New Book: Ben-Porat, Women in the Football Pitch (in Hebrew)

Ben-Porat, Amir. Cosi (non) fan tutte. Women in the Football Pitch. Tel Aviv: Resling, 2015 (in Hebrew).

 

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Women began to play soccer some time after this game was coded and turned into the game par excellence of the working class in England, and thus stirred heated emotions. The men united against them: the English Football Association banned them and its members were ordered not to cooperate with them; the male-controlled press denounced them and determined the game as not suitable for them. But nevertheless, and despite of it all, English women founded football clubs of their own and held games among themselves. Over the years, women’s soccer expanded to other Western countries, and then on to South America, Asia and Africa. One hundred and seventy-seven countries now have women’s soccer, including Israel. Women’s soccer enjoys a “relative autonomy” around the world, granted to it by national and international soccer institutions, led by men. Women achieved this autonomy through a persistent and unremitting struggle that paralleled the feminist struggle that took place on the political front, but also set apart from it. In Israel, Women’s soccer is conducted on the margins: the number of groups is not large, the budget is low, and the audience is scarce. Its status is as a leaf falling in the forest: with no one to see nor hear. And yet, during the season the players take to the field week after week, to show success in spite of it all, to themselves, and to others.

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