I posted this on Facebook yesterday:
See what I did there? I deliberately put “(Men’s) World Cup” because otherwise it implies that the Women’s World Cup is some kind of second-class citizen. There’s the Women’s World Cup and the real World Cup.
Of course, that’s exactly how it is. The Women’s World Cup is not the equal of the World Cup; if it were, the latter would be named the Men’s World Cup. The same is true of a number of other sporting events, but soccer (football?) is one in particular where both men and women have a strong player base, association, etc. Still, we shouldn’t have “X” and “Women’s X”. This is the 21st century, guys.
(The Olympics gets this right, and I am happy about that.)
I predict that the gender separation here will last a while longer (at least a decade and probably multiple decades) but that one of two things will eventually happen: either we’ll see the gradual integration of women into men’s leagues (think racial integration in American baseball only sixty-seventy years ago, only probably with more lawsuits), or this name change, putting the two events on equal ground with regards to nomenclature.
Given all the problems with sexism in the world, this one is not a huge issue, but it does bother me.
Addendum: Having a Women’s World Cup is certainly a strict improvement over only having a Men’s World Cup, but it may only be a local maximum if the eventual goal is integration. This local maximum / long-term goal dilemma is something I have trouble with (and why I often don’t quite see eye-to-eye with friends concerning some race issues).