Sunday, September 13, 2009
MANY OF Jamaica's female footballers can empathise with the South African, Caster Semenya, as they have faced similar questions about whether they are male or female.
But for most of these female footballers, the questions come because of choices they make.
"Many dress like men. They walk with a sort of male swagger, while their language could make male sailors blush," a football referee told The Sunday Gleaner.
"There have been matches where I see the girls and I have been tempted to ask for gender tests," the referee added.
Jean Nelson, one of the managers of the female football teams with the Jamaica Football Federation, has a long history with the sport in Jamaica.
She managed the first Jamaican female team, which played an international game in the 1991 CONCACAF tournament, held in Haiti.
When The Sunday Gleaner asked Nelson if she had ever heard comments about the female footballers looking like men, she said she had.
"It is how they dress and carry on. Off the field, it should be a different thing," Nelson said.
shorts halfway down
Then there was an instance, not quite off the field but still not quite on it, that reinforced the issue of dress and how a standard needs to be enforced.
"I was at a game in Mandeville. A girl was warming up, with her shorts halfway down," Nelson said.
Still, it could be a case that too much femininity in a player could be a disadvantage in football, as Nelson said she had seen players "look that way and other girls try to cow them".
Pointing to former world female footballer of the year, Mia Hamm of the United States, Nelson said she had no doubt that a woman can play what is considered a man's sport at the highest level and remain overtly feminine.
Women's football has come a long way in Jamaica from when the Jamaica Women's Football Association was formed in 1990, with Nelson heading that organisation.
Accessing sponsorship was difficult and "women playing football was seen as a big joke". For the 1991 CONCACAF tournament, they did fund-raising themselves, with Portia Simpson Miller integral in funding the airfare.
After starting out with six teams in the initial year, two dropping out to leave only four, last year, there were two female football leagues, a premier and an 'A' league. This year, there is a premier league and a knockout competition involving 12 teams, with KSAFA having a five-a-side competition as well.
coaches speak harshly
Nelson has heard players complain about how the coaches, all male, speak harshly to them and says, "A whole paradigm shift has to take place."
She says nearly all the players come from the inner city and "there is this aggressiveness in the society and the inner city".
"At the inner-city level, there is so much anger, and I am seeing that many of these girls are playing it out," Nelson said. "It is not just the female footballers, but across the society."
Charlene Bryanknows just what impression a female footballer's masculine appearance can make. Her niece, who lives in the United States, plays football and "out here, she would have a harder time. There, she fits right in. Here, she would be stereotyped as butch and maybe gay".
However, even in the US, she has had to deal with repercussions from her mannerisms and appearance.
One of her male classmates is going through a sterilisation process on his way to becoming a woman. Her niece was asked to share a room with him on a school trip. "Her mother said no," Bryan said.
Name changed on request.
War of words between pro & anti gay activists on HIV matters .......... what hypocrisy is this?
Urgent Need to discuss sex & sexuality II
Calls for Tourism Boycotts are Nonsensical at This Time
(2014 protests New York)
Calling for boycotts by overseas based Jamaican advocates who for the most part are not in touch with our present realities in a real way and do not understand the implications of such calls can only seek to make matters worse than assisting in the struggle, we must learn from, the present economic climate of austerity & tense calm makes it even more sensible that persons be cautious, will these groups assist when there is fallout?, previous experiences from such calls made in 2008 and 2009 and the near diplomatic nightmare that missed us; especially owing to the fact that many of the victims used in the public advocacy of violence were not actual homophobic cases which just makes the ethics of advocacy far less credible than it ought to be.
See more explained HERE from a previous post following the Queen Ifrica matter and how it was mishandled
Newstalk 93FM's Issues On Fire: Polygamy Should Be Legalized In Jamaica 08.04.14
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Thanks for your Donations
thank you for your donations via Paypal in helping to keep this blog going, my limited frontline community work, temporary shelter assistance at my home and related costs. Please continue to support me and my allies in this venture that has now become a full time activity. When I first started blogging in late 2007 it was just as a pass time to highlight GLBTQ issues in Jamaica under then JFLAG's blogspot page but now clearly there is a need for more forumatic activity which I want to continue to play my part while raising more real life issues pertinent to us.
Activities & Plans: ongoing and future
- To continue this venture towards website development with an E-zine focus
- Work with other Non Governmental organizations old and new towards similar focus and objectives
- To find common ground on issues affecting GLBTQ and straight friendly persons in Jamaica towards tolerance and harmony
- Exposing homophobic activities and suggesting corrective solutions
- To formalise GLBTQ Jamaica's activities in the long term
- Continuing discussion on issues affecting GLBTQ people in Jamaica and elsewhere
- Welcoming, examining and implemeting suggestions and ideas from you the viewing public
- Present issues on HIV/AIDS related matters in a timely and accurate manner
- Assist where possible victims of homophobic violence and abuse financially, temporary shelter(my home) and otherwise
- Track human rights issues in general with a view to support for ALL
Information & Disclaimer
Individuals who are mentioned or whose photographs appear on this site are not necessarily Homosexual, HIV positive or have AIDS.
This blog contains pictures that may be disturbing. We have taken the liberty to present these images as evidence of the numerous accounts of homophobic violence meted out to alledged gays in Jamaica.
Faces and names witheld for the victims' protection.
This blog not only watches and covers LGBTQ issues in Jamaica and elsewhere but also general human rights and current affairs where applicable.
This blog contains HIV prevention messages that may not be appropriate for all audiences.
If you are not seeking such information or may be offended by such materials, please view labels, post list or exit.
Since HIV infection is spread primarily through sexual practices or by sharing needles, prevention messages and programs may address these topics.
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Recent Homophobic Incidents
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What to do if you are attacked (News You Can Use)
Try to reason with the attacker: Establish communication with the person. This takes a lot of courage. However, a conversation may change the intention of an attacker.
Do not try anything foolish: If you know outmanoeuvring the attacker is impossible, do not try it.
Do not appear to be afraid: Look the attacker in the eye and demonstrate that you are not fearful.
This may have a psychological effect on the individual.
The police 119
Crime Stop 311
Steps to Take When Contronted or Arrested by Police
b) Only give name and address and no other information until a lawyer is present to assist
c) Try to be polite even if the scenario is tensed) Don’t do anything to aggravate the situation
e) Every complaint lodged at a police station should be filed and a receipt produced, this is not a legal requirement but an administrative one for the police to track reports
f) Never sign to a statement other than the one produced by you in the presence of the officer(s)
g) Try to capture a recording of the exchange or incident or call someone so they can hear what occurs, place on speed dial important numbers or text someone as soon as possible
h) File a civil suit if you feel your rights have been violatedi) When making a statement to the police have all or most of the facts and details together for e.g. "a car" vs. "the car" represents two different descriptions
j) Avoid having the police writing the statement on your behalf except incases of injuries, make sure what you want to say is recorded carefully, ask for a copy if it means that you have to return for it