Hitting the ball on sexism: “I wish I hadn’t kicked that goal…”

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The 5th International Feminist Forum brought together Atletik Dildoa, Sportif Lezbon and Amedspor Mor Barikat (Purple Barricade) against sexism, homophobia and transphobia.

The 5th Feminist Forum of Kaos GL Association ended on Sunday with the session “Hitting the Ball on Sexism”. Football players and supporters from Atletik Dildoa, Sportif Lezbon and Amedspor Mor Barikat (Purple Barricade) shared their experiences regarding sexism, homophobia and transphobia in football.

Sevval Kilic: As many queer kids, I used to have a football phobia. Hetero-dominant, masculine body language was keeping me away from football. Then, encouraged by my friends living in Tatavla [a district in Istanbul], I started going to football matches. By time, I became a goalkeeper. A smoking one, of coure. I discovered how fun football can be without the hetero-dominant, masculine oppression.

Nazli Cabadag, Istanbul Atletik Dildoa: When we had founded the Atletik Dildoa, we wanted to be part of the Other League. They told us to find a name and join them. Inspired by the Sportif Lezbon, our favourite name was the Atletik Dildoa. When we informed the league about our name, we couldn’t hear back from them for a week. They told us that some teams have reservations [about our name]. Then they explained to us that some groups found “dildo” sexist, capitalist and militarist. Straight guys were telling us this! Some teams left the league. They were going to write an apology but they didn’t. The process got so long. We couldn’t play for 2 months. At the end, the league somehow got closed but we keep playing in our neighbourhood.

Fulden Arisan: My story with football is a painful one. After I saw my period blood while playing football, I wasn’t allowed to play. Atletik Dildoa made me realize how much I missed running around in the streets. I love our normlessness, freedom, and running after football as I like.

Hande Altintas: In one of Kaos GL’s traditional Mount Isik picnics, we had so much fun playing football in grass as tall as us. Then we decided to play in artificial turf. That year we formed two teams called Strapon and Elle. The following year we made a call to reach out to more women. We had a tournament with 4 teams made up of 40 women.

Two years after those matches, we contacted the Free League, thinking “why shouldn’t we make our own team?” and came the Sportif Lezbon. We brought up the rule that each team of the league should have at least one female player. Guys wanted to continue things as they were, saying “we have no female friends” but we have seen a big transformation.

Dilek Demir, Purple Barricade: We used to be part of Amedspor’s mixed supporter groups. Recently, we have found the Purple Barricade supporter group. I’ve been playing football simce 1988 but back then women were not even seen as amateurs. We were being treated like aliens.

Even as a kid, playing football was too hard. One I kicked a goal in my neighborhood. The goalkeeper was made fun of by his teammates. They said “oh boy, a girl kicked you a goal”. The boy started crying. I went to console him and started crying, too. I had thought “I wish I hadn’t kicked that goal”.

Even our peace banner was fined 190.000 liras [about 60.000 Euros], which is a big amount for club with a small budget like ours. As supporters, we were detained.

There is one thing I have learned in tribune culture and football: You cannot exist without your rival. You need to respect your rival. Similarly, if you kill peoples you live together with, you cannot exist, either.

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