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N.F.L Wives March 14, 2007

Posted by sindhub in football, Football Wives, Footballers' Wives, in the news, NFL, NFL wives, soccer, tv.

In light of the post about how female characters in many of the movies we’ve seen (e.g. Tess and Katherine in Working Girl) and female celebrities (e.g. Jennifer Hudson and Beyonce) are always pitted against each other, and how there’s this sort of perverse obsession with ‘catfights’ that’s related somehow, I thought this article from the New York Times was interesting: Wives United by Husbands’ Post-N.F.L. Trauma

The article talks about how a lot of former NFL players, including some Hall of Famers, end up with dementia as a result of the head trauma from playing pro football.  The main focus is on how the wives of these men have created an informal network to help each other deal with these tough times, which can include financial instability, and so many of the women have to go back to work.  I just thought it was interesting that the New York Times would go for this female spin on the issue, which, while it could be empowering because of the whole sense of sisterhood and necessity for women to work, it’s also another portrayal in the media of women’s lives revolving around men.  Especially in this case, with the men being big, strong men.

I’m not saying that the women shouldn’t support their husbands; I’m just saying that it’s interesting that the NY Times went for this spin on the issue, especially with this last paragraph:

“Sylvia Mackey and Eleanor Perfetto looked on, hoping to see some glint of recognition in their husbands’ eyes. But the only sign of recognition in the room was between the two women when they turned to look at each other and smiled sadly, their connection only growing as their husbands’ disappeared.”

Tangentially, there was a UK series called “Footballers’ Wives” about footballers/soccer players and their wives, but which I think primarily revolved around the women and not their sisterhood, but their competition and drama.  Again, though, the women are defined in terms of their relationships to the ‘important’ men.  ABC, though, ordered a pilot for an American version if it called “Football Wives,” that has already signed on Lucy Lawless, Gabrielle Union, and Kiele Sanchez, as well as Ving Rhames and James van der Beek.  It’s an interesting change in the title (and it follows an actual NFL team, not a soccer team), and seems like it’s going for ‘diversity’ as well.



1. kelly - March 14, 2007

This reminded me of stories that came out after 9/11 that talked about the “wives who were left behind.” These articles made it seem as though only men worked in the twin towers and only men could be the breadwinners of a family. Even taking into account the loss of many firefighters, who are predominantly male (and heterosexual?), many working women were lost in the tragedy, and I’m sure their families relied on their income. Unfortunately, I suppose the media assumed that the face and plea of a widower would not invoke as much sympathy as that of a wife or mother without a husband. Only in a woman would such desperation and neediness be believable. Without men in their lives, these women are “left to fend for themselves.” blah blah!

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