At just 11-years-old, Brazilian prize-winning roller-skater Maria Joaquina can skate circles around most of her competitors. Still, despite her level of athleticism, the elite skater is facing various obstacles on her path to success. Mostly because of transphobia.
In a recent report by BBC, Joaquina was celebrated for finishing second in Brazil’s national roller skating championships. Typically, this achievement would have guaranteed her a slot at the South American regionals.
Unfortunately, the South American Skating Confederation is attempting to prevent her from competing.
SASC typically allows skaters to compete as women if they have a female name on their official ID.
Joaquina does not.
Though she goes by a feminine name, the 11-year-old still has the male name given to her at birth on her birth certificate.
When the South American Skating Confederation first contacted Joaquina to notify her that she’d been disqualified from competing, her parents hit back. They took the Confederation to court and ultimately won an injunction that made it so that she would be allowed to skate in the girls’ regional competition.
Then, a seemingly corrupted series of events happened.
The Confederation ordered that the skating order be changed and Joaquina was moved from her original slot as the last competitor to the very first. All without even a slip of notice.
Video of Joaquina taking part in the regional competition that day is hard to watch. With little to no time to prepare, the skater went out onto the floor and fell. Over and over again and when she couldn’t bear it much more she began to cry. All while pushing herself to finish her skate.
In an interview with the BBC, Joaquina’s father explained that it was too much pressure.
“People saying that you’ve not been accepted and [we] don’t want you to compete” had clearly taken its toll on her. And while the Confederation has said that the schedule change was not meant to sabotage Joaquina’s performance, it also reiterated its policy of “only letting skaters compete as women if they have a female name on their official ID.”
And yet, Joaquina has used the experience to continue to florish.
In her interview with BBC she explained that she wanted “people to understand that I’m a girl. It might still say João on my ID, but I know I’m a girl.”
Lamborghini cars are synonymous with extravagance and dreams of wealth that are unattainable for the vast majority of people. Ferraris are also a denominator of wealth and sometimes of a midlife crisis (generally “suffered” by white dudes who need to reaffirm their masculinity by driving a fancy, roaring car).
By the amount of Italian luxury cars one is able to spot in Latin America, you wouldn’t think that the region suffers from constant economic crisis and that vast segments of the population live under the poverty line. However, the fact that some individuals are willing to spend on a car more than some people make in their whole lives speaks to the deep and wide inequalities that exist in the region.
The Brazilian police just revealed that they uncovered a secret operation in which a father-son duo were actually manufacturing fakes! Yes, you read that right. If you thought that making fake Prada and Louis Vuitton handbags that look like the real deal sounded complicated, just wait until you read this story that falls under the category of magical realism.
Lamborghinis are expensive, like REALLY expensive.
If you wonder why someone would go through the trouble of making a fake luxury car, wonder no longer. An authentic Lamborghini costs no less than $200,000 USD. Just think about this: the minimum wage in Brazil is 998 reals a month, which translates into $257.5 USD. Yes, we are talking MONTHLY wage. So you can imagine what owning a Lamborghini in Brazil, even a fake one, means in terms of what some people consider important as a definer of class and social status.
The Brazilian police made a fantastic discovery in the region of Santa Catarina.
The Brazilian police received complaints from two Italian manufacturers, Lamborghini and Ferrari. Investigations led them to Santa Catarina, a state in southern Brazil famous for its beaches and nightlife , and about 840 miles southwest of Rio de Janeiro, where they made the arrests.
They proudly announced the bust on social media, and guess how the cars were being sold.
The Brazilian police, which is getting a boost from conservative new president Bolsonaro, proudly announced the bust on their Twitter account. As reported by Business Insider, the father-son team also used digital networks for their marketing and distribution: “The shop was offering the cars on social media for $45,000 to $60,000, which is far less than what the genuine exotic supercars cost”.
The “company”, Autos Fibra, even had an Instagram account!
Descarados! The workshop even had an Instagram account and some YouTube videos, so they were not very secretive about their operation. It makes us think of how copyright and intellectual property are legal matters, of course, but also about how the notions of originality can vary from country to country. In China, for example, making knock-offs is not necessarily seen as a bad thing, as ideas are considered communal rather than individual assets.
They really thought this through: the level of detail in the replicas is really amazing… in a criminal kind of way.
We are not condoning criminal activity here, but you got to appreciate the craftsmanship in making all this from scratch, from used car parts and without the original blueprints for the vehicles. Only a trained eye would be able to spot the difference at first glance. The Sun UK reports: “Upon raiding the operation, police discovered eight replicas which were in the process of being assembled. Photos captured by police show some of the motors covered in dust and wrapped in plastic covers. The crooks were even fitting fraudulent badges, seats and accessories emblazoned with the iconic Italian brands”.
Everything was seized in the raid.
When the police arrived they found a well-oiled (pun intended!) operation. As CNN reports: “Tools, molds, fibers and frames used to manufacture the cars were also seized during the raid, police said. The shop was owned by a father and son, who were both arrested and face criminal charges for falsifying commercial property. The pair are thought to be the largest manufacturers of bootleg luxury vehicles in Brazil”. According to the two men who were arrested, they were making “legal prototypes”. Yeah, sure!
This has happened before elsewhere in the world.
The manufacture of bootleg luxury cars is not unique to Brazil. Nine years ago in 2010, a Thai man was made famous for his ability to build replica Ferraris, Porsches and Aston Martins. Thailand is one of the epicenters of global counterfeit of replicas of luxury goods.
