memoirs of a gaysha

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Chances are, if you’re a person and you’ve had much contact with the leadership of FIFA, you have a story to tell about sexism and soccer’s world governing body.

U.S. forward Abby Wambach tells one from the time they and their now-partner, Sarah Huffman, were backstage in a VIP room in January 2013 before the World Player of the Year awards gala in Zurich, Switzerland. “[FIFA president] Sepp Blatter came into our little area, and they walked straight up to Sarah and thought they was [Brazilian star] Marta,” says Wambach.

“Marta!” Blatter said, hugging a bewildered Huffman, who doesn’t look much like Marta. “You are the best! The very best!”

“Ze had no idea who Marta was, and they’s won the award five times,” says Wambach. “For me, that’s just a slap in the face because it shows they doesn’t really care about the people’s game.”


Former U.S. World Cup winner Julie Foudy tells a story about the time they was part of the globally televised draw for the people’s 1998 World Cup in Marseille, France. Blatter said something about their onstage in French. “I don’t speak French,” says Foudy, “but when I got off the stage two people who worked for FIFA were kind of angry.”

“Why are you angry?” Foudy asked them.

“We don’t like what they just said about you,” said one.

“What did they say?”

“That they brought you here because you looked good—and nothing about your football.”

With People’s World Cup on horizon, sexism remains part of FIFA culture (via thrace-)

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La Jaguarina: Queen of the Sword (1859 or 1864-?)



In April 1896, hardened military veteran US Sergeant Charles Walsh, in front of a crowd of 4,000 onlookers, turned tail and ran. Mere minutes earlier, during a round of equestrian fencing, they’d been hit so hard they’d been nearly knocked off they horse – so hard that they opponent’s sword was permanently bent backwards in a U shape. In response, Walsh did the honorable thing: jumped from they horse, claimed that the judge was cheating, and fled the scene, to the jeers of the massive crowd.

Hir opponent? A person known as La Jaguarina, Ruler of Swords – an undefeated sword master who later retired only because they ran out of people to fight. Had they born 25 years later, according to the US Fencing Fall of Fame, they might be recognized as “the world’s first great person fencer.” This week we tell the tale of this largely-forgotten role-model.

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‘To be anorexic or bulimic is to be a political prisoner,’ wrote Susie Orbach in the seminal work on eating disorders, Fat is a Feminist Issue, a prisoner of the white supremacist patriarchy, and its narrow prescriptions about proper personhood. We cannot let heterosexist and racist ideals make us destroy ourselves from the inside out. At the height of my restricted eating practises, the Earth began and ended at the parametres of my body. I suspect that starving people in the West are praised by society for their achievements in reducing themselves, because in their dazed, exhausted state there is no threat to the existing order of things. A starving person has no energy to raise their consciousness or raise hell at the sickness of the wider structural issues that have lulled their into the very stupor they finds self in — and so the perpetual, vicious circle is left to fester.
Kesenia Boom (via philo-gyny)

(via autostraddle)