What Are You Doing for International Women’s Day?

8 03 2008

Today, March 8, is International Women’s Day.  Or as some of us might prefer to say, Dia Internacional da Mulher!  In honour of the occasion, and for those of you who came to Mandingueira later in the game, I’m going to take you on a guided tour through the best, most relevant, most important, most thought-provoking, and most interesting feminism-related posts on this blog.  We (meaning dear commenters and I) have managed to cover a surprising number of issues within the short lifespan of this blog, and I think now is a perfect time to give them all their proper due.

Please keep all hands, legs, and stereotypes inside the vehicle, and enjoy the ride!

Dreams for Women, by Antigone Magazine

Let’s begin with the one that started it all, and find out why chivalry in the roda doesn’t pay in Playing Women in the Roda.

Dreams for Women, by Antigone MagazineDreams for Women, by Antigone Magazine

Before we go on, you may be wondering about the validity or necessity of “pointing out women in capoeira”, as someone put it to me.  Realize that for now at least, it is both valid and necessary, by heading on over to Why Write about Female Mestres? The Feminist Catch-22.

Dreams for Women, by Antigone Magazine

Next, we’ll rendez-vous with Nestor Capoeira in The Feminine in Capoeira, Part 1 (Malicia), where I put him in the hot seat for calling women “the reverse” of power and the rational.  But fear not; witness his acquittal (and a discussion on gender stereotypes vs. capoeira tradition) in The Feminine in Capoeira, Part 2 (Context).

Dreams for Women, by Antigone Magazine

Feeling inactive from all this sitting and reading?  Then give your biceps and deltoids a little love, and learn why women shouldn’t sell theirs short in Myth Busters: Women and Upper-Body Strength.

Dreams for Women, by Antigone Magazine

Now that you’re all pumped and in shape, it’s clearly time for an intense capoeira trip to Brazil!  There may be a lot of scantily clad beach beauties there, but are they really “looking for it”?  Don’t make the same mistake we talk about in Women, Men, and Brazilian Bikinis.

Dreams for Women, by Antigone Magazine

Taking a break from theory, hit the ground running in North Africa, where I experienced first-hand, for the first time in my life,  Lessons from Morocco: How NOT to Treat Women.  Then join me in hashing it all out in Lessons from Morocco, Part 2: Cultural Relativity and Other Issues.

Dreams for Women, by Antigone MagazineDreams for Women, by Antigone Magazine

Although I made it through Morocco unscathed, what would you have done if I were attacked—and you were there to witness the whole thing?  See what it may be like to suddenly find yourself in this position, as I did while Walking Home.

Dreams for Women, by Antigone Magazine

Now, why did I decide to take you on this ride?  Because I’m a feminist.  Do you know what feminism is?  Are you sure?  It may not be what you—or most people—think.  Find out how close you are to the truth in Has “Feminism” Outlasted Its Purpose?.

Dreams for Women, by Antigone Magazine

Of course, there are always those who have to ruin the party.  Do you remember how it felt the first time you saw a capoeira-butchered-into-insipid-aerobics class?  Then you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about in Capoeirobics and the Female Chauvinist Pig: When Good Things Go Bad!

Dreams for Women, by Antigone Magazine

Finally, if you still have the energy left and are up to the challenge, brave what has been called “the roar of second-wave feminism roasting everything in its wake”, and incidentally a thorough compendium of exactly why I care so much: Robin Morgan’s now (in)famous essay, Goodbye to All That #2.

Dreams for Women, by Antigone Magazine

Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for taking today’s tour with Mandingueira Safaris.  Please take all personal belongings, new thoughts, and inspiring ideas with you when you leave, and enjoy the rest of your day!

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20 responses

8 03 2008
KLau

Joaninha,

Thank you for the spotlight on our project, Dreams for Women 🙂 Also, do check out the video on our youtube page (http://www.youtube.com/user/AntigoneFoundation) if you haven’t already.

Keep up the great work!!

Best,

Kelly

8 03 2008
KLau

— and Happy International Women’s Day!

9 03 2008
Joaninha

You’re welcome, Kelly! It’s such an awesome idea, and people have really stepped up with some of those postcards. I have seen the video, and it’s great! Thanks for dropping by, and Happy International Women’s Day to you too 😀

10 03 2008
Shayna

What was I doing? Playing an awesome game with Treinel Gege at the FICA Women’s Conference! Check out a clip of Gege playing CM Susy here.

