At the Women's World Cup in France, toxic femininity is on display
Soccer, mostly outside our shores, has been described as the beautiful game. At the Women's World Cup 2019, hosted by France, the U.S. players have also injected plenty of toxic femininity (cue the sexism cudgel...).
Against Thailand, it was the U.S. who were the Land of Smiles as they notched 13 goals against the hapless minnows. In soccer, that kind of mismatch is more beastly than beautiful. Even uglier were the celebrations of the U.S. players, who really rubbed it in. I've witnessed overly competitive parents abusing coaches and referees on behalf of their brats, and this display by the U.S. women makes me wonder what the soccer moms were up to all those years (cue the misogynist epithets...).
To salvage some beauty, the least they can do is remove their shirts after scoring a goal. Brandy Chastain set the precedent by baring her bra after scoring a penalty in the 1999 Women's World Cup final, but after about the 6th or 7th goal, it's best to be discreet, I should think.
Megan Rapinoe celebrates a goal with her jersey on (Fox Sports video screen grab).
This is not an argument against competitiveness. No one can argue that Olympians aren't finely tuned and trained athletes; indeed, perhaps because they are so good, they still have room for compassion over the vanquished.
In men's professional sports, there are rules against gratuitous taunting. And in men's professional soccer, the world over, running up the score would instigate an incident, perhaps inciting a bit of hooliganism. That's bad enough, but exuberantly celebrating each goal into the double-figures might reasonably (in a world free of political correctness) invite questions about the players' mentality.
Clearly defensive, if not contrite, after their classless humiliation of the Thai players, some apologists invoked the specious goal differential imperative. This is a toxic red herring, for the U.S. will advance to the next round of the World Cup with half those goals — easy peasy. Nevertheless, if your next contest is also a boring mismatch, at least entertain us with your over-the-top goal celebrations. U.S. soccer hero Brandy Chastain was a strong, independent woman who showed you the way. Now let's see some...beauty.