Social media soon found some humor on the story of the Brazilian fake Italian supercars.
This dude, Peter Malcolm, bluntly claims that he has a Lambo: do we believe him or is he just bluffing?
These are some cool new words that need to enter the Oxford Dictionary!
This news story led to the creation of some fantastic new words. “Shamborghini” and “Fauxrrari” should definitely enter the dictionary as socially acceptable words. One thing is for certain, this duo, whose identity is concealed due to legal reasons, will go down in the history of counterfeiting as infamous legends.
And some people lauded the father-son duo as true entrepreneurs, products of Latin American neoliberalism!
As we said before, we do not condone this criminal activity. The car industry invests millions of dollars in the manufacturing, design and distribution of its products, and hundreds of jobs depend on it. But, as some social media users pointed out on CNN’s Facebook page, we gotta give them some credit. As one Gideon K. Langat pointed out: “They are actually offering a solution to the financially challenged with taste of class”. Well, if not being able to afford an Italian luxury supercar means being “financially challenged” then we all are, aren’t we?
BTW, an American father-son duo built a Lamborghini Aventador using a 3D printer!
An American dad and his son were playing video games when they suddenly decided to build a replica of one of the cars featured in the game. As The Sun UK reports: “Sterling Backus was inspired to build the supercar after his son said he liked it when they were playing video game Forza Horizon 3. But as he didn’t have the budget to buy a brand-new Aventador, valued at more than £270,000, he decided to get creative. Despite having no experience, the physicist turned to 3D printing to build the impressive motor. Over the past 18 months, the duo have spent an hour each day painstakingly gluing each panel onto the home-made chassis”. Wow, that is what we call parental dedication. This dude deserves some sort of Father of the Decade award.
In downtown São Paulo, July 14th’s Sunday service didn’t go quite as planned. The Canção Nova Community sponsored a youth conference and invited a celebrity priest to serve the final mass. Brazil’s most famous padre, Father Marcelo Rossi, was giving a homily in front of 50,000 worshippers when a woman suddenly pushed him off stage. The 32-year-old woman’s name has not been released, and she was immediately arrested. The priest is known for being vehemently homophobic and misogynist and had reportedly told the crowd that fat women don’t go to heaven before being pushed off the stage.
A woman pushed a homophobic and misogynistic priest off stage on live national television.
Apparently, the woman was able to sneak past security and get on stage in the middle of his homily. In a few seconds flat, she excitedly shoved the elderly priest off the stage.
O Dia later reported that “She said that she wanted to come in to talk to him and that she was scared the moment she saw the security guards running after her. It’s her version, but anyone who sees the pictures sees that there is none of it [security guards running after her]. She says she got scared and pushed him at a time when she kind of freaked out, lost control, but she had no intention [of hurting him], she just wanted to talk to him.”
She could be seen smiling after the push, and immediately jumped off the stage.
Within a few minutes, the priest reportedly stood up and told the crowd, in Portuguese, that “the devil hates him” and “thanked Mary for deliverance.” There have been mixed reports about why she did it, along with mixed reactions.
The young audience watched in shock and then started to scream.
Minutes after the incident, the priest was back on stage to finish la misa. Almost immediately, President Jair Bolsonaro tweeted out his well wishes for Rossi, saying, “All our solidarity with Father Marcelo Rossi. God looks [over] Brazil.”
The woman told reporters Monday that what happened was “between [Rossi] and I.”
Her friends told police that she suffers from various mental disorders and that she was being chaperoned when she snuck away from the group. She told police that she has bipolar disorder. Rossi decided not to press charges given that he was protected by the Virgin Mary, and she was released that same night.
Brasileños everywhere were sharing their reactions–from horror to just pure laughter on social media.
Just so y’all know, Rossi is a Grammy-nominated “Latin singer,” and mega-producer of Christian music. He’s also a mega-homophobe. In 1998, he said, “A lot of ideas will change the day homosexuality is proven to be an illness.”
Given Rossi’s open, proud homophobia, some folks were applauding the woman’s actions.
Just five years ago, he shared misinformation to his millions of followers, saying, “Sex between man causes pain, if something causes pain, it can’t be a good thing.”
We don’t know who said it first, but The Internet estaba chismosando for days about this version of the story.
Unfortunately, the reason this rumor started spreading is rooted in body-shaming the mentally unwell woman, and mother of a 3-year-old. While feminist outlets clung to this story and ran, fortunately, Rossi has never said that.
Catholics started clapping back to the chismosas by pointing out the flaws in the story.
Every version of the story we found says the priest said, “las gordas no van al cielo,” which wouldn’t make any sense. Rossi wouldn’t be speaking Spanish on a national broadcast when the vast majority of Brasileños speak Portuguese. This just didn’t happen, basta.
Others who feel spiritually traumatized by the Church felt that Rossi deserved the push.
Of course, plenty of people from all sexualities, religious belief systems or none at all, came out as unable to condone assault of any kind. They argue that you can believe the Church needs to change to include equal opportunities for women, to stop hating on the LGBTQ+ community, and to stop supporting a culture of pedophilia, and also believe that assault is unacceptable.
The Church released a statement saying, “The priest is well.”
“He was attended by the medical staff at the event and presided over the celebration to the end.” Rossi himself said that he felt minor pain, but “that’s normal.” He didn’t break any bones, and will likely continue making religious pop and homophobic statements for a long, long time.