• London
Lelé's Capoeira Blog

Capoeira mansplaining

Capoeira mansplaining

I know it sucks to pick on negative things, but this has been getting on my goat for way too long and it has to stop. I’m writing this down because I want men to think about this, and also, I’ve got to get it off my chest, as it’s very irritating and it just doesn’t seem to end, despite me being a mature, middle-aged woman, and despite doing Capoeira for many years.

When it happens it’s ALWAYS a man, in my Capoeira circle there’s a small group who keep at it, they keep trying to mansplain things to me, even though I either know what I’m doing or I’m trying to figure it out ON MY OWN and I haven’t asked for any help whatsoever. Sometimes they try to explain to my own culture to me – I was born/raised in Brazil, they weren’t, but, for example, they might have gone to forro a few times and suddenly they are experts in Brazilian music!

They are all nice guys but it really irritates me when I’m doing something, and totally unsolicited, I’m pulled out of my zone and I’m being told how I should be doing this or that, and how I should be doing it. It can be a movement I’m practicing, an instrument I’m playing, a berimbau I’m stringing. It’s very annoying. My tactic now is to nod, turn the other way and keep doing whatever I’m doing – basically I try to just ignore them – today I want to say :STOP IT! How come women never do this space intrusion? I started giving the look (the “go away” look), but if it carries on I’m going to have to verbalise it. And I’m a very blunt person, my verbalisations tend to be quick and to the point. I’d love to be delicate and tactful but that’s just not who I am.

I have appreciated – on many occasions – feedback and suggestions on a move I am in the middle of practicing – it can be helpful. But at other times it can be intrusive and patronising. It’s a fine line. SO, if you are about to “help” someone in a Capoeira context – try and think – yes, be thoughtful!!!! If I can do it, why can’t you? “Am I doing this to be helpful or am I just trying to show off my knowledge and stroke my own ego in the process? Would I be talking like this if this was a man? Would I myself appreciate being talked to like this? Has this person actually asked for help or do they look like they are doing their own thing – should I burst their bubble with the spear of my unsolicited advice? Is the advice ACTUALLY NEEDED? Should I give them a bit of time to work things out for themselves?”

My experience with women AND with other men in the group has been that there’s a better sense of knowing when to say something and when not to.

One thought on “Capoeira mansplaining

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: