I must admit at first, I didn’t know how to write this article… because I know that if I wrote it by myself, it would be a bit… biased.
Now some of you might be wondering, “Whatever do you mean, John?”
Well, let me explain.
In case you haven’t noticed, I am a man. And as a man, I can only write from my own perspective, which is a MALE perspective. Which means that anything that I post about women in capoeira would be from that perspective, which I feel would not be a TRUE way to approach this subject.
So, I’ve decided to give this page to our sisters, and mothers, the women of Capoeira.
I’ve decided to ask women capoeiristas, no matter which style, how long they’ve been in the game, or whether they still play Capoeira or not, about their experiences in the capoeira world, good, bad, or beautiful.
If you’re a woman, and a capoeirista, or have been a capoeirista in the past, this page is for you.
The first 3 who answer these questions, I will post on this page, and any others who answer after that, I will post in the blog that is a part of this website.
You can access the blog and the archives by going down to the bottom of this or any other page on this website… At least until I figure out how to make my Blog page the home page.
Now some of you may be thinking that I’m being lazy here, trying to get other people to write this page when I can do it myself, but it’s not like that.
I feel that the best way to learn about what it’s like for a woman in capoeira is to learn it from a actual woman’s perspective.
And like I said, I can only write this article from only MY MALE perspective. Not to say that my, or any other male perspective isn’t valid, but hey, we’re not women.
Now some of you may be wondering where I got this Idea. Well, it came from 3 main sources.
The 1st is this article called “There are women in the roda: Female empowerment in capoeira”, from capoeirahistory.com.
Click HERE to read this article.
I was also inspired by the 2 mini-documentaries below.
I found them all to be very insightful views of this way of life we call Capoeira through a woman’s eyes.
However, I was most inspired by the women in the small group I belong to, “Solsinmotion”, and in other groups in the greater L.A. area and the inner empire. Women who are educators, homemakers, activists, often times all three. Not to mention poets, business owners, even an urban shaman or two.
Ever since I started training in Capoeira, I learned so much from them.
I realized that, rather than to write an article telling you about women in Capoeira, knowing that it would be a bit. skewed in my opinion, It would be better to reach out to women in the Capoeira world, and ask them to tell all of you about their experiences, in their own words.
Okay, now before I post my questions, I have a couple of ground rules.
- list your name, Apelido/Capoeira nickname (If you have one), and the name of your Capoeira group (If you have one). Introduce yourself to the community! We don’t bite. Well, except for the times when we do….
- While I encourage and trust everyone of you to post a truthful account of your experiences, good, bad, and beautiful, please DO NOT post any personal attacks or offensive comments against any individual, or group! I realize that your experiences are YOUR experiences, and not all of what you post will be positive, but I hope you can all at least be respectful, and civil.
Now for the questions. These are not original. I got them from my fellow members of CAPOEIRISTAS FOR CHANGE, who gave me permission to post them here.
1. Are women still severely underrepresented in capoeira?
2. What does it take for women to reach leadership positions in capoeira?
3. Are the challenges that women continue to face around the world reflected in capoeira spaces?
4. Are women finding empowerment and inspiration in the practice of capoeira?
5. What could we do to better promote gender parity in capoeira and as a society?
6. What does it mean to you to be a woman Capoeirista?
7A. Have you experienced any discrimination, sexism, misogyny, or abuse during your time in the art?
7B. How and what did you do to deal with any of those violations on a mental, emotional, and spiritual level?
8. What progress have you witnessed or experienced to make the art of capoeira more inclusive and equitable?
9. What work needs to be continued to be done to advance and or make the spaces in and outside of capoeira safer for women and those who identify as a woman?
10. What have your experiences been teaching men or those who identify as men; have you felt or experienced any negative responses, angst or lack of receptivity to your teachings?
11. In what ways have you experienced or seen the roles of women expand during your time in the art?
12. What does sisterhood mean to you, have you experienced it in capoeira, and how has that shaped your life?
You don’t have to answer all of these questions at once, or in the order they were presented, but I ask you that you please answer at least 4. You may answer these questions in a few ways…
- In a written essay, or just answer the questions you want to answer
- In a video essay or vlog (YouTube preferred, because it’s easy to post on this website)
- In a PREZI, if you know how to make one.
Look at the choices above as “options”, not necessarily hard set “rules”.
Now, I did something I never did before on this website. I published this page before it’s completion. As I said before, I will complete this page with the first 3 women who answer the above questions, then any more after that, I will post on the blog attached to this website. There’s no time limit on when to answer these questions. I will update where to send your answers soon, but for now, Please send your answers to my email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My Capoeira sisters, I look forward to reading and reposting what you have to say. Let the world hear your voices.