— Viola | भिओला (@veeola) March 6, 2015
Viola is a football nut. She lives in Jakarta and writes about the game with all the passion of a true fan.
For International Women’s Day, she wrote a long and thoughtful piece (in Bahasa Indonesian) about female involvement, pointing out the 20 years ago, Sepp Blatter said the future of football would be more feminine and now 30 million women are part of the beautiful game.
But she also pointed out that it was less than two years ago when former AC Milan midfielder Gennaro Gattuso declared there was no place for women in football.
A few days ago, Viola noticed Indonesian sport apparel company Salvo had found a place for women – the laundry.
The washing instructions inside the collar of the jersey for Pusamania Borneo, an Indonesian super league team formed last year say “Give this jersey to your woman. It’s her job”.
Not surprisingly, the suggestion led to a barrage of complaints on social media in response and yesterday, just as the Asian Football Confederation was launching its inaugural Women’s Football Day to encourage more participation from women, Salvo backed down, issuing a series of six tweets (in Bahasa), apologising (memohon maaf) for any “misinterpretations” the label caused.
6. Terkait multi-interpretasi yang timbul kami memohon maaf sebesar-besarnya, demikian penjelasan dari kami. Terimakasih
— Salvo Sports Apparel (@SALVO_ID) March 8, 2015
This wasn’t sexism nor an attempt to denigrate women, the company explained, but after being asked what to do by so many buyers, simply an attempt to condense the proper care of the expensive footy jumper to someone who actually knows what they’re doing when it comes to the washing.
Men, Salvo said, don’t always understand and can be incompetent. Women are experts, aware of the problems and take a more painstaking approach.
Learn from your woman, Salvo suggested, she knows what she’s doing.
Viola summed up the problem well, explaining in Bahasa that it’s hard to speak of equality when you’ve never experienced inequality.
Berbicara kesetaraan tanpa pernah mengalami ketidaksetaraan secara nyata. I am a girl and I feel that discrimination and assaults, not you.
— Viola | भिओला (@veeola) March 8, 2015
Perhaps she should challenge Sepp Blatter for FIFA’s top job.