I’ll tell you all about how the conference went later when I have a little more time – it was really great, you should definitely come to a future one!!

10 03 2008
compromisso

I was at the FICA Women’s Conference too! It was an amazing experience!!

14 03 2008
Joaninha

Great job, you two! Seeing as I’ve spoken to both of you now, I’m repeating myself but I’ll say it again: It sounded incredible, and I definitely wish I’d been there! (Then again, I’d have been completely out of place seeing as I’ve never formally trained angola. @.@)

Thanks for the link, Shayna. 😀

14 03 2008
angoleiro

joaninha… it helps having had a good training of capoeira angola. but it is so much more fun to just jump into the pool. you would not feel out of place there cause you wouldnt have enough time being busy with watching and grinning and wondering how these people can move! 😉

15 03 2008
Joaninha

Hey Angoleiro…hahaha hmm as much as a point you may have, I think I have to differ, just speaking for myself! I’ve jumped into the pool not even knowing what it meant to swim, and I’ve jumped into the pool being able to do all the basic strokes and a bit more…the latter is definitely less traumatic. XD

16 03 2008
Shayna

Yes, but I would argue that your current capoeira training already provides you with enough basics to allow you to jump into an angola roda (though by “jump in” I of course mean wait your turn to play – don’t try to buy! 😉 ) I mean, you know the ginga, you know some movements, you know that you’re supposed to dodge rather than block… you don’t really need “formal” angola training in order to play!

The only thing that sometimes throws contemporânea players for a loop is chamadas, but someone can give you a crash course in the basics of how to respond to each one in just a few minutes. Or you can learn by watching the other games.

Angoleiro’s got a great post on “Surviving a Capoeira Angola Roda” that delves more into the subtle and not-so-subtle differences between angola and contemporânea play.

I’ll just add one thing – watch out if you wear your cord. Angoleiros are fond of pulling it, stepping on it, etc :p

16 03 2008
Joaninha

Ahhh yes, that’s true…and I suppose it’s also not like I’ve never tried angola at all. The chamada would definitely stop me in my tracks though, if that happened people would probably suddenly notice great resemblance between me and a deer caught in headlights. XD

Yikes! Wow…between your comment and Cenoura’s on the “mestre” post, I’m amazed at the range of attitudes towards cordas…it would definitely *not* be okay to step on someone’s corda in my experience, and losing one’s corda physically would almost be as bad as + as good as losing it hierarchically!

16 03 2008
Shayna

Just to clarify – I would never step on someone’s cord if visiting their group. It’s like, if someone comes to my party wearing a silly hat, I might tease them about it. But I wouldn’t do it in their house while surrounded by 20 of their close family and friends 🙂 Nor would I do it to someone who I suspected might get pissed off about it. Or a mestre.

Speaking of deer in the headlights and chamadas, check out how M. Curió totally humiliates this guy. Mestre Cobrinha eventually takes him out of his misery. If I recall correctly, at the end of the previous video, the guy had cut into a game between M. Curió and another mestre.

17 03 2008
Cenoura

wow. that video is something. and I’m still laughing over the image of teasing someone about a silly hat surrounded by 20 friends. In a circle, getting closer and closer. . .

17 03 2008
angoleiro

ouch… I just watched this video. you know the feeling when you are embarrassed about something another person is doing? That guy totally did not know what to do with a chamada. But to be fair. It’s 1986, Capoeira Angola was – as far as I know, I was 4 years old in those times… – far less known in those times than today. Nowadays most people have seen at least a chamada or two, aklthough they mighjt still not know what to do about it.
About pulling one’s corda. I can just tell that it is a very Angola-like attitude to provoke a person with such things. Examples: if somebody is wearing shoes he better be he has tied them up perfectly. I love to untie the other’s shoes while playing 😀 . if you don’t have shoes and I feel quite safe in the roda and the play is getting rough, well, sometimes I so accidentally step on your feet 😉 . another example? be sure to have your belt/corda and to have your pants tighten up. I never encountered it but my trainer always warned us. In some rodas people dont really care, they’ll pull your pants down! That’s of course all quite harsh examples, but they do happen and a Capoeirista is good when he is prepared against all kind of harrassments – especially in a Roda de Capoeira Angola where physical force is sometimes less used than psychological warfare 😉

17 03 2008
cenoura

oh yeah, I’ve seen someone grab the pants to trip someone else. but if they hadn’t been on, we all would have seen his underwear. as to the stepping on cordas, I probably wouldn’t, but that’s something I can see our mestre doing, particularly if the person looked/acted really proud of the corda.

