You see it all over the internet:
“THE TOP TEN HOTTEST WAGs EVERRRRRR. CLICK THIS LINK TO SEE THE SEXXXY PICTURES.”
That’s the tagline many sports blogs on the internet use in order for you to click through a bunch of pictures easily find by going directly to Google.
But how did the term “WAGs” develop into a cornerstone of many sports blogs and now a part of our verbiage?
WAGs (or Wags) is an acronym used to refer to wives and girlfriends of high-profile sportsmen. The term may also be used in the singular form, “WAG”, to refer to a specific female partner / life partner.
The term was first used by the British tabloid press to refer to the wives and girlfriends of high-profile footballers, originally the England national football team. It came into common use during the 2006 FIFA World Cup, although the term had been used occasionally before that. The acronym has since been used by the media in other countries to describe the female partners of sportsmen in general.
As you can imagine, many feminists hate the term WAGs with every breath they take.
Of course Wags, the acronym used to describe the wives and girlfriends of footballers, is a sexist slap in the face; an appellation that underlines their status as adjuncts to their husbands: accessories, appendages. By the 21st century, we might have expected the idea of women being defined by their male partners to have died – along with the idea of marriage as a career path. And yet, when it comes to the Wag obsession, we seem to have regressed many decades.
While I don’t share that same sentiment towards the phrase WAGs, I don’t get excited over it as well.
As a business owner, I know WAG
stories photo galleries are the primary traffic driver for the majority of the sports websites. These sites are almost forced to post them regularly because they have numbers to hit like any other business model. And as endless amounts of men Google search for “Hottest WAGs” daily it has become a necessity for many companies. Seriously, if you try searching for the phrase “Hottest WAGS” right now, it has more than half a million results.
With seeing more and more of these articles on numerous websites, part of me wondered if other women in sports felt insulted by the term or just shrugged their shoulders.
So I went to Twitter to ask a few female sports fans:
female sports fans: do you dislike the term “WAGs” or simply don’t mind it? cc @theNFLchick @AnnaPleus @CarieIsSoVery @TheStyleRef
— GuysGirl (@GuysGirl) March 11, 2015
@GuysGirl @theNFLchick @AnnaPleus @TheStyleRef “Wives And Girlfriends” ?? Feel like it’s not relevant in sports news but don’t care really — Carie Small (@CarieIsSoVery) March 11, 2015
@GuysGirl @AnnaPleus @CarieIsSoVery @TheStyleRef I probably don’t care as much as I should
— Reeta, NFL Goddess (@theNFLchick) March 11, 2015
@GuysGirl @theNFLchick @CarieIsSoVery @TheStyleRef I’m good with it as long as it’s understood I’m in the stands with a drink AND an opinion — Anna (@AnnaPleus) March 11, 2015
We even had a response from a guy on the use of the term WAGs:
@blythebrum @theNFLchick The term itself isn’t as bad as the fact it’s used almost exclusively in “Hottest WAGs” or “Top 10 WAGs,” etc.
— Vinny v2.015 (@AntiHeroV) March 11, 2015
But perhaps this was the best response out of them all:
@GuysGirl @theNFLchick @AnnaPleus @CarieIsSoVery I’m cool with it as long as we can also use HABs. — The Style Ref (@TheStyleRef) March 11, 2015
In case you couldn’t figure out the acronym, HABs refers to “Husbands and boyfriends” but I feel like The Style Ref hit the nail on the head. There are an increasing amount of women who search for cute athletes and coaches and that number only looks to grow.
Hell, one of the top search terms that bring visitors to GuysGirl is “Adam Scott Golfer Shirtless.”
So can women really get offended over the term WAGs when many of them are objectifying men in the same manner?
Like it or not, WAGs and possibly HABs are terms that aren’t going anywhere, anytime soon. So while ladies realistically can’t get upset over websites creating content around photo galleries of WAGs when many women are looking at men the same way, all websites would be better served if they added more substance to these click-baity articles rather than 30 photos to creep on.
How do you feel about the term WAG? Do you think it’s offensive to women? Why or why not?
Featured image of Katherine McCarron, former girlfriend and now wife to Alabama’s AJ McCarron was found via listal