Episode 16

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Published on:

6th Jul 2022

Dr Stacey Pope - Building Gender Equality in Football

The surging interest in Euro 2022, the Women’s European Championships taking place in England this summer, provides more evidence that we are in a ‘new age’ when it comes to coverage of women’s football. It highlights that much has been achieved in building gender equality in soccer in the UK and beyond. However, numerous recent issues, from questionable stadium choices to high-profile cases of sexual and domestic violence by male players, demonstrate there is still a long way to go, particularly in getting more men to become allies to women and speak out against sexism and misogyny at all levels in the game. In this episode of Now and Men, we talk to Dr Stacey Pope about her extensive research in this area – on issues from attitudes among male fans, to experiences of women in football – which gives vital insights into what the problems are and how things can be changed. 

Stacey is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences at Durham University. She studies issues of gender, sport and inequality and is a leading figure in research into women sports fans. She has written a book, ‘The Feminization of Sports Fandom: A Sociological Study’, published by Routledge in 2017: https://www.routledge.com/The-Feminization-of-Sports-Fandom-A-Sociological-Study/Pope/p/book/9780367233006

Follow Stacey on Twitter: https://twitter.com/StaceyPope20 or LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/stacey-pope-104a2a57/. Read more about her work: https://www.durham.ac.uk/staff/stacey-pope/.

We discuss the following topics in the episode:

  • Where Euro 2022 fits in the history of women’s football in England
  • What the Women’s Euros tell us about gender equality in the game today
  • Tackling violence against women in football
  • Stacey’s research on attitudes among male fans towards women’s football
  • Progressive shifts in masculinities in football
  • Challenging stereotypes about football fans and working-class masculinities
  • Stacey’s research on the history of female football fandom
  • Experiences of women football fans today
  • Where Stacey’s own interests in football come from
  • How to build gender equality in the game, including examples from other countries
  • How men in football can be allies to women
  • Who will win the Euros!

Further reading:

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About the Podcast

Now and Men
Current conversations about men's lives
What's it like to be a man in the 21st century? How are feminist issues relevant to men and boys? These questions are being discussed more than ever.

Our monthly podcast delves into these issues with experts such as practitioners, activists and academics. In each episode, you’ll hear in-depth conversations about masculinity, gender equality, and the lives of men and boys, with topics ranging from preventing violence against women, to promoting active fatherhood, to supporting men's health.

The podcast is created and hosted by Dr Stephen Burrell, Sandy Ruxton and Professor Nicole Westmarland, who are researchers from the Centre for Research into Violence and Abuse (CRiVA), in the Department of Sociology at Durham University in the UK. If you would like to give us your feedback, suggest a guest, or have a question you'd like us to discuss in a future episode, get in touch with us at nowandmen@gmail.com.

About your hosts

Stephen Burrell

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I am a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow in the Department of Sociology at Durham University in the UK, and a Deputy Director of the Centre for Research into Violence and Abuse (CRiVA). My research is about men and masculinities - especially preventing men's violence against women, and currently, engaging men and boys in caring for the planet. I'm also a trustee for White Ribbon UK and on the steering group for Changing Relations CIC. In my spare time I'm a big fan of drinking tea and being in nature.

Sandy Ruxton

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Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Sociology at Durham University (UK). Independent researcher, expert on men and masculinities. Previous policy work on human rights, children and families, poverty and social exclusion, and asylum and migration. Programme experience with boys and young men in schools, community, and prisons. Steering Committee member, MenEngage Europe. Volunteer for OX4 Food Crew. Chess-player, bike-rider, tree-hugger. Great grandfather edited Boy's Own Paper, but was sacked.