It’s that time of year when the best football writers are acclaimed for their work. The Football Blogging Awards does a fantastic job in highlighting and rewarding those who write, not for money or recognition but because they enjoy writing about the sport they love. As the blogging world has grown so have this year’s awards. Prizes will be handed for 11 categories including, Best New Football Blog, Best Established Football Blog, Best Young Football Blog and Best Female Football Blog. However one award which has been dropped this year is the Best Male Football Blog.
Last year some people believe the Best Female Blog category to be sexist as it implies women aren’t capable of competing for a singular award. Others thought the categories shouldn’t be divided, however the fact that there was a category for both men and women meant that both genders were positively recognised, and neither was rated superior. This year the crucial difference is there’s no longer an equivalent category for men.
There hasn’t been an explanation for this decision to scrap the Best Male Football Blog. I believe that for equality there should be both a male and female award or just an award for best blog, without it being gender specific. At the Oscars there is an award for Best Actor and Best Actress. With a category just for women, and no equivalent for men, it is perhaps patronising and condescending towards female writers. I would be uncomfortable if there was a Best Male Blog but no Best Female Blog as that would suggest women don’t have a place in sports writing which definitely isn’t the case.
I read an article in which it was argued that men get more recognition and “are likely to have a greater following and greater readership, due to a subconscious sexist undertone in football blog readership” but I don’t think there is a correlation between gender and readership as there are so many blogs, both male and female, with varying degrees of followers/hits.
The suggestion of an “underlying sexist tone within our society, which in turn affects readership of blogs” and “readers of websites may be subconsciously sexist” is something I disagree with as the implication is made that because I’m male I think women know less about football and “may not choose to read pieces written by female journalists or bloggers” as is claimed. I can honestly say that neither of these thoughts has even crossed my mind and if some men are obnoxious, ignorant and sexist it doesn’t mean that all men are.
I’d really appreciate the views of everyone, male and female, on the subject and to let me know what you think.
I would like to end by acknowledging the fantastic work the Football Blog Awards does in promoting and rewarding football writers and personally wish the best of luck to all those competing in the awards as I do enjoy reading the high quality articles produced.