UKH

Lions vs Lionesses

New Topic
Please Register as a New User in order to reply to this topic.
 ThunderCat 01 Aug 2022

Being a bit of a word nerd I've always been interested in the demise of using '-ess" at the end of a word to denote 'female version of'.  Like a good chunk of you I came from a generation where we used words like "manageress", "actress", "waitress", "comedienne" and  over times these seem to have fallen into various stages of retirement ('manageress' is never used these days, 'actress' is sometimes used etc)

I was surprised to see the term 'Lioness' being used without comment in the women's footy.  

Just for the record this isn't some gammon 'PC Gawn Maaaad' comment.  It's purely a linguistic thing.  I'm interested in why on some things we see the suffix as a bit outdated and unnecessary, but on other things, it's preferred? 

Despite not liking football at all, I actually sat through the entire game yesterday with my grand daughter and we watched it and talked about it together.  Amazing to be able to show her positive powerful role models at the top of their game doing something brilliant and to hold her attention for the majority of it (she's 5).
 

I even managed to blag it when she was asking me some of the rules.

Post edited at 14:33
 john arran 01 Aug 2022
In reply to ThunderCat:

I think a crucial difference between the appropriateness of 'lioness' and that of the others you mentioned is the fact that the sex of the people themselves is key to them performing that role. A table-serving job can be done equally by male or female staff. Likewise managing and being funny. Acting less so.

But being female is essential to the role of England Women's Football Team player, so the 'ess' suffix is a lot more relevant.

Post edited at 14:38
2
OP ThunderCat 01 Aug 2022
In reply to john arran:

Yeah, I could see that being a valid argument

In reply to ThunderCat:

Emma Barnett asked ex-England player Anita Asante where they where Lionesses rather than Lions on Women's Hour. Google it and you will find conserable outrage from the Express and Mail.

 Trangia 01 Aug 2022
In reply to john arran:

Also most animal species have different names for the sexes. EG Dog/Bitch, Cock or cockeral/Hen, Tom/Queen, Stallion/Mare etc. "...ess" being applied where there is no separate title.

 bpmclimb 01 Aug 2022
In reply to ThunderCat:

Yes, but it's a really useful single word to distinguish it from the men's team - and after all, a lioness is quite an impressive animal!

1
In reply to ThunderCat:

It is an interesting subject. Caroline Criado Perez's book Invisible Women looks at this topic a bit. The premise of the book being if you record the sex/gender of each person when gathering data then you can identify and solve problems that are specific to women.

Anyway the bit from the book slightly summarised:

The World Economic Forum analysed data which showed that countries are less sexist if the language is capable of being genderless for recruiting purposes. Advertising for a doctor in English is genderless, but it would be default masculine in French, le medicine. 

However, completely genderless languages like Hungarian and Finnish, are apparently more sexist. This is because it doesn't allow gender/sex to be identified in a sentence, for instance "female doctor". Hence problems/ achievements related specifically to women or men can't as easily be communicated.

So for me lionesses is appropriate for now simply because it rolls off the tongue better than female lions, or male lions. Like Anita Asante said, "it's a great branding tool". It easily allows us to ask why the lionesses aren't paid near what the lions are, despite strong viewing figures and winning a major cup.

It would be interesting to see the media report on the "male lions" losing in a qualifier though

1
 The Lemming 01 Aug 2022
In reply to ThunderCat:

I also enjoy listening to informed and well articulated comments from the Lionesses compared to the occasional sporting metaphor which does not really explain anything but the perceived IQ of the male player.

The Lions have not won a trophy since 1966 and today can earn in a few days what the Lionesses earn in a year and they brought Football Home.

Better role models for advertising revenue if you ask me.

The fans need to up their game though. Not a sniff of violence or aggression from the stands.

Post edited at 18:57
2
 pec 01 Aug 2022
In reply to john arran:

> But being female is essential to the role of England Women's Football Team player, so the 'ess' suffix is a lot more relevant.

It wouldn't be if some people had their way

10
 Trangia 01 Aug 2022
In reply to bpmclimb:

>  - and after all, a lioness is quite an impressive animal!

