The Women’s World Cup is about more than soccer
A short guide to help you get into the game Updated at 3:50 p.m. ET on July 23, 2023 This is an edition of The Atlantic Daily, a newsletter that guides you through the biggest stories of the day, helps you discover new ideas, and recommends the best in culture. Sign up for it here. The FIFA Womens World Cup is about more than just soccer. Heres a guide to getting into the game. First, here are three Sunday reads from The Atlantic : A Womens World Cup Guide Im not a crier. I didnt cry watching The Notebook , and even the saddest episodes of my longtime favorite show, Greys Anatomy , usually only leave me slightly welling up. But every time I read or listen to something about a players journey to the 2023 Womens World Cup, I absolutely lose it. Ive never played a game of soccer, but Ive been following the womens game since 2015. Theres something about the journey of these women and these teams that transcends sport. This years tournament kicked off on Thursday, with New Zealands womens national team securing their first-ever win in a World Cup game in front of a home crowd of more than 42,000record attendance for a soccer match, mens or womens, in the country. Meanwhile, the U.S. Womens National Team is facing tough competition as it looks for its third consecutive title. They secured a win against Vietnam in their first match on Friday. Even if you dont typically keep up with womens socceror soccer at allbelow are three reasons you should pay attention to the games. Below are a few recommendations for what to watch and listen to if you want to further explore the world of womens soccer. Snacks : This podcast from Just Womens Sports is hosted by Lynn Williams, who is making her World Cup debut on the U.S. team this year, and her friend, the former World Cup champion Sam Mewis. In casual conversations, the two women break down happenings in the National Womens Soccer League and in the game around the world. Id suggest you start with the most recent episode. It features Ali Riley, the American-born captain of the New Zealand womens national team, who talks about playing host to the World Cup, and discusses how many womens teams across the globe lack the training and resources provided to the U.S. team. Angel City : This three-part docuseries, streaming on Max, takes viewers through the founding of the National Womens Soccer Leagues first majority-women-owned team. With its inaugural 2022 season, Angel City FC set out to do things differently, prioritizing community engagement, drawing big crowds, and giving players a cut of ticket sales. The team succeeded in some ways but not in others: They didnt make the playoffs last year, and after a rocky start to their second season, they fired their coach. The documentary also gives you a look at some of the players youll see at the World Cup this year, including Japans Jun Endo, Canadas Vanessa Gilles, and New Zealand's Ali Riley. And, of course, the matches themselves. Here are a few to look out for in the group stage of play: USANetherlands, (July 26, 9 p.m. ET), EnglandDenmark (July 28, 4:30 a.m. ET), FranceBrazil (July 29, 6 a.m. ET), JapanSpain (July 31, 3 a.m. ET) In the U.S., the matches will air on Fox. You can also stream the matches on the Fox Sports App and on YouTube TV. Telemundo and Peacock are providing Spanish-language coverage. The Week Ahead Essay Porn Set Women Up From the Start By Sophie Gilbert Late last year, when the streaming platform formerly known as HBO Max announced the abrupt cancellation of Minx a week before Season 2 finished filming, the news struck me as grimly ironic. Minx , created by Ellen Rapoport, is a buoyant, 70s-set comedy about the first feminist porn magazine, loosely based on the real-life publications Playgirl and Viva . Its a sweet, funny, shrewd show that also features plenty of full-frontal male nudity. The effect is hard to categorize; Minx isnt raunchy or smutty or filthy or even risque. Unlike Euphoria or The Idol , its not interested in hollow provocation. And the penises that proliferate on-screen arent there to titillate, exactly, although a montage in the first episode brings to mind what the French film theorist Jean-Louis Comolli once described as the frenzy of the visible. If anything, the shows insistent focus on male nudity feels impertinent, as though were all participating in a ritual desanctification of dicks. The shows clever inversion of subject and object makes erotica seem faintly absurd: Here are mens bodies exposed for us to look at. ... Sexual representation, for women, particularly straight women, has always been a bindour desires are often informed by the same chauvinistic terrain were trying to transcend. Both Minx and Viva make one thing clear: Men have set the parameters of porn since the beginning. Read the full article. More in Culture Catch Up on The Atlantic Photo Album Mountainside art in Switzerland, a moon-bound rocket launch in India, and more in our editors selection of the weeks best photos . P.S. U.S. Soccer actually oversees 27 National Teams, including Extended National Teams with adapted rules of play, such as Deaf Soccer, CP (Para) Soccer, and Power Soccer (electric wheelchair) teams. As I mentioned above, I dont play soccer, but I am a para athlete, and I know firsthand that many para competitors receive a fraction of the attention (and funding) given to able-bodied competitors. Para sports might look different, but its athleticism all the same. Some of these extension teams are new, and it will take time for us to fully integrate para athletes into the lexicon of our sporting culture. The first step is knowing they exist; the second is choosing to pay attention. Kate Katherine Hu and Kelsey Waite contributed to this newsletter. This article has been updated to clarify that Angel City FC was the first majority-women-owned team in the National Women's Soccer League, not the first majority-women-owned major professional sports team in the U.S.