Parabéns, Helena Costa!

Soccer stadiums may be open-air, but there’s still a glass ceiling to break when it comes to professional men’s teams’ coaching staffs. Now, however, thanks to the France’s Clermont Foot, there’s a crack in that roof. The second-division team hired Portugal-native Helena Costa on Wednesday to replace Regis Brouard, and said ”this nomination should help Clermont enter into a new era,” The Associated Press reports.

Costa, 36, previously coached the women’s national teams of Qatar and Iran, and also worked as a scout for Celtic in Scotland. Now, she will become the first female head coach of a Top 2 division team in Europe’s five major leagues when she takes over next season, reports.


One other woman has been hired to coach a professional team in a third-tier league. Carolina Morace coached the Italian team Viterbese in 1999, but quit after just two matches because of “constant media pressure,” writes.

French team Clermont hires Helena Costa as first female coach in upper-tier men’s European soccer.

Stop Saying “I Have a Boyfriend” To Deflect Unwanted Attention | xoJane

I enjoy “going out.” I like dancing, I like music, I like drinking, I like spending time with friends. And I like meeting new people, chatting with them and making friends. I also understand that many people (men and women) go to bars and clubs in hopes of meeting a romantic/sexual partner, and of course, there is nothing wrong with this, in theory.
That’s why, if someone attempts conversation with me, I try not to immediately write them off as a “creep.” I welcome conversation and believe that the more people in my life with whom I can converse, the better off I’ll be.
However (as most women know) there sometimes comes a point in a conversation with a man where it becomes necessary to draw the line and indicate that you are in no way, by any means, at all interested in pursuing anything further. There are also times when it is clear that friendly conversation is not in the cards (i.e., those men who substitute grabbing your hips and attempting to “dance” with you for a polite introduction). This is about those times.
If you do a Google search for “How to avoid being hit on at a bar,” you’ll get several articles with “helpful” tips on skirting conversation with men you are not interested in. The majority of these list pretending to have (or actually having) a boyfriend/fiance/husband as the number one method for avoiding creeps (second to “pretending to be a lesbian” or “pretending to be crazy,” a la Jenna Marbles).
In response to my complaints about men creeping on me at dance clubs in college, an ex-boyfriend of mine used to get cranky that I refused to whip out this cure-all excuse (one of many reasons he is an ex).
Yes, this may be the easiest and quickest way to get someone to leave you alone, but the problems associated with using this excuse far outweigh the benefits. There is a quotation that I’ve seen floating around Tumblr recently (reblogged by many of my amazing feminist Tumblr-friends) that goes as follows:

Male privilege is “I have a boyfriend” being the only thing that can actually stop someone from hitting on you because they respect another male-bodied person more than they respect your rejection/lack of interest.

This amazingly puts into one sentence what I have been attempting to explain to ex-boyfriends and friends (male and female) for years, mostly unsuccessfully. The idea that a woman should only be left alone if she is “taken” or “spoken for” (terms that make my brain twitch) completely removes the level of respect that should be expected toward that woman.
It completely removes the agency of the woman, her ability to speak for herself and make her own decisions regarding when and where the conversation begins or ends. It is basically a real-life example of feminist theory at work–women (along with women’s choices, desires, etc.) being considered supplemental to or secondary to men, be it the man with whom she is interacting or the man to whom she “belongs” (see the theory of Simone de Beauvoir, the story of Adam and Eve, etc.).
And the worst part of the whole situation is that we’re doing this to ourselves.
This tactic also brings up the question of the alternative. If the woman in question was boyfriend-free, would she automatically be swooning in the arms of the creep harassing her? Unlikely. So why do we keep using these excuses? We’re not teaching men anything about the consequences of their behavior (i.e., polite, real conversation warrants a response while unwanted come-ons do not). We’re merely taking the easy exit, and, simultaneously, indicating to men that we agree, single girls are “fair game” for harassment.
So what can we do? I think the solution is simple — we simply stop using excuses. If a man is coming on to you (and you are not interested — if you are, go for it, girl!), respond with something like this: “I’m not interested.”Don’t apologize and don’t excuse yourself. If they question your response (which is likely), persist — ”No, I said I’m not interested.”
“Oh, so you have a boyfriend?”
“I said, I’m not interested.”
“So you’re a lesbian, then?”
“Actually, I’m not interested.”
“You seem crazy.”
“Nope, just not interested.”
Et cetera. You could even, if you were feeling particularly outspoken, engage in a bit of debate with the man in question.
“Why is it that you think that just because I’m not interested, there must be an excuse? Why is it not an option that I’m simply not looking for a sexual encounter and/or something about the way that you approached me indicated to me that you have very little respect for women and therefore I would never be interested in having a sexual encounter with you regardless of my sexuality or relationship status?” (Or, ya know, switch it up as you see fit.) Questioning them back (if you have the energy) puts you back on an even playing field.
I’m not saying this is easy. I’ve gotten into my fair share of arguments with men during what were supposed to be fun nights out with friends over whether or not I have the “right” to tell them to buzz off, boyfriend notwithstanding. However, there are a few reasons I continue:
1. So that maybe, possibly, the man I’m speaking to, or other men observing the encounter, may learn something about the agency of women,
2. So that maybe, possibly I might be inspiring other women observing to do the same so that one day, we can be a huge kickass collective of ladies standing up for our right to go crazy on the dance floor without being hassled, and
3. So that I can go home that night, sweaty and tired and happy, and know that I gave myself all the respect that I deserve.