Yes, and they do most of the hunting. The lion is more pre-occupied with sleeping or fighting with rivals

 Sean_J 02 Aug 2022
In reply to Trangia:

..and fathering children with multiple partners...

 Sean Kelly 02 Aug 2022
In reply to The Lemming:

> The Lions have not won a trophy since 1966 and today can earn in a few days what the Lionesses earn in a year and they brought Football Home.

I always thought that 'Lions' referred to the men's Rugby Team, whereas the soccer team is specifically 'The Three Lions'!

Quite a few journalists have not been aware of this subtle distinction between the teams.

Post edited at 08:54
 Harry Jarvis 02 Aug 2022
In reply to Sean Kelly:

> I always thought that 'Lions' referred to the men's Rugby Team, whereas the soccer team is specifically 'The Three Lions'!

In the context of rugby, the Lions is the occasional invitational touring team assembled from players from the Home Unions - England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. It is most definitely not the sole preserve of the English rugby team, of either gender

In reply to The Lemming:

Seems to be a lot less feigning injury and arguing with ref too compared with the male equivalents. Talking about this with a friend and she said "It'll come." Maybe she's right with increasing financial stakes and media hype. Hope not.

2
 fred99 02 Aug 2022
In reply to bpmclimb:

> Yes, but it's a really useful single word to distinguish it from the men's team - and after all, a lioness is quite an impressive animal!

And the one that really does all the hard work of hunting.

1
 The Lemming 02 Aug 2022
In reply to oldie:

> Seems to be a lot less feigning injury and arguing with ref too compared with the male equivalents. Talking about this with a friend and she said "It'll come." Maybe she's right with increasing financial stakes and media hype. Hope not.

Maybe so, but I don't see many Rugby players, male or female, try to win Oscars for acting or abusing the ref.

In football, pay the referee comparable wages to millionaire players so that the footballers no longer have contempt for a pitch invader spoiling their multi million pound business that is paid the equivalence of beer money for the week.

Give the referee teeth to reprimand players on the pitch so that the viewer can actually respect and all that goes with that position of responsibility that a referee is supposed to stand for.

Otherwise young watchful eyes will follow in the footsteps of their idols and think that respect is only for privilege and power rather than anything else.

1
In reply to The Lemming:

> Maybe so, but I don't see many Rugby players, male or female, try to win Oscars for acting or abusing the ref.

They have been known to call in the props department though.

 The Lemming 02 Aug 2022
In reply to The New NickB:

> They have been known to call in the props department though.

On an industrial scale like Football.plc?

1
 tlouth7 02 Aug 2022
In reply to ThunderCat:

Lionesses works because that is already a word, and one that is in pretty wide circulation. If it had been invented specially then that would be rather odd: the Springbok Women are not called the Sprinkbokas or similar because there is no separate word for a female Springbok. It also seems to me there is a distinction between a specific group or team owning a gendered name, and a term that is used by third parties to refer to people. So a comedy group called The Comediennes would not raise eyebrows, but introducing someone as a comedienne would be inappropriate unless they regularly used that term to refer to themself.

There are plenty of women's sports team names that are related but distinct to associated men's teams. I particularly enjoy Osiris and Blondie which match Isis and Goldie for the reserve boat race crews.

1
In reply to oldie:

I was pretty impressed by Jill Scott’s swearing!

 RobAJones 02 Aug 2022
In reply to The Lemming:

> In football, pay the referee comparable wages to millionaire players so that the footballers no longer have contempt for a pitch invader spoiling their multi million pound business that is paid the equivalence of beer money for the week.

Not sure this would have much of an effect. The difference in the attitude towards the referee starts a a young age, often influenced by parents. I think football has improved recently but slowly and it will take time for it to have an impact on adult attitudes. I know a number of Rugby players/ ex-Rugby players who had contempt for certain referees, but it was in their interest to hide that during a match. 

> Give the referee teeth to reprimand players on the pitch so that the viewer can actually respect and all that goes with that position of responsibility that a referee is supposed to stand for.

Football could learn a lot from Rugby here, simply moving a free kick 10 yards nearer the goal for disputing a decision, and becoming a penalty if necessary, would have an immediate effect at all levels. 

