Ashley Barnes should have been sent off at least twice against Arsenal on Saturday but when confronted about his actions on the pitch he called it all ‘handbags’.
“It was like any other game,” Barnes said.
“I’ve got a job to do and that’s all I can do. It was handbags on the side but what will be, will be.”
Barnes was booked for putting Sokratis in a headlock but escaped punishment for numerous elbows, knees in the back, an apparent stamp on Guendouzi’s chest and going to kick another player before stopping himself.
He wasn’t the only Burnley player who should have been sent off, either. Chris Wood should have joined him, but Kevin Friend issued only five yellows to Sean Dyche’s men.
After the game, Sean Dyche started crying about diving and the papers and MOTD couldn’t wait to run with that narrative. MOTD even cut out the indecent between Barnes and Sokratis while they didn’t discuss the alleged stamp at all. They did, however, focus on what they thought were two dives by Arsenal players even though there was no hint of diving during the game (apart from when Shane Long went down in the Arsenal box, something Dyche said was ‘gamesmanship’ which is apparently ok).
So why is Barnes’ language sexist?
Apart from being outdated, it’s a way of trying to play down incidents by saying they aren’t really that important or violent by invoking the thought of women swinging their handbags at each other.
It might seem innocent enough or non-offensive but it is a micro-aggression, one of thousands that casually exist that all add up to create the misogynistic society we live in.
It’s like calling Jose Mourinho ‘Maureen’ because what bigger insult than being compared to a woman?
It’s in there with ‘throw like a girl’, ‘man up’, and ‘grow a pair,’ phrases that indicate being a man is strong and being a woman is weak (never mind that the ‘balls’ you’re supposed to get are the most fragile and delicate part of either body while a woman’s bits can stand up to some real punishment and just keep going).
It might seem, to some, churlish to complain about phrases like ‘handbags’ but until we have a common language that doesn’t feel the need to ridicule women to make men feel better about themselves, we will never get to a place of proper quality.
Plus Ashley Barnes is a total knobhead.