I think anecdotes about women in jiu jitsu is important. I think a wide variety of stories should be available. Even the stuff that would make teammates uncomfortable.
I don’t want to make my own teammates uncomfortable. I don’t want to write things that could cause me to become isolated from my team or my coach. There are often times I don’t want to stir the pot. And I’m absolutely certain other people feel this way, too.
That’s why I published Anonymous Blue Belt’s story about how she found training very difficult. Anonymous has a BJJ blog and didn’t want to publish because she didn’t want her teammates to read it and feel bad, but I think her story is important.
Those difficult stories ARE important. Those difficult stories help raise awareness that not everything is beautiful and shiny, and to quote Feminist Frequency:
it’s both possible (and even necessary) to simultaneously enjoy a piece of media while also being critical of it’s more problematic or pernicious aspects. -from Damsel in Distress part 2
My feeling about jiu jitsu is that it’s both possible to simultaneously enjoy doing BJJ while also being critical of systemic problems that exist for women training around the world. These stories are important for people who think “These issues don’t exist!” and for women who are going through those and think “I’m the only person this is happening to.” While the majority of women may have lucked out and found amazing gyms and amazing teammates, I think awareness of issues that other women face is important.
So what I want to extend is the offer to publish your story. If you are a woman in BJJ and have a blog, I would be happy to publish a story you don’t want to put on your blog. I know that Georgette has done this a time or two. I think it’s really important that women in our community help one another, and this is one way I feel I can help.
To that end, if you are a gay or transgendered woman (or even a gay, transgendered woman), I’m also happy to publish your stories. I recognize that the stories are ones that most women in jiu jitsu will never be aware of or face due to straight or CIS privilege – and ones that often I’m not even aware of due to my own privilege. I do, however, recognize that privilege and if I can help raise some awareness, I’m happy to do so.
Please make sure your article fits with the overall feel of my blog. It should not simply be a rant full of vitriol, but rather a thoughtful and reflective article about your experiences.
Edited to add: You can email me your stories to
julia at jiujiubjj.com waxpoetic at gmail (I’m currently experiencing issues with my other email)