Sunday, June 15, 2008

Fighting homophobia my way - Change in plan

I wrote about the event that I'm organizing right now, if you haven't read that you might want to before you read this blog entry.

I just talked to one of my best friends in my hometown about the event that I was planning and about my fear that nobody will show up and she had some thoughts, which I will implement to not make a complete fool out of myself when nobody shows up. She said that I might want to combine the topic homosexuality with a current topic and then she had the idea to combine it with soccer, because soccer is on everybody's mind right now. So, I decided that I will propose two topics for discussions at the event:

  • The question why men playing soccer get all the attention and women playing soccer get none - this works well with the fact that our "office" is mainly handling feminist topics.
  • Homophobia and soccer - whether there don't exist gay soccer players or whether these are just not out.
I really hope that these topics will attract students to come to the event and also actually talk about the topics. I so badly want to change something about the situation of LGBT-people here, but if I push it too much I will not be able to change anything, will I?

I'm very uncertain and self-conscious right now and that's not a good place to be. Any thoughts, ideas, suggestions?


V. said...

I like those two topics. =) I'm not a soccer person, but if these questions were discussed at an event in my area, I'd go there. As you said, you can probably attract more people with soccer-themed topics than you'd attract with the general topic of homophobia... and a lot of people don't realise how close-minded some teams and fans are. You might, by the way, be interested in this site (it seems great for research^^): GaySports

I believe that once you've found a good story or news item to begin with, people should be willing to discuss.
Anyway, do tell once you've decided on something!

Dutchcloggie said...

I am a lesbian and I play rugby & football. I can honestly say that there is a good reason for women not getting as much attention as the men. The quality is simply lower. Yes, without attention and sponsors the sport can not grow, players can not go professional and they can not get better so it is a vicious circle.

There are only a few sports where women get almost similar attention & respect as men. Speed Skating (tournaments are held at the same time and in the same venue as men's races so the audience gets to see both sexes), tennis and cycling.

I think your topic is interesting but you need to be careful not to adopt a 'victim' stance about women in sport. Men are the main sports fans and they spend the money. That is the nature of the beast. It will therefore not be enough to just change perception and visibility of women in sport. Sometimes there simply is not as much interest in something. And I fear that you will never get as many men watching a women's football match and talk ONLY about the quality of the football, as you would get men to watch a men's game.

Men dream about themselves when watching sports. For a few hours, they can imagine that they are part of the success. And they admire the athletes in a 'manly way'. A gay sportsman will therefore challenge a man's idea of admiration and make him think there is something sexual about it. That makes them uncomfortable. And then there is the issue of being naked in the showers for those athletes who play with a gay team mate. So there really are two issues here: homophobia from the supporters and homophobia from other athletes.

Sorry, ramblin' on here. really interesting discussion. Go for it. I'll be happy to help you out if you want to talk stuff through?

If that makes sense.

Nelfy said...

@v: thanks for the link! I'll just have to search for something in german, but I might translate some things from this site!

@dutchcloggie: thanks for the insight! I honestly don't have enough knowledge yet to really say something about this topic, but I did notice that our women's skiers don't get the same attention that the men's skiers get and that strikes me as strange since our women are better than our men. And the downhill skiing seems very interesting and high-quality independently of the gender. But I get what you're saying - and I'm not one to victimise either, I more like to think of it the way that women have to want to change something to get change! Thanks again for the comment, that really gave me some new ideas and food for thought!