Thursday, July 21, 2011

Women's Soccer on Top

We are thrilled when we see articles that break down hierarchies - and here's one we saw that matches one of our suggestions in Clueless at the Top.

Roger Bennett's ESPN article "Seven Realizations from the World Cup," states, "It was a tournament that far surpassed the 2010 South African World Cup in quality of competition, inspiring some to suggest that, henceforth, the Women's World Cup should simply be referred to as the "World Cup" and the one with the gents that will be played in Brazil in 2014 should now be called "the Men's World Cup."

In Clueless at the Top, we discuss how role reversals are effective tools for uncovering elusive hierarchies that go undetected behind our assumptions about what are normal and natural behaviors. In role reversals, the higher group takes on the role of the lower, while the lower group plays the part usually played by the higher. We imagine the same scene played over again, however this time with roles switched.

On page 31 of Clueless at the Top, in a role reversal we state, "The World Cup is an international soccer tournament for women. The international soccer tournament for men is called 'The Men's World Cup.'" We explain that it may appear normal to many people in our hierarchies that the World Cup means the Men's tournament (similar to the NCAA Final Four for basketball), and when we talk about women we must say Women's World Cup.

But obviously some people haven't heard that there is a women's team and still think the US Soccer refers to the men, obviously, because they don't call the team the Men's World Cup team.