 The Lemming 02 Aug 2022
In reply to RobAJones:

> Football could learn a lot from Rugby here, simply moving a free kick 10 yards nearer the goal for disputing a decision, and becoming a penalty if necessary, would have an immediate effect at all levels. 

I want that one!

 Mike Stretford 02 Aug 2022
In reply to The Lemming:

> Give the referee teeth to reprimand players on the pitch so that the viewer can actually respect and all that goes with that position of responsibility that a referee is supposed to stand for.

They do, the worst days of diving were years ago.... here's a compilation of red cards for diving from 2018 and if anything it's improved since then.

youtube.com/watch?v=EWq20Cy4ONg&

Generally, it's a fine line between giving the attacking players the benefit of the doubt, and calling out real simulation at speed. VAR has helped.

To OP... Lionesses seems to be working.... the men seem to have got the default 'Ingerlund'.

In reply to The Lemming:

> I also enjoy listening to informed and well articulated comments from the Lionesses compared to the occasional sporting metaphor which does not really explain anything but the perceived IQ of the male player.

Really?  I found no difference whatsoever.  

In reply to ThunderCat:

Google Lion v Lioness. There are some awesome fights on youtube. By no means one sided.

In reply to football rule change theorists who rarely watch football matches but worry about the respect given to referees:

A referee can caution (yellow card) a player for "dissent by word or action".

And they can send them off for "using offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures".

The things that occasional watchers get hung up like diving/rolling-around-feigning-injury have waxed and waned over the years. They do tweak the rules and their interpretation. 

In reply to RobAJones:

> Football could learn a lot from Rugby here, simply moving a free kick 10 yards nearer the goal for disputing a decision, and becoming a penalty if necessary, would have an immediate effect at all levels. 

I'm sure that was trialled in the Premiership and Football League back in the early/mid 00s without great success and was scrapped after a few seasons (didn't become a penalty though, stopped at the edge of the box if you couldn't move it forward the full 10 yards). A lot of teams didn't like it when it was in and around the box as moving it forwards meant there was less distance to get the ball up and back down again.

Some grass roots football have introduced the use of a sin bin if a player is cautioned for dissent (10 minutes if playing a 90 min game), which the immediate handicap their team face is a good deterrent. A word with the captains before kick off to lay down the laws and the good captains will then step in and police their team mates.

 RobAJones 03 Aug 2022
In reply to grumpyoldjanner:

> I'm sure that was trialled in the Premiership and Football League back in the early/mid 00 thout great success and was scrapped after a few seasons

Yep, I thought  most English referees thought it had an impact, but there was no interest in it being adopted internationally, so we fell back in step. 

>(didn't become a penalty though, stopped at the edge of the box if you couldn't move it forward the full 10 yards). A lot of teams didn't like it when it was in and around the box as moving it forwards meant there was less distance to get the ball up and back down again. 

Not sure about a lot of teams, I seem to remember Sunderland doing against Man U when Beckham was playing. Simply giving the attacking team the option of where to take it would have been a simple solution. I'd also add awarding a goal for the cynical delaying of a penalty. As a City fan the yellow Cancelo (I think) received in the Community Shield would have been deemed to have been worth it had Salah missed. 

Post edited at 12:45
 StuPoo2 03 Aug 2022
In reply to The Lemming:

> The Lions have not won a trophy since 1966 and today can earn in a few days what the Lionesses earn in a year and they brought Football Home.

You are keen to make a point about equal pay for equal work I assume - right?  I think we all agree that equal work should be rewarded with equal pay.

For reference: The English national mens and womens football teams both receive the same base salary.  [1]

Question Mr Lemming - where, primarily, does the money a football team (Male or Female) in the English premiership come from to pay their players?

