Rampant Lionesses

Hey Readers

This poem is on the topic of Scottish football success story but apart from a brief mention in the press and media the following day it has passed relatively quickly from the public realm. I consider this lack of coverage to be nothing short of a national scandal, and a glaring example of the everyday sexism women have to face as part of our reality.

You see I believe that had Scotland’s male footballers qualified for a major football tournament for the first time in their history or even broke their long run of not qualifying for the final stages of any  tournament  it would never be out of the news but the fact it’s our women who have created their own bit of history means at least in the eyes of the great and the good that it can be largely uncovered or even ignored with only a passing mention. 

As  a trans woman and a feminist not to mention a former equality trainer  this has really annoyed and  disappointed me but if truth be told it hasn’t surprised me. It has however motivated me to record my own tribute to the women who will carry the hopes and dreams of the nation in next year’s European Championships in the Netherlands. I’ve given it the title Rampant Lionesses. I hope you enjoy the read. 

Rampant Lionesses

A sporting success
which went largely uncovered by the press
Scottish football is heading back to the top
but here’s the shock
it’s not the men who cracked the tartan ceiling
our women take some beating
and now they’ve made history by becoming the first Scottish team
to live the dream at a major football tournament
for almost two decades
next summer we’ll see them
play in Amsterdam
against the best that Europe can offer
so what if our lionesses wear dresses
paint their nails and have half a million handbags
it’s what girls do
being female does not mean
we can’t wear the blue of our country
with as much pride as any man
of course we can and this team will
they are fantastic role models
for all girls
setting examples of what can be done
as the song says girls just wanna have fun 
but we also want equality
from the football pitch to the boardroom
when women have successes
too many ignore them
or undermine their achievements
If you believe you can do something then you will
too many of the old boy’s network
dismiss us and say she’s just a girl
I wonder if they say that to their daughters
when they want to study science, maths, or any other subject
which is usually reserved for the boys
life is not about limits
it’s about choices
and some women made the choice
to play the beautiful game
like a young girl I know
a midfield dynamo 
who told me of the prejudice she receives
because of her passion for the game
society is to blame for these ingrained attitudes
they’ve been passed down by the patriarchy
not just for years but generations
now this proud nation
has the chance to shine
on the international stage
our rampant lionesses deserve to be recognised
for their qualification
and the inspiration they will give to girls
in the gift of a can do culture

@ Gayle Smith 2016.

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