Dear Tam Cowan:

I'd really love to write in support of women's football. Sadly, I don't know the first thing about women's football. In fact, I don't give two hoots about football of any gender, creed or colour. Pile of claptrap, if you ask me, a bigger pile of claptrap than any political correctness you might care to roll your eyes at.

I read your comments last weekend and thought: "Here we go". An attack on women's sport - a lazy target. And it is a lazy target. According to the Women's Sport and Fitness Foundation, women hold only 22% of senior positions in sport, just 5% of media coverage is given to women's sports in non-Olympic years and 0.5% of sponsorship. It's easy to attack those in a weaker position.

But that didn't bother me. What bothered me was your attack on all women. And on Monday, I read your apology. I'm not sure, Mr Cowan, you actually knew for what you were apologising.

You're allowed to dislike women's football. You're even allowed to make jokes about the quality of the play. That's not sexist. Suggesting female footballers are butch is sexist. Suggesting "the girlies" are going to be too busy watching the soaps to tune in and support their own on the pitch is sexist. You know, because, like make-up and shoes, all women love a bit of a telly.

But your crowning triumph was the comment about "little snatches". That classic move, reducing women to their body parts, fnar, fnar. The literal equivalent is: "I haven't seen much football - only a bit of tackle," but it would be a man either impossibly naive or wilfully ignorant who couldn't see the plain inequality between the two.

Then you dashed it all off with a jibe about politically correctness, a meaningless phrase used by people who are unwilling or unable to address their own prejudices. And all on the day Charlotte Green became the first woman to read out the football results on Radio 5 Live. For shame.

In your apology you throw in a wee bid for sympathy: "The abuse from some quarters got quite scary." Welcome to what it's like being a woman, Tam; to having men shout at you in the street because of your gender, to being followed or groped while you're just trying to catch the bus home.

You cloak yourself in the old disguise: I have a wife and a daughter so how can I be sexist? And if I cannot be sexist then I can happily tell this brutalising joke to you - it's just empty, it's just words, it's just humour.

It's not just humour. Attitudes like these feed into a culture where women are objectified and abused. Your donation to women's football seemed like a cheap move, an insincere gesture. A better gesture would be to have a think about the impact that attitudes like these have on women, day to day, and to stop.

You're a man with clout. You're a man other men listen to. And you're talking against a backdrop where domestic violence rises by 14% on the day of football games.

You say you can't be sexist because you have a wee daughter. That's nonsense. You can, but she should be your inspiration not to be. She's going to grow up and have men yell at her in the street. She's going to earn less than her male counterparts. She's going to be constantly judged on her looks. She may even grow up to have a man describe her as "a little snatch".

I hope you want better for her than that. I do. I want better than that for all women but it will never be achieved while men with clout think it OK to denigrate women in a national newspaper in exchange for a swipe round the kitchen with a Dettol wipe and a few cheap smirks.

You see, it's just like football, Tam: you have to pick a side. At the very least, I hope the backlash has given your conscience a wee prick.

Click here to read Spiers on Sport: in defence of Tam Cowan