ANS:  Generally speaking the football clubs get their money from 3x places:

  1. Ticket sales on the gate.
  2. Broadcast rights.
  3. Commercial deals inc. sponsorship.

Much of this boils down simply to how many people are willing to watch men play football vs women play football.  You only pay massive sponsorship deals to a team if your brand is going to be seen all over famous football players shirts in front of millions of viewers.  [2]  ~17M tuned in to watch the Woman's Euro final, ~100M might tune in for the super bowl ... but ~700M globally tune in to watch a mid season Liverpool vs Man U game.  And that 700M number happens wknd after wknd after wknd year-after-year all season long and inc the cups.  The point being ... hugely more people are watching mens english premier league football than watching womens english premier league football and that is sucking in vast amounts of money in the form of broadcast rights, ticket sales, sponsorship etc etc 

The pay gap has little if not nothing to do with equal pay for equal work ... undeniably true that  both genders run about for 90 mins chasing a ball and I am quite sure both put in equal effort in doing so.   Base salary for that 90mins of work is equal for both genders.  But base salary, for English Premier League players, makes up a very very small slice of their take home pay.

This has has everything to do with understanding why so many more people globally are so willing to regularly pay to watch men play football vs women.  Address that problem and we'll address the take home gap.

Conveniently, statista has a chart [3] "Share of adults that watch men's English Premier League football matches in Great Britain in 2020, by frequency and gender".  38% of men and 61% of women never watch English Premier league matches - ever.  Of those that remain I imagine, but do not have the numbers to back this up, only a hard core small group are regularly attending football games (and buying tickets at the gate) and/or subscribing to the likes of Sky Sports etc.

Either we convince men to pay to watch womens football ... or we convince women much more widely to start paying to watch any football inc womens football.  Recruiting people of either gender to pay to watch womens football is the key to unlocking this pay gap.

I do not believe that this is an equal pay for equal work conversation.  They both already get a matched base salary for the 90 mins of football they play each game.

FYI - exactly the same situation exists in other sports.  Prize money is exactly the same for men vs women at Wimbledon .. but the take home pay for many top male tennis players is significantly higher than their female counter parts.  

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/football/2020/sep/03/england-womens-and-mens-teams-receive-same-pay-fa-reveals

[2]  https://www.football-stadiums.co.uk/articles/how-do-football-clubs-make-money/

[3] https://www.statista.com/statistics/1093874/share-of-british-adults-that-watch-men-s-premier-league-football-by-frequency-and-gender/

In reply to ThunderCat:

I find this debate curious since as far as I know no-one calls the men’s soccer team the Lions.

But anyway, of course the women should be the Lionesses. Actual lionesses run about, hunt and kill things. Actual male lions lie about sleeping and having the occasional fight with other lions over mating rights. If you’ve followed the career of, for instance, Harry Maguire, it’s pretty obvious which team should be which.

jcm

PS - a hat tip to the artistic way spellcheck betrayed the fellow above who thinks le medicine is the French word for a doctor.

Post edited at 15:03
1
In reply to StuPoo2:

I’m not sure I follow what you’re saying about base salary. A footballer’s base salary, in practical terms, is what he or she gets from his club. The honorarium the FA pays internationals is neither here nor there.

jcm

 Mike Stretford 03 Aug 2022
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> I find this debate curious since as far as I know no-one calls the men’s soccer team the Lions.

Sometimes referred to as 3 Lions, but it's mostly just 'England'. That's why 'Lionesses' has stuck IMO.... 'England womens' compared to 'England' really does imply they are 2nd fiddle.

1
In reply to StuPoo2:

It'll be interesting to see how viewing figures change next season - I didn't watch any of the Euros, bar a couple of minutes of the final, but if there's lots of goals and the standard of the women's game in general is comparable to the final then I'd expect viewing figures for the womens' game to ramp up significantly.

In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> I’m not sure I follow what you’re saying about base salary. A footballer’s base salary, in practical terms, is what he or she gets from his club. The honorarium the FA pays internationals is neither here nor there.

> jcm

It isn’t here nor there is you are paid the salary of a professional female footballer. Average earnings in the WSL are £47k, so £2k a game for England games is a nice bonus, especially if you are playing a dozen a year.

In reply to The New NickB:

I'm sure, but in terms of closing the pay gap it's neither here nor there.

jcm

1
In reply to StuPoo2:

You're right in that the primary driving factor for pay disparity is viewing figures and ticket sales, and that men and women should be persuaded to watch women's football more. It's those persuasion methods that need addressing, which much has been written about. Increasing access for young girls increases quality of the game, increasing marketing and broadcasting of the games, and positive discrimination in pay would increase the talent pool and quality further.

