Well, I Guess Winning The World Cup Doesn’t Count For Shit With Some People

19 Jul

Read this linked article over on ONTD_FB  (posted by coyotesuspect) and it made my blood boil. The Japanese Women’s National Team (who won the World Cup last summer) are flying coach to the Olympics while the men’s team flies business class. Seriously? WTF?! Read on…


We Spleen: Japanese Women Fly Coach to Olympics While Men Get Business Class
by Rebecca Nelson

In Japan, winning a world title earns you a seat at the back of the bus, er, plane.

The Japanese women’s soccer team flew to Europe Sunday on the same flight as the men’s team. While the women crammed into coach seats, the men’s team scored seats in business class. As it stands, this would be an injustice, but here’s the kicker: The women are world champions; the men are, well, not as successful.

The Nadeshiko, as the women’s team is known, won the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup last summer, beating out the U.S. team in a spectacular final. Just months after the country’s devastating earthquake, tsunami and subsequent nuclear crisis, the team’s victory brought hope to its battered compatriots, and the women were welcomed back from the final as heroes.

A year later, that inspiration seems to have been forgotten, at least by the Japanese Football Association, who said the men’s and women’s teams had left Tokyo on the same flight without any mention of the seating inequality. London’s The Guardian reported the women’s team’s reactions:

‘I guess it should have been the other way around,’ Homare Sawa, the team’s star player, told Japanese media. ‘Even just in terms of age, we are senior,’ she joked.

Nadeshiko’s success last year and their continued achievements (they beat Australia, the 10th-ranked team in the world, 3-0 last week in an international friendly) has sparked conversation about their gold medal possibilities. The team is ranked No. 3 in the world, behind the U.S. and Germany. The men’s team is No. 20 and not expected to medal in London.

There’s some hope for more leg room: The JFA says that if the women’s team proves its worth with a medal, the players will fly business class on the return flight to Japan. The last time Nadeshiko flew business class was after their World Cup win, when the JFA thought it acceptable to upgrade their seats. Whether or not the men’s team medals, the men will enjoy seats further up in the cabin.

Ugh. I just can’t even. What on earth do these women have to do to prove themselves ‘worthy’ that they haven’t already done? Homare Sawa won the damn Ballon d’Or. No one’s gonna ask Messi to sit in the back of the plane, so why should she?  If I were the men’s team, I’d be completely embarrassed and offer to switch seats with them.

– Lozil

14 Responses to “Well, I Guess Winning The World Cup Doesn’t Count For Shit With Some People”

  1. Jenny July 19, 2012 at 11:40 pm #





  2. drea July 20, 2012 at 3:05 am #

    This is a disgrace. There is nothing that can justify this kind of blatant sexism.

    • drea July 20, 2012 at 7:32 am #

      I just read that this happened with the Aussie men’s and women’s basketball teams as well. It’s like I woke up in the wrong century.

      • headbandsandheartbreak July 20, 2012 at 10:48 am #

        Ugh. 😦 You know, either fly everyone coach or everyone business class. That’s the way to be fair.

  3. Sveva July 20, 2012 at 3:59 am #

    I’m speechless.
    Things like that not only make me angry, but they hurt, too.

  4. April July 20, 2012 at 10:37 am #

    I try to respect other cultures, but this is really beyond that, as they recognized that an accomplishment at the Olympics could change their location on the plane. Your women win the WC, which is something the men may not ever come close to anytime soon, and they won it in a time where your country needed something uplifting, and this is how you treat them? I just don’t get it.

    • Jenny July 20, 2012 at 4:02 pm #

      I don’t do cultural relativism. Any cultural more that puts me at the back of a bus (or plane!!!!!) can get the fuck off (the bus, the plane 😉

      Appalling. I am still spitting 18 hours later. I just hope this is a cause celebre in Japan. I tried reading Japanese English papers to find out but couldn’t really tell.

      It’s in Ms Magazine here. I mean – I love Ms Magazine!! – but I would expect this story in Ms. I WANT it elsewhere.

      • headbandsandheartbreak July 20, 2012 at 4:10 pm #

        Me too – I’m hoping people will share this post and talk about it. The more people who do, it’ll spread until it can’t be ignored. Share this info, peeps! Talk about it!

  5. jellyace July 20, 2012 at 10:40 am #

    This is so wrong on so many levels. Japanese society is still very male-dominated with women expected to take subservient roles, and even today, among the traditional, women are to walk a few paces behind their men. And judging from this, the Japanese women are still a long way off from achieving equality…heck, they should aim for superiority!

  6. gillian rosheuvel (@mezz98) July 20, 2012 at 2:03 pm #

    So effed up…

  7. canadanata July 20, 2012 at 2:58 pm #

    i guess it is the culture. If u look back they always have women serve men. They just didn’t move forward as much. Some things will not change

  8. Paulo Loreto July 20, 2012 at 7:36 pm #

    Australia did the same thing with their basketball teams..

  9. MesӦ July 22, 2012 at 3:15 pm #



  1. Put The Pressure On The JFA « Of Headbands and Heartbreak… - August 6, 2012

    […] this bullshit where the Japanese women’s team had to fly economy while the men’s team got business […]

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