17 03 2008
Joaninha

Wow…I have to say it, you guys are kinda evil! 😛

For the party hat thing, that’s interesting because I’d have seen it not so much as a party hat but as maybe a cross necklace or headscarf…i.e. it means nothing to you, but a lot to the other person, so out of respect, for me that would make it off-limits, not the opposite, whether it was a home game or not! Unless, like Cenoura said, they were being obnoxious about it.

But yeah, I did know at least enough about angola to also be pained for the guy while watching that video XD

17 03 2008
Joaninha

Angoleiro, when you step on the other person’s foot, are you also barefoot or wearing shoes? I do have to laugh at the untying shoelaces though…once you get really good you should start untying and THEN tying them together! =P

17 03 2008
Joaninha

Also, for the pants thing, do they do it to both guys and girls?

Actually, the more I think about it this brings up another question for me…in capoeira, is there a line between being sneaky or mischievous, and just plain taking a cheap shot or doing something that doesn’t belong in the game? Or does nothing “not belong” in the game?

17 03 2008
cenoura

well, we all practice the pulling someone down by their pants, so I guess it’s unisex. as to the last question, I go back to the comment I made on the other entry-pointing out peoples issues always belongs in the game(why I say that the corda stepping would be most likely only done to someone who was proud, the pants incident I mentioned was a very strong reminder not to keep your legs too close when calling a chemada) but I personally would find things like the foot stepping just annoying and not funny-unless the person being stepped on had shoes, and the other one didn’t I guess I’d say the line is more based on what you’re reacting to.

17 03 2008
angoleiro

so…come to the big respond-round:

a) This intentional stepping on the foot is meant to be me having shoes on and stepping on the feet of the other one who has not. Yeeeees, I know it is not nice. But there are steps and there are STEPS. You got to see the difference. First of all, I have soft shoes, if I’d have street shoes AND if I’d go in with my whole weight, yes, that would be just plain painful (actually it is still a legitimate movement, you just have to tackle the response which won’t be very nice…). So usually, if I step on somebodys foot, I “mark” it with a small “touché”. More is not needed for the purposes of the play. it is teasing, it makes people in the roda laugh and scares your partner/opponent off or does provoke him to go into a more rough game (if you like one!). This stepping on the foot is not meant to hurt somebody or to stop his game and has to be controlled, not just “stumbled”.
b) tying the ties together after having untied them… well, it is already difficult enough to catch a small tie with your finger while the other one is moving and of course you are quite “open” when you try to untie the shoes. And you are fully responsible for any kick you get while trying to be funny (this goes for every small fun in the game, if you make a joke and get caught doing it, everybody will laugh about YOU…)
c) about the pants thingy… I didnt mean giving somebody a banda/vingativa by taking the ends of the pants. I know that one, though I never use it. I mean pulling down the pants. As far as I got it they would only do that for guys. I have never seen it and do know that the person whose pants are all down would hate me for the rest of his/her life. If you have good reasons for it, you dont want to break certain boundaries…
d) about your line between sneaky and mischievous, joaninha, I have to say, there is no line. All sneakish acts have a little bit of mischieve in it and most mischievous movements are somehow sneaky (in the roda). This is the same as in the topic about how a mestre should be to his students. there is no general rule for it. Most of the mean things I learned were either stories “what happened once in a roda” or were only applied to me or other advanced students of the grupo were my trainer was quite sure about the responses.
I’d say just do not try some of these things with people you don’t know. I did that once and…well…the martelo he gave me later made me have pain in my stomach for 2 weeks.

18 03 2008
Joaninha

Hi Cenoura,

Thanks for the extra information, that does make more sense that those “pranks” are in response to actual tactical vulnerabilities the person is exposing in themselves while they play.

Hey Angoleiro,

Oh, what I imagined *was* pulling down the pants with both hands, the banda way didn’t even occur to me! Although I have to say that one seems more legitimate/acceptable to me than the hands one, since it’s an actual move and you could say it’s the capoeirista’s fault for wearing too-long or too-low pants.

And sorry, I should clarify my question! I wasn’t asking about between sneaky and mischievous, they were one thing. 😛 I was asking about the line between sneaky/mischievous and a cheap shot/doing something not belonging in the game.

Ouch…to be honest though, after hearing all these horror stories, I kind of empathize with the guy who gave you the martelo! 😛 Which move did you do to him?

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