David Cameron has been called out over his message to the England Women’s team after the World Cup Final.
The former prime minister shared a tweet following the Lionesses’ defeat by Spain, in which he suggested that he was particularly appreciative for their achievements “as the father of two girls”.
“It was not to be this time, but you have done us proud and – as a father of two girls – I know you have inspired so many along the way,” he wrote.
Some social media users have claimed that Cameron did not need to mention that he has two daughters in order to show his support for women’s football.
Professor Pragya Agarwal, author of (M)otherhood: On the choices of being a woman, wrote on Twitter: “I wish men would be allies and root for gender equality because it is the right thing to do not just because they are fathers of girls.”
Another Twitter user added: “As the father of two girls yadayada. Men – please don’t do this.”
Meanwhile, one Twitter user joked: “As the daughter of two parents I couldn’t be more proud.”
It comes after Prince William was criticised for including Princess Charlotte in his apology for missing the Lionesses final, meaning that no members of the British royal family were part of the sporting final.
In a video posted to social media on Saturday (19 August), William wished the Lionesses well while sitting with his eight-year-old daughter, Princess Charlotte.
Since the clip was posted online, it has been a topic of debate for many football fans and onlooker, with some claiming that William included his daughter as a way to ward off further criticism.
Author and activist Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu remarked: “Using Princess Charlotte, as [a] PR shield to deflect from backlash of deplorable decision not to support #Lionesses in person as FA President, is stereotypically sexist & patriarchal.”
— The Prince and Princess of Wales (@KensingtonRoyal) August 19, 2023
Journalist Poorna Bell also commented on Twitter, noting that William not including his sons George and Louis in the video is an example of how an early “gender gap” in sport can begin.
“The gender gap for sport begins at a young age and underpins ideas that everyone should take an interest in men’s sport while women’s sport is for girls,” she wrote.
“Bad enough he didn’t go to watch the match let alone only posing with his daughter – what message does that send to his boys?”
Another Twitter user wrote: “Strange of William to wheel Charlotte out for the football when it’s normally George he takes with him, because Charlotte OBVIOUSLY has no interest in football, But he wheeled her out because it’s female football...”
One added: “I hate that the video is just him and Charlotte, it screams this is just a thing for girls – it’s for everyone. Who on earth is doing this PR?”
However, broadcaster Dan Walker is among those defending William’s choice not to attend the final. In a tweet, the former BBC Breakfast host wrote: “I hope the @Lionesses get it done today. Not sure why some people are getting so angry about Prince William not going to the game. We all know he’d get hammered for the cost & climate impact of flying all the way to Australia for one football match. Come on England.”