Making small steps

Round & About


Columnist Robbie James says we still have a long way to go – but we can take tentative positives from the recent situation surrounding Luis Rubiales

Aside from filming a new TV Show in Scotland, trying to deal with summer being over, and watching Driving School (which is my new favourite TV show that you need to watch because it’s beyond funny), I’ve spent a lot of time digesting the complete madness of the Luis Rubiales case.

It’s one of the most mind boggling, head spinning, saddest stories I can remember (and think about the last few years of news).

I’m a white, straight, privileged male – I have absolutely no idea what Jenni Hermoso must be experiencing, nor how the rest of the Spanish team must feel, who put so much hard work into achieving something so incredible, only for it to be overshadowed by this mess.

Whilst it’s horrifying and utterly bizarre – the outpouring of support I’ve seen for Hermoso recently must give us some hope that whilst we clearly still have so far to go in terms of addressing the gender imbalance, we are making small steps forward.

Would this story have seen such coverage five or ten years ago? I highly doubt it. These sorts of stories have often divided opinion in the past, but this time it feels like the vast majority of people are in agreement that Rubiales has done a terrible thing. Things seem to be improving to the extent that more men are willing to stand up against those who discriminate or act upon archaic ideologies. And this is the demographic that needs to step up.

It’s not enough to just ‘not agree’ with these things. We need to be so much more proactive than we have been in the past when it comes to championing women.

Similarly with sport. If you like football, great. Watch Women’s football. Shout about Women’s Football – it’s people like us who need to play a part in swinging the pendulum into equilibrium. Plus, women’s football is genuinely brilliant, and these talented people deserve the attention. It’s lazy to just watch men’s football because it’s so accessible and the ‘done thing’.

I’m aware this comes across as very ‘do this now, and now do that’. We’re all a work in progress but if it didn’t preach this here this would be a very hypocritical column. Anyway, back to Driving School (seriously, watch it for an injection of joy).