to argue with, and I wonder why you picked me for a whipping boy.

You'll forgive me if I consider myself trolled.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 6:23 PM on September 21, 2011


I am not chiding you for your annoyance. I am telling you that you have misstated what has happened, and I am asking you not to continue down the road of personal abuse.

If you believe that you are indistinguishable from what you write, and what you write is in turn indistinguishable from the rhetorical devices you employ, then understand that this is not a belief I share. However, you are free to hold it. If you do, I'd suggest keeping a closer eye on your devices, especially reductio and aemulatio.

Since this is no longer even tangentially related to Turkish football, I'd suggest MeMail, if you think there's a civil conversation to be had, or MetaTalk, if you think that this is something that needs to be thrashed out Perry Mason style, with recipes.
posted by running order squabble fest at 6:42 PM on September 21, 2011


This is why we can't have nice things.
posted by sunshinesky at 6:45 PM on September 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


I haven't read all of this thread yet, but I just wanted to say that I think it's a perfectly possible to both love this event for what it is: a great piece of marketing by the TFF and a strong and admirable social statement; and feel sympathy for who I would assume (without having investigated further) are the majority of fans who are punished for the actions of the few. There are contradictions in the world, and that's fine.

Why the hell would you be bitter about the women? Be bitter about the other fans.
Fair point. I should have rephrased to say that I'd be bitter that anyone got to go and I didn't. It just happened to be women in this case. I'd also be bitter about the other fans, and I use the word fans loosely, because those fans are really members of a loosely co-ordinated gang whose tenet seems to be uncompromising hatred of all comers.

Not being able to go to a single game doesn't hurt me one iota.
I'm fine with the empty stadium punishment: It creates a financial interest for the club to control the behaviour, and the club is better equipped to deal with fan violence, etc. than any other group or individual because the club controls access, seating layouts, and security, and, in theory, has the financial means to execute fan control strategies. However, as a fan, not being able to go to a single game does harm me. If you accept that it doesn't, then what about two games? What about four? What about a ban from viewing football? What about a ban on discussing it on messageboards?

For what it's worth, I have spoken up to an unruly group of supporters on a much smaller scale than this - we're talking 20 people throwing bottles, not thousands of rioters - and I don't recommend it to anyone. I was jeered for the rest of the game and then my friend and I were pushed around a bit leaving the ground.

This is why we can't have nice things.
So is this.
posted by doublehappy at 8:30 PM on September 21, 2011


I feel a lot of sympathy for the many women and children who obviously LOVE their sport and LOVE their team but have been unable to attend up till now due to a violent environment of dominance and aggression. What an amazing energy they have in that video. Then I just imagine all of that energy bottled up in houses and kept to themselves. Sad and typical, but usually we don't get to see it so we don't know it isn't there. I'm sure the teams appreciated it. There are so many things the well-behaved can't do because others can't control themselves and no one makes them. I for one can't wait until the meek inherit the earth.

Of course, it is also true that bad behavior is not strictly divided along gender lines. It would be easy if it were all the men and only men but that's just not true. I do think some behavior is strongly gendered due to socialization. Hooliganism is much more likely to be perpetrated by men, just like rape and spousal murder and many other forms of violent aggression, but men are also most likely to be victims of violence (though often their victimization goes unseen because it's expected or "boys will be boys" so there is little sympathy). I think there's an idea that anyone with male privilege should be able to just reach out and take power because they don't have that obvious barrier (so men should have the power to stop other men from behaving badly) but there are cultural and political powers that constrict men the same as they constrict anyone else.

The "ladies and children night" seems like a great idea in this very limited circumstance but it's a bandaid patch.
posted by Danila at 9:02 PM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is great. As a European hands down one of my favorite things about the US is that you can got to a sports event without all the ridiculous tension. You don't even separate your fans in the stands, never mind in the street or the roads in. It's really, really great and people don't even know it.

Having said that I'm pretty sure some of the female Lakers fans know how to riot!
posted by fshgrl at 9:08 PM on September 21, 2011


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