Stop Saying “I Have a Boyfriend” To Deflect Unwanted Attention | xoJane.

Lois Lane Superman Man Of Steel Sequel

Once, in an R29 news brainstorming session, we were working on a slideshow featuring our, “Biggest Fictional Celebrity Crushes” — but I kept mine to myself. It’d be pretty awkward to talk about a nerdy fanboy crush on a driven female journalist Lois Lane with a room full ofdriven female journalists. More than that, I imagine the driven female journalists who didn’t feel put on the spot might look at Lane as the archetype of the weak, helpless damsel in distress — “Superman’s girlfriend.” See, awkward.

But it’s true: The ambitious, talented, worldly reporter who can reduce the most powerful man in the world to a lump of insecurity has influenced not only how I look at women and what they can do, but what kinds of women I’m attracted to.

I mean, look at her. She’s a preternaturally talented, intelligent, and a somewhat salty woman with a really cool job. It’s true that, at her birth in 1938, being a newspaper reporter was one of the few professions at the time that allowed women to be depicted in popular culture as equal to men. But Lois Lane didn’t only work with Clark Kent atThe Daily Planet, she ran circles around him. I mean, in Max Fleischer’s Superman 1941 cartoon serials, she piloted her own one-seat plane to a remote island to do an interview…with a mad scientist…at his fortress. They don’t teach that in J-School.

She’s sexually liberated, too. Her rejection of the dependable, intelligent, considerate (but unassuming) Clark Kent for Superman — arguably the most sexually attractive person in her world — shows that Lane wasn’t about to accept anything but the very best. She even seemed to relish, at times, the fact that she did more damage to Superman/Clark Kent with a word than Lex Luthor could do with a dump truck full of Kryptonite. Gotta respect a woman who’s out to get hers. 

Now, yeah, she’s been a bit — how shall we say — boy crazy for Superman at times. She spent the whole ’60s in the unfortunately titled, Superman’s Girlfriend, Lois Lane fixated on getting Big Blue to marry her (Lane will be getting her own, all-new comic book titled, simply, Lois Lane in 2014). It was a little pathetic.

But that’s just a passing moment — not the full Lois. Nor is the one who’s always getting bailed out by her flying boyfriend. The real Lois has been living in a world dominated by testosterone-filled, muscled super soldiers that was primarily created for testosterone-filled teenagers for 70 years, and rarely, if ever, put up with any crap. It’s impossible to count the number of times she’s stood toe-to-toe with evil demigods, outsmarted criminal masterminds, or returned Superman’s many favors by saving his life. She’s even the first person I ever heard use the word “bitch” (at the end of 1981’s Superman II).

Tough, brilliant, and she does it all with shampoo-commercial-quality hair, beautiful eyes, a sort of Annie Hall-goes-corporate style that’s somehow way more attractive than the metal bikinis and latex pants most of the woman in the comics universe wear, a sense of humor, and a kind, warm heart. 

