Tuesday 28th January marked the 207th year since Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice was published. The novel is one that is beloved by so many bookish people. I’ve never been a huge Jane Austen fan. I’m one of those people whose favourite Austen novel is Northanger Abbey. It’s fun and Catherine is, by far, the Austen heroine I most identify with. She’s a little foolish and lets her mind get the better of her. She’s always felt like a real teenager. Okay, a normal teenager from a completely different era but just because a teenager was living in the 1800s doesn’t mean they’re not going to be stupid. I’ve never really felt that about Lizzie and the others. It’s the same reason I don’t empathise with anyone in John Green novels; they don’t act in a way I feel people of that age would. I get that she’s got a brilliant mind, she’s independent and strong-willed. She’s a powerful female character but she’s almost too good to be true. And yes, I know she has flaws, it’s kind of the point of the story. But even her flaws are somewhat perfect. She’s pretty but not too pretty. She’s polite enough and rude enough to be accepted by nearly everyone she meets. She isn’t really too much of anything. How can you live up that?
Today, I spent some time researching how women’s football has changed people’s opinions of the sport. I ended up having to wade through a bunch of comments by middle-aged men explaining to everyone what it’s like to be a teenage girl. Cause, let’s be honest, they’re the experts. According to these coaches, girls lose interest in sport when they become teenagers because it’s no longer cool. That girls only play football for the “social aspect” and when it gets to the point that it becomes a real sport they give up. I was so fucking mad. These obvious scientists have discovered something in our biology which means we just care about being cool and gossiping. I mean, we should all feel sorry for these guys trying to coach such vapid monsters who could never appreciate them fully. What the fuck? Maybe these men should start thinking about how they can transfer their passion for football onto the girls in their teams? Maybe if they could find a way to connect these girls to football in a stronger way then they could actually be coaching the players of the future? Instead of moaning about how women’s football shouldn’t be compared to men’s football, maybe they should just coach whoever wants to play football and make sure they do it in such a way that they want to carry on? Maybe all of the girls who stop playing are doing so because you’re so shit at coaching girls it puts them off. 2002 was a long time ago but, let’s be honest, Bend It Like Beckham could easily be talking about the present day.