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Remote Ready Biology Learning Activities

Remote Ready Biology Learning Activities has 50 remote-ready activities, which work for either your classroom or remote teaching.

Women, Sport, and Film - Althea Gibson Forum

Comments are posted in the order in which they are received, with earlier postings appearing first below on this page. To see the latest postings, click on "Go to last comment" below.

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Dare To Compete
Name: Amy Campbe
Date: 2004-01-29 18:17:50
Link to this Comment: 7826

1. Please introduce yourself to your 'team'.
2. Respond/react to: Societies view of women and sport has changed significantly in the last 80 years. How do these changes impact women today and is teh culture of sport still changing?

Name: Talia Libe
Date: 2004-02-01 13:51:17
Link to this Comment: 7863

Hi. I'm Talia Liben. I'm a sophomore.

I think that the changes in sports over the last 80 years, in allowing women to participate, do impact women today. For those of us who are athletically inclined, the women of the past 80 years have paved the way for us to be involved in sports, and to excell in sports. For those of us who are not athletic, the changes in sports effect the society at large. All of the changes in the way society treats women have come from different fields - politics, education, the arts, etc. Sports has done its share in educating the world of the benefits of equality.

Name: Brenda Zer
Date: 2004-02-01 14:57:28
Link to this Comment: 7867

I'm Brenda Zera, a junior geology major living on PemEast 2nd.

Women, in general, have come a long way in the last 80 years. When it comes to sports and physical activities, women are only recently starting to gain a firm footing. Watching that HBO documentary, outdated though it was, really got me thinking about the various sports I play (field hockey and softball) and how my experiences would have been if all those revolutionary women had not stepped forward. I doubt that I would have played softball -- field hockey, maybe, as it is usually played in a skirt. The end of class, and our discussion about Title IX, really made me glad that I attended the schools I did. I, personally, have never had a problem with any Title IX issues. But I see how it affects men and women equally.

My friend in Michigan, Brianna Smith played on the men's varsity football team in high school because there was no womens team. My brother, who played field hockey in middle school couldn't find a single men's team to join in highschool, so he was forced to drop the sport - and has never played another sport since. Kinda makes me sad thinking about the practical equality that men and women share in their inequality.
So while Brianna was told that she would have to play for a men's team, my brother was told that he couldn't play for a women's team because he was a guy.

Name: Katie Haym
Date: 2004-02-01 18:46:46
Link to this Comment: 7872

1) Hello, I'm Katie Haymaker - a freshman living in Pemwest 1st. I'm not sure about my major, possibly English. I'm also enjoying (not quite the right word, but...yeah) my french and math classes, so I think it's safe to say I'm undecided. I live in Hellertown, PA - near Bethlehem.

2) The last part of this question is easiest to answer - yes, the culture of sport is changing and will probably continue to change. As someone mentioned in class, even though women have made so much progress in the sports world in the last 80 years we still have to deal with set-backs because of lack of funding or lack of interest. I think that even though we have reached a certain level of equality in the amount of opportunities in sports that children - male and female - now have, there is still and always will be the ultimate division. Men and women do not formally compete against each other in sports once they reach a certain age (about 10 or 11?) - with the exception of golf. This seperation is chalked up to differences in ability or strength; but is this the way it should be? What if sports teams were co-ed? I think that it is possible that women benefit from the seperate teams by allowing them more playing time than if teams were co-ed, but men also enjoy the benefit of not being shown up by a woman. Social and cultural mindsets obviously have the most impact on the sports world, and even though "equality" is near, I don't think we're quite there yet.

Name: Alice Kauf
Date: 2004-02-01 19:51:01
Link to this Comment: 7876

Hi, virtual team. I'm Alice; I'm a freshman living with Katie and Amelia. I've no clue about my major.

I do believe that women in sports has evolved in the past 80 years, but I don't think it's been a steady incline. There seems to be a period of ebb and flow. The pro baseball teams came and went, the pro soccor teams came, while they were based much less on sex than baseball, are now gone. Women's pro basketball is here, and might stay, but the funding is hugely different from the men's side. Women's sports might have a few more backlashes in popularity before there's equal interest. I doubt that the interest can ever become totally desexuallized, though. Male athletes' bodies can be seen sexually. Maybe the goal now is to not be penalized for not being attractive/feminine. That seemed to be the bar the public was heldto in the documentary.

Name: amelia leo
Date: 2004-02-01 22:34:45
Link to this Comment: 7885

hi, i'm amelia, and i'm squashed into a frosh quad with alice and katie in pem west. the lack of space is a problem but the company is excellent.

the question made me think of a comment my father made concerning all of the girls from my high school who got into colleges based on their atheletic qualifications. it was something like, "too bad schools don't really care about women's teams; the only reason they have them is because according to title nine they have to grant women the same opportunities as men." this obviously suggests that universities are supporting women's sport only because they have to, and would imply that we haven't really come as far as we think. it's very similar to the women's rights in the workplace issue- we appear to be equal on some levels, but are not. but this is all from a person who hasn't experienced any sort of athletic activity firsthand recently- i screamed and ducked when someone finally passed me the frisbee, i missed kicking the ball three times in a row in kickball,and can't run a mile without collapsing in a heap. make that half a mile. a quarter.

Name: Tera Benso
Date: 2004-02-01 23:58:57
Link to this Comment: 7891

I'm Tera Benson and I am a senior Spanish Lit major from Portland, Oregon.

Although women have gained access to sports, in the public professional sphere, we have very far to go. Although a number of women appear to have set precedents in this area, such as Billie Jean King, it remains uncommon and significant when a woman competes with a man. Annika Sorrensteim and Michele Wie competing with men in PGA events remain nearly or equally significant as the Battle of The Sexes years earlier. Furthermore, it could be argued that Wie's accomplishment was greater because she, a 14yr old female was competing against men in the prime of their careers. Therefore it seems to me that little progress has been made in this domain.

Name: Elizabeth
Date: 2004-02-03 01:59:51
Link to this Comment: 7926

Hey, I'm Elizabeth Hanson. I'm a sophomore archaeology major and I live in Erdman.

While the sports world has become increasingly open to women in the past 80 years, the fact that Annika Sorenstam competing with men in the PGA tour just last summer caused such a stir makes it clear that we still have a long road ahead. To be positive though, I think that society is a lot less likely to be suspicious of female athletes and less inclined to permit verbal discrimination/derrogatory comments. It's also clear we've moved from the 1920's notion of "Play Days" to embracing the idea of a competive female athlete. In fact, I think the female athlete is rapidly becoming an ideal for lots of girls as evidenced by such movies as Bend it Like Beckham.

next responses---
Name: Amy Campbe
Date: 2004-02-03 14:16:28
Link to this Comment: 7941

Great comments by all-- it the 'conversation' does raise some intersting 'next questions". I'd like to toss out (yes another sports metaphor..) how we define ourselves and who is an athlete? Do you consider yourself an athlete? athletic? and are we all athletes at one time or another? How can /do we think about our physical selves...what is the connection to the movies??

Name: Katherine
Date: 2004-02-03 17:09:25
Link to this Comment: 7946

Hi, my name is Kathy. I'm a senior history major poli sci minor living on Rock 1st 1st. Sorry I didn't respond earlier I had to be out of town.

I think women have come a long way in the past 80 years but there is a long way still to go. There is comparatively very little interest in women's sports as compared to mens. During WWII while so many of the