As a newcomer to women's football, I've been surprised and delighted with how much I have enjoyed this summer's tournament, held in Canada.
I love football, and would watch it all day long - but I admit to being a bit hesitant when it came to watching the Women's World Cup. Since then, I have grown to really enjoy the apparent lack of ego in the players. I've yet to see the diving, the cheating and the haranguing of officials so prevalent in the male game.
The quality of the play has impressed me in the latter stages. There was the Germany v Ivory Coast 10-0 farce early on, but even that wasn't without it's charms. The same accusation could be made of the male equivalent - how many times have England qualified for a competition from groups involving San Marino, Liechtenstein or Scotland? There are poor teams involved in every level of sport, regardless of gender. There are poor performances too - Brazil losing 7-1 against Germany springs to mind. England's recent 0-0 borefest against Republic of Ireland will linger in the mind for similar reasons.
Sport is what it is. There is no equality in sport, and so to compare it to the men's game is an exercise in futility. Tennis and golf are two examples that come to mind where female players operate under different rules than their male counterparts do. It is only recently that female tennis players taking part in the Wimbledon tournament could earn the same as the men for winning - it seems strange that it was ever any different.
People who claim that they're 'just not very good' are missing the point. Karen Carney isn't Wayne Rooney. Casey Stoney isn't John Terry - these are not insults, but they are examples of how people feel compelled to compare the England women's team to their male equivalents.
Most predictable of all, is the accusation often thrown at female footballers is that they MUST be lesbians. I find it ridiculous that in this day and age we have dinosaurs (usually insecure middle-aged men such as Martin Samuel or Ollie Holt) who feel they're entitled to throw those labels around. It's very sad to see. It's Richard Keys and Andy Gray-level mindlessness.
It has been depressingly predictable to read comments that ‘women should be in the kitchen, not playing football', or 'women shouldn't play any sport' or 'why do women want to be men?' They don't. It is their basic human right to play whatever sport they want. These are elite athletes in their field and they train just as hard and care as much as any Premier League footballer.
Top level sporting competition is good to see no matter who is involved. The BBC reported viewing figures of 1.6m for the England v Canada Quarter Final on Saturday night - this is a game that started at 12:30am, let's not forget.
Women's football is here to stay, and the interest being shown in the World Cup will hopefully translate into the domestic game.