Welcome to Mandingueira, a blog on women, capoeira, and women in capoeira. As I’m new to blogging, relatively new to capoeira, and brand new to taking up with feminist issues, this should be an interesting process! To begin with (as they are wont to be begun with), an introduction: Eu sou Joaninha, and I’ve been training capoeira for just over two years now. After hanging up my abada at night, I become an undergraduate English major, bona fide bookworm and grammar stickler, and writer/editor/publisher/journalist-hopeful.
Why Mandingueira? First, I absolutely love and am in love with capoeira, and you know what they say: “write what you know”–and I want to write. Second, kind of by chance I began reading a lot of feminist-oriented blogs this year, and evidently they’ve had an effect on me. If you’ve been in capoeira for any amount of time, you’ve probably realized that it’s a fairly male-dominated universe. The average capoeira group will have more male students, more advanced male students, and–pop quiz!–how many female mestres can you name, compared to how many male mestres? Then there are the horror stories, courtesy of any given capoeira forum: allegedly rapid promotion of girlfriends or wives in Brazil, teachers hitting on students everywhere, talk of undeserved as well as too-long-unreceived cordas, etc.
I want Mandingueira to provide a central platform for thoughts, discussion, and ideas related to women in capoeira, or women and/or capoeira, and plan to include as wide a variety of material as possible (e.g. interviews, tips, debates, musings, reviews, current events, links and multimedia, anecdotes, creative work). I will also try my best to keep this blog overall interesting and relevant to all capoeiristas, not just women, and I can tell you right now that there will be no rants, sermons, or pulling out of issues that aren’t necessarily there. (Trust me; thanks to a certain post-modernist feminist prof in first year, any sort of down-the-throat-agenda-pushing is now anathema to me.) But, since disclaimers are a way of life: Everyone makes mistakes (and I already have…possibly more on that later, if you’re good), so that’s what the Comments section is for!
Thank you so much for stopping by, and I hope you will continue to do so often (my aim is a minimum of one post per week). Play hard, ginga low, and tell all your friends and capoeirista colleagues to drop by! Muito axé.