Can you blame me for a little fanboy crush? 

Lois Lane Superman Man Of Steel Sequel.

Artist Documents Her Experience Dressing More Feminine To Get A Job

When artist Coco Layne was interviewing for a job that would require her to look “conservative,” she realized how slight changes in her gender presentation affected how people treated her.

So she created Warpaint, a photo project that explores the subtleties in her gender presentation.

I so appreciate this exisiting

Artist Documents Her Experience Dressing More Feminine To Get A Job.

Jennifer Siebel Newsom (My Ultimate Girl Crush)

From Contact Music

Within 30 minutes of finishing Miss Representation, I had texted my stepmom and sister, cousin, and assorted friends to tell them to drop everything and get in front of a computer. I whored out my Netflix password to anyone with free time because I was so beyond excited.

Here was an honest representation of women’s exploitation in the media produced, directed and starring freaking amazing women.

Jennifer Siebel Newsom opens Miss Representation by explaining how and why she decided to make it. As a mother, Newsom feared for her young daughter growing up in such an objectifying environment, just like how ‘finding feminism’ for me had a lot to do with my sister. (Newsom is the eldest daughter as well, which I am definitely going to write about at some point….)

Newsom was raised in California, where she received her Bachelor’s (with honors) and Master’s from Stanford. Newsom also studied at the American Conservatory Theater (oh my god we have similar interests. Squeeing ensues). After which she travelled around the world, only to return to California, and acting, in 2002.

Miss Representation (2011) was Newsom’s directorial debut, premiering at the Sundance Film Festival. It includes interviews with some of the most badass chicks alive today and is unflinching in its indictment of women’s objectification in the media.

Lessons From My Homegirl:

  • Surround yourself with fierce females. They will make you stronger.
  • Be aware. No one can objectify you without your consent. Pay attention.
  • Watch this freaking movie, guys.
  • Feminism is not always going sans fards to make a point. In case you haven’t noticed, Newsom is a goddess.
  • You can have it all. You can do it all. Feminism is about choice. Whether you choose to be a mom, an actress, a filmmaker, or all three- it’s your choice.

Fierce Female- Hermione Granger

Hermione-Granger-hermione-granger-20053436-936-1197My sister and I are lifetime members of Hermione Granger’s cult of personality. We have been her for Halloween, used ‘WWHD (What would Hermione Do)?’ in conversation (I know, dear god we are SUCH nerds), etc. But the truth is, when you find a female role model like Hermione, you better hold on tight because it is rare.

Hermione is everything our parents hoped for us to be- smart, independent, courageous and kind. She is not a damsel in distress and, more often than not, it’s a book, not a boy, that rescues her. Unlike Harry, whose courage is derived from genetics, destiny and life experience, or Ron, the wild-card, who finds his courage at the last minute when the situation necessitates it, Hermione works her ass off.

Not only does Hermione maintain the wizard equivalent of a 4.0, but she’s also always in the library looking up stuff to save her friends. The Harry Potter series would have been SO boring if JK had narrated the hours of research Hermione must have been doing. Think about how many times she rushed into the common room having unravelled the mysteries that enabled Harry’s kick-ass’ing (THAT’S A WORD). As well, wizards don’t use internet. Hermione is looking this shit up in dusty old wizard books.

How about the fact that girlfriend is taking so many classes that a teacher gives her the ability to travel through time. Like JESUS that’s academic commitment.

Despite the fact that Hermione is a badass motherfucker, she is still kind to everyone. Neville, Buckbeak, and many other characters have been touched by the compassion of Hermione Granger. *SPOILER ALERT (HIGHLIGHT TO SEE)*: Also- The compassion Hermione shows when she casts the forgetting spell on her parents? I cried like a baby through that whole scene. I mean to give up your entire life at that age for the greater good… Damn girl.

Lessons from my homegirl:

  • It’s ok (IN FACT, AWESOME) to be smart, ladies. Embrace yo brain.
  • Do yourself a favor, be your own savior.
  • Date a boy or girl who reads.
  • Raise your hand in class, you won’t regret it eventually.