I also agree that regular, obsessive watching of football is very time consuming, and I wonder if people would ever follow every game of both sexes, or stop following men's and start following women's to free up time. The answer will be seen, but as a casual football follower myself I can only say that I'd never seen a women's football game before this year, and now I'd like to watch the big games for City's women's team as I do the men's (I'm in a lucky position that some of City's games will be broadcast)

1
In reply to OliverRoss:

I suspect it will be largely a new audience. A friend of mine mentioned that she had just bought tickets for the whole family for the WSL Manchester Derby. I'm not aware that she has ever been to a football match before, her two daughters (10 and 6) certainly haven't. £30 for two adults and two children.

 Philip 03 Aug 2022
In reply to ThunderCat:

Another exclusively male thread discussing the appropriate word for a group of women. UKC doesn't get any funnier than this.

7
 ExiledScot 04 Aug 2022
In reply to Philip:

Or the obsession with over paid football... women have been bringing home the medals in athletics for decades... Eilish McColgan just brought home a medal 25+ years after her mother Liz did the same at 10k.

In reply to ExiledScot:

>Eilish McColgan just brought home a medal 

The footage of her last lap was some of the most thrilling I have ever seen in athletics.

In reply to Philip:

> Another exclusively male thread discussing the appropriate word for a group of women. UKC doesn't get any funnier than this.

Oh yes it does. 

 ExiledScot 04 Aug 2022
In reply to mbh:

> The footage of her last lap was some of the most thrilling I have ever seen in athletics.

That last 50m she kept pulling away, you could almost think she could have gone even quicker (I'm not doubting how hard she was already trying). 

OP ThunderCat 04 Aug 2022
In reply to Philip:

> Another exclusively male thread discussing the appropriate word for a group of women. UKC doesn't get any funnier than this.

I'm sorry if the impression was me casting judgement on the naming, it certainly wasn't the intention.  It was more just a nerdy interest in the use of words, and how they evolve, and how / why the "ess / ienne" suffix is still used in some places, but has fallen out of fashion in others.

A lot of the explanations given seem to make sense to me.

Is the thread 'exclusively male' though?  I genuinely hadn't checked (and I'm not sure how to)...I've made assumptions in the past on whether posters are male / female based on their usernames and then been surprised to find out I was wrong.  

Interesting discussion though

In reply to ExiledScot:

Liz won the 10,000m (10k is the road event) at the Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh in 1986 and Auckland in 1990. Fun sexism in sport fact, she fell pregnant with Eilish a few weeks after she won gold in Aukland, upon telling her sponsor Nike, they immediately dropped her. She famously won the World 10,000m title in Tokyo in August 1991, just 9 months after Eilish was born.

 ExiledScot 04 Aug 2022
In reply to The New NickB:

It's just plain disappointing at times. Today's r2 news, footballers petition and x number of years since super Saturday in London, zero mention of Eilish's efforts, or the McColgan family taking turns holding the record. 

 Sean Kelly 04 Aug 2022
In reply to mbh:

Totally agree with you there. She really had to did deep as the Kenyan tried to drop her, but the tremendous crowd support I'm sure got her the Gold medal. A real gutsy run, and the reunion with her mum afterwards was very emotional for both. Great television.

In reply to ExiledScot:

The Commonwealth Games is great as the "friendly games" but, having a really very restricted entry, I'm not convinced that winning a gold medal is often right up there as being particularly newsworthy in purely sporting terms.

But the mother/daughter aspect here certainly makes it a good human interest story.

6
In reply to Robert Durran:

Not every event at the Commonwealth Games has a world class field, however I wouldn’t class the entry as very restricted as the commonwealth covers a third of the world’s population. 4 or 5 times the population of Europe. Including arguably the strongest distance running nation in the world.

 ExiledScot 04 Aug 2022
In reply to The New NickB:

> Not every event at the Commonwealth Games has a world class field....

I agree. Englands women's team were only playing European teams, admittedly most of the best players are European. But then so are many of the world's best long distance runners in the commonwealth. It is what it is and both won in style. Eilish would have comfortably taken silver, but her individual fight got her gold. 

Post edited at 17:32
In reply to The New NickB:

> Not every event at the Commonwealth Games has a world class field, however I wouldn’t class the entry as very restricted as the commonwealth covers a third of the world’s population.

