with eyes open wide
I’ve been around the men’s soccer world for over a decade. I always seem to date soccer players…
I think it’s a wonderful game for people to play together for the lessons of camaraderie, teamwork, exercise, sportsmanship and general fun. Many players will say that they are closer with their team members than with other friends (or their teammates are their only friends!).
I came across this Kickstarter campaign for a movie about a women’s soccer league in South Africa. They met their fundraising goal and the movie is set to be released in summer 2014. Congratulations to them!
But this topic is actually very serious. Women’s soccer in South Africa is riddled with stereotypes and violence against the women players for daring to be different. Men feel threatened and maybe a little pissed off that women are actually having fun in a game that they traditionally enjoy. The violence has gotten so serious that unfortunately two women coaches and former National team members were murdered. The women were lesbians and homosexuality is not accepted in the South African culture. The women were gang raped (abhorrently coined “corrective rape”) and then stabbed to death.
“THE BEAUTIFUL GAME documents these five women as they struggle to balance their need to work and provide with their love of soccer– a sport that has no professionally paid female leagues in South Africa. Despite their firm belief (and living proof) that soccer can deter women from negative lifestyles such as prostitution, drugs and alcohol, the film exposes the country’s lack of financial and emotional support both toward women’s soccer and teams located in the Eastern Cape. Additionally, THE BEAUTIFUL GAME explores how the women battle severe gender norms, homophobia and discrimination in a society that believes that “football makes you lesbian.””
I really hope that you watch it if it comes to a theater near you or if you find it on an on-demand service. I know I certainly will!