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Red Card! Gender and sexism in Russian football - an insider's view

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In 2012 academic and LGBT activist Ira Roldugina decided to try her luck and take part in the football commentators competition in Moscow. Although in Russia female representation at all levels of the game is close to zero, Ira counted on her intellectual excellency to open doors. A professional historian with two specialisations in 18th and 20th century Russian social history, she has also worked as a writer for Ria Novosti, Gazeta.ru news agencies and published opera reviews. Football became her passion, and she began engaging with the abundant data on footballers, match results and team policies.

However, the main reason for participating in the competition was, as a feminist and an LGBT activist, to challenge discrimination in the industry and fight negative attitudes towards women in football.

Which stage did she reach in the competition? How did she get interested in football first place? Do football and opera have anything in common ? How does football in Russia connect with politics? During the event Irina will answer these questions and talk about women in football, in particular the director of Chelsea Marina Granovskaya. 

In conclusion, Ira will talk about the Football Cup 2018 from the vantage point of a professional historian: the facts, the anecdotes, the politics.

 Ira Roldugina

Ira Roldugina


Ira Roldugina is currently a DPhil student at Oxford University working on a book about homosexuality in early Soviet Russia. She taught at the Higher School of Economics, Moscow. Areas of scholarly interests include: the history of homosexuality in Russia, intimacy in the GULAG, gender history, history of HIV in Russia, archival policy.


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