Tuesday, June 14, 2011

So many gender controversies...

...and so much dissertation left to write.

But when things happen in threes, well it's a sign I have to write about them.

So the three recent gender controversies are ones that I have heard about in the past two weeks. Some have been ongoing. Some are one-time events. The one I am writing about today is about the Women's World Cup and is somewhat ongoing. [The other two are more personal for me. I am going to present them with some of the details altered to protect the innocent. But they are both based on real-life events.]

So today is about the Equatorial Guinea women's national soccer team. People are accusing the captain--and others--of being a man. This is not a new accusation that has arisen in light of Equatorial Guinea's qualification to the WWC. Last year, the Nigerian soccer federation filed a complaint (after their national women's team lost to Equatorial Guinea) with the Confederation of African Football. They accused the winners of having two men on their team. And apparently these are not new accusations. Rumors have swirled around the team for years. The teams from Ghana and Cameroon also made some noise at the qualifying tournament last fall.

In the complaint, though, the Nigerians said that Equatorial Guinea's captain Genoveva Anonma and teammate Salimata Simpore seem to be men based on their leg strength and skill level.

Equatorial Guinea responded that the accusations are "totally unfounded" and "evidence of an inferiority complex." Remember this rebuttal. I'm going to adopt it in future posts.

Anonma, who plays professionally in Germany as well, has heard the accusations, refutes them, and said she has already been gender tested. And she's tired of dealing with this.
I can imagine. I'm tired of dealing of it and I'm a cisgendered, (mostly) gender conforming female.
When I finished the ESPN article linked above, I thought there was going to be something more. But there isn't actually anything pressing happening. All the article was about was the controversy the team has experienced. Nothing on whether the players named in the complaint were being tested or if any investigation is ongoing or forthcoming, or if there is a general buzz about this. Are we just dragging up a lingering issue for the purpose of stirring the pot or generating negative attention to this event in a perverse attempt at publicity? This is an underdog team. Usually the underdogs get great publicity. This could be a story about a tiny African country giving female athletes the support they need to make it to the biggest soccer stage in the world. But it's not...curious (or maybe not so curious).

1 comment:

T.Robine said...

Author and coach Vera Jones talks about overcoming difficulties and gender difficulties in her book "Play through the Foul". You can chat live with Vera tomorrow on Ustream