But most of that is the Indian subcontinent which only really features in a handful of sports.

> 4 or 5 times the population of Europe. Including arguably the strongest distance running nation in the world.

Fair enough on the distance running, but, in most sports, coming out in top in Europe is probably a much bigger deal.

Post edited at 18:59
1
 RobAJones 04 Aug 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Fair enough on the distance running, but, in most sports, coming out in top in Europe is probably a much bigger deal.

Are you sure? On the men's side of Athletics aren't all the commonwealth records faster than European ones. Australian swimmers. Quite a few of the other sports netball and  rugby come to mind are pretty much only played in Commonwealth countries 

In reply to RobAJones:

> Are you sure? On the men's side of Athletics aren't all the commonwealth records faster than European ones. Australian swimmers. Quite a few of the other sports netball and  rugby come to mind are pretty much only played in Commonwealth countries 

Fair enough. I think one would need to look at Olympic medals for Commonwealth versus Europe (excluding GB).

 RobAJones 04 Aug 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Fair enough. I think one would need to look at Olympic medals for Commonwealth versus Europe (excluding GB).

I agree, for events that are common to both it would be a good measure. 

I think your assumption might well have been correct in the 1980's when there was effective state sponsored doping. 

In reply to RobAJones:

> I agree, for events that are common to both it would be a good measure. 

Yes, I think there are some Commonwealth events which are only in there because we invented them and spread them through the jolly old empire.

Anyway, the Commonwealth games certainly ain't the Olympics. Somebody mentioned Super Saturday - that will be remembered in this country long after the Commonwealth games fizzles out (though I hope it doesn't).

 RobAJones 04 Aug 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Yes, I think there are some Commonwealth events which are only in there because we invented them and spread them through the jolly old empire.

True, but for some reason that bothers me less than the overt commercialisation of the Olympics to include the likes of basketball, golf and tennis. I find the equestrian and rowing side of the Olympics a bit elitist and I am probably a bit old to appreciate the  breakdancing and artistic swimming in Paris. 

In reply to RobAJones:

Yes, but in the end the Olympics always transcends the commercialism and throws up sporting moments which will be remembered and mythologised until the end of time.

I agree about the mickey mouse sports, but what's not to like about squads of scowling, paramilitary mermaids?

In reply to Robert Durran:

I don't think the Commonwealth Games is in danger of fizzling out. Birmingham has some one and a half million tickets and there has been some fantastic sport. I very much enjoy the track action at Eugene for the World Championships, but it really could have done with the Birmingham crowds.

I went to the Athletics on a couple of nights at the 2002 Commonwealth Games, I saw Paula Radcliffe run what was at the time the second fastest 5,000m ever run, I saw the great Cathy Freeman; I also saw my Dad's cousin's husband win a bronze medal for Scotland in what perhaps wasn't a world class field in the Decathlon.

In reply to The New NickB:

>  I very much enjoy the track action at Eugene for the World Championships, but it really could have done with the Birmingham crowds.

Yes, Eugene did seem very lacking in atmosphere. Is that now typical of the word chamionships or just a venue without enough enthusiasm?

> I went to the Athletics on a couple of nights at the 2002 Commonwealth Games, I saw Paula Radcliffe run what was at the time the second fastest 5,000m ever run.

I remember the excitement about the games in 1970 in Edinburgh when I was six. It was great when the marathon went past our front door with, as it turned out, a future work colleague and climbing partner amongst the front runners.

 Sean Kelly 05 Aug 2022
In reply to The New NickB:

Some of the sprinters are quite speedy too. A certain Usain Bolt  from Jamaica comes to mind!

Post edited at 09:44
In reply to Robert Durran:

Hayward Field is an icon athletics venue, but Eugene is a small university town rather than a big city and it didn’t really have the infrastructure to support a global even if this type, not enough hotel rooms basically.

London in 2017 was a sell out, I suspect any major U.K. city could sell out an event of this type, probably a number of European cities as well. The problem these days, especially given the global economic situation, is finding host cities. Birmingham volunteered after Durban pulled out.


New Topic
Please Register as a New User in order to reply to this topic.
Loading Notifications...