Thursday, 27 January 2011

Sporting Sexism

Right, well this is all pretty exciting that I can't stop typing...!!!

Have to say there have been lots of things going on in the Media this week to reassure me that what I'm doing here is both timely and worthwhile...

For those outside of the UK, we have been in the grip of quite a sexism scandal which lead to a very warranted fallout for Sky (can't say I'm crying a river!) Two of their presenters rightfully resigned following some totally unfounded remarks about a female referee. Their overtly sexually discriminatory comments quickly lead to further sports sexism stories emerging ...revealing just how deep and widespread the problem still is, not just in football, but in the world of sport in general.

It's sadly no surprise to me that sexism is still rife in sport ... in particular the bravado and machoism that football sometimes sparks among groups of men can easily degenerate further into not even thinly veiled derogatory stereo-typing. I've heard lines like "women don't understand the game" passed off as 'jokey banter' which got me pretty irritated - I can tell you!

I used to play football and I still get shot incredulous looks when I mention that I did. Come on ... why is sport still seen as a male domain when so many women engage in it now - the outdated and shameful comments made by these presenters have on the up side brought to light the now urgent need for a serious readjustment in attitudes towards sporting women. Moreover, I believe the sporting industry has a big responsibility now to be seen to do more to perpetuate positive attitudes towards women.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Welcome Fellow Sisters!

A warm and friendly welcome to all you Chapesses (and I suppose you too sly chaps that fancy finding out what all the whispering and scheming has been all about - that's mainly you Richard!)

First of all, I thought I might set out thoughts about why I am doing this...!

I've met lots of remarkable women in the last couple of years and they more than anything have inspired me to get going with this project. I see it as a long term ongoing exploration, but also as a long overdue form of micro-activism.

More than anything, I ultimately hope that doing this Zine and blog will go someway to freeing women from their final shackle - themselves! All the self recrimination and berating that I have indulged in and witness other women put themselves through, seems to me to be one of our highest hurdles, one that is just waiting to be surmounted.

I actually feel quite strongly that this project - if it works - could be part of the humble beginnings of the fourth and final wave of feminism that we need in the UK - self-liberation!

I know that change can come from small steps and I make no apology for keeping my activism fairly local! Not that I don't want to welcome readers afar, but I really believe that ripples can spread far and wide and that's how I see the zine and this blog ultimately fulfilling my rather daunting and ambitious opening gambit! I do believe this could be the beginnings of a new sisterhood speaking out together for an improved representation of women, but I think this can only be brought about by instilling greater belief in ourselves first. How? Well, I believe there is great merit in sharing our experiences. Taking time to creatively interpret and express what we are experiencing can also be hugely cathartic. It probably goes without saying that discovering that others are thinking about something ... or have been through something that you are going through makes you feel more connected and less alone in this big wide world.

Don't believe for one miniute that I am as confident as I sound - but my motivation for doing this is ironically to somehow find the self belief I know I will need to pull this off! Fortunately I have a great deal of determination on my side!

Anyway, I have recently uploaded a bit of a manifesto which is actually a bit cloying I think!!! Never mind - it is stuff that I really do believe in ... so I make no apology for it! The manifesto 'codes' aren't intended to be rules at all ... I suppose it felt helpful to have a sense of what values underpin this publication. Most of all, the thinking behind starting 'The Chapess' is to champion everything that is good about us ladies - hopefully a bit of back patting will help build up our self-confidence along the way. We all know how fragile that can be ... I know I do!

Zed x