Arşiv - 2015 - 16 Mayıs 2015

‘Lesbian players face pressure from their coaches about social media’

 

“Women players with short hair are not really preferred in the national team unless they are indispensible. Coaches do not want their lesbian players to have a girlfriend from an opposing team.”

 

Canan Koca, a national ex-athlete, opened the second session of the Kaos GL’s 10th International Anti-Homophobia Meeting on homophobia, sexism and ethnic discrimination.

 

Too fast for woman?

 

Koca told when talking about sports it is mostly about performance and institutionalized sports and said:

 

“It is an area mostly associated with masculinity. Unless we talk about masculinity in sports, discrimination in sports cannot be visible.”

 

Koca gave the example of Caster Semenya who was put on a gender verification test because she was running “too fast for a woman”:

 

“I believe that gender verification is the central point of control over women’s bodies in sports. Semenya was on the cover of You magazine after the verification in a feminine way to prove her womanhood.”

 

“Lesbian players face pressure from their coaches about social media”

 

Pinar Ozturk, who studies experiences of women football players, explained how all genders and sexual orientations are over-categorized in football.

 

“Women’s football is limited within the borders of managers or trainers who are men. And women football players believes in this: ‘Play like a man in the pitch, act like a girl outside.’ They have their hair done before each training.”

 

Ozturk also mentioned that there are lesbian football players in the Turkey who are out to their team members but facing pressure from their coaches about what they share from their social media accounts.  

 

Women still not allowed in sports

 

Mustafa Sahin Karacam, who studies masculinity in sports, explained how women were excluded from the Olympics in the 8th century B.C. still continues in sports today.

 

Karacam also talked about how masculinity is constructed through sports, by giving an example from his study in a gym:

 

“In my study on men going to gym, it seems that the main focus of men is to ‘build up muscle’ not ‘losing weight’, which is spared for women.”

 

No girlfriend from an opposing team for lesbian players

 

A football player from gay and bisexual women’s team Sportif Lezbon shared how lesbophobia is so widespread in football:

 

“I used to play in an Istanbul team. Our coach was talking a lot about lesbians in other teams and saying ‘there are no lesbians in our team’, which made us the players look at each other and giggle.”

 

She also told how lesbians are suppressed in football teams:

 

“I know that women players with short hair are not really preferred in the national team unless they are indispensible. Coaches do not want their lesbian players to have a girlfriend from an opposing team.”

 

The Meeting will continue with a session on experiences of women story writers.

 

You can find the program of the 10th International Anti-Homophobia Meeting here.

 

The 10th International Anti-Homophobia Meeting is supported by the Embassy of Canada, the Embassy of Germany, the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands, the Royal Norwegian Embassy and the SIDA.