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The Buzz Cut: Women Athletes Continue to Shape a More Inclusive Definition of Greatness

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Jul 31, 2021

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Image Credit: Getty

In The Buzz Cutwe bring you a round-up of all the weird, controversial, and wonderful stories we’ve been reading all week.


From Naomi Osaka and Simone Biles talking about their mental health to Serena Williams expressing outrage over crude comments, every time a woman athlete is courageous, all hell seems to break a lose in a patriarchal world. If anything, these athletes are setting an important precedent in a male-dominated industry, and re-defining a “true champion mindset.” Can we ever value women athletes in their defeat and celebration?

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In the 19th century, a sport called “pedestrianism” was more popular than football is now. This was a competition where people paid to watch other people walk, and experts called it a medley “of epic rivalries, eyewatering salaries, feverish nationalism, eccentric personalities, and six-day, 450-mile walks.”

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People often confuse cricket with hockey when they think of India’s national sport — and the story of how this switch in discourse happened goes back to one winter night in 1982, with the defeat of the hockey team. The shift also had something to do with cricket, and how easily it lent itself to “the cult of the individual.”

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An insider perspective into why people possess hot collectibles like vinyl shows the enduring cultural legacy of obsessive collecting as a hobby in a post-pandemic world. One collector notes “the idea that I was filling the void people and socializing had left in my life with things… seemed less like a metaphor and more like exactly what I was in fact doing.”

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A New Delhi slum is among the very few in the country to have a Wikipedia entry, courtesy of a group of women who are narrating the story of their lives. It’s not only a question of claiming agency, but “the way these women are understanding the city means that that is giving rise to a certain form of knowledge.”

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A 17th-century priest questioned patriarchy head-on, considered motherhood to be a respectful work of labor, and invented modern feminism by placing women at the front and center of equality. Some even call him a prophet: “Perhaps Poulain sounds like a character in a fairy tale, the genius too far ahead of his time, the prophet shouting into the wind.”

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If you’re wondering why “sew” and “new” don’t rhyme, or why English has unpredictable grammar rules, it might help to look at the timing of technology. Much of the quirks can be traced back to the arrival of the printing press, so much so that “if the printing press has arrived earlier in the life of English, or later, after some of the upheaval had settled, things might have ended up differently.”

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Written By Saumya Kalia

Saumya Kalia is Associate Editor at The Swaddle. Her journalism and writing explore issues of social justice, digital sub-cultures, media ecosystem, literature and memory as they cut across socio-cultural periods. You can reach her at @Saumya_Kalia.

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