Charlie Hebdo cover stirs controversy

The satirical weekly magazine Charlie Hebdo published a controversial cover this week on women’s football in the context of Women’s World Cup.

Sara Saidi
Sara Saidi NewsMavens, France
Charlie Hebdo cover stirs controversy - NewsMavens
Women's soccer, Pixabay

Why this story matters:

This week, Charlie Hebdo’s cover is a drawing of a vagina with a soccer ball inside and this title : "Women’s game: we will eat it out all month!". 

The cover was criticized for being sexist and misogynist. The critics lamented a lack of respect for women soccer players. 

Writer Mona Chollet also criticized the "disastrous" way the vagina is represented. An other feminist, Fatima Benomar, focused on the words "eat out" -- "it hints that we are speaking to much about Women’s World Cup and there is a sexual connotation because it reminds us --  ‘eat out a pussy’". 

Some compare the cover to the famous picture by French artist Gustave Courbet "The Origin of the World". Many claim the cover is not sexist. According to them it denounces the fact that women in athletes are not seen as athletes but as women. They recall that Charlie Hebdo has always criticized football. The publishing director writes in his editorial that "in order to be considered [equal] the, women’s game needs to lead towards mindlessness, as is the case for men’s game."

Nathalie Lannetta, a sport journalist also defends the magazine "there is a difference between being caricatured and insulted" she also reminds Charlie Hebdo’s shooting in 2015, "In this magazine journalists have died for their drawings."

Details from the story:

  • The satirical weekly magazine Charlie Hebdo is being criticized for a caricature about the Women's World Cup.
  • The cover caricature depicts a drawing of a vagina with a soccer ball inside.
  • For some other the cover is not sexist, especially since Charlie Hebdo has always criticized football.

Project #Femfacts co-financed by European Commission Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology as part of the Pilot Project – Media Literacy For All

The information and views set out on this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Neither the European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.

NewsMavens is a media start-up within Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland's largest liberal broadsheet published by Agora S.A. NewsMavens is currently financed by Gazeta Wyborcza and Google DNI Fund.
Is something happening in your country that Newsmavens should cover?
Zuzanna Ziomecka
Zuzanna Ziomecka EDITOR IN CHIEF
Lea Berriault-Jauvin
Lea Berriault Managing Editor
Jessica Sirotin
Jessica Sirotin EDITOR
Ada Petriczko
Ada Petriczko EDITOR
Gazeta Wyborcza, Agora SA Czerska 8/10 00-732, Warsaw Poland
The e-mail addresses provided above are not intended for recruitment purposes. Messages concerning recruitment will be deleted immediately. Your personal data provided as part of your correspondence with Zuzanna,Lea, Jessica and Ada will be processed for the purpose of resolving the issue you contacted us about. The data provided in your email is controlled by Agora S.A. with its registered office in Warsaw Czerska 8/10 Street (00-732). You can find more information about the processing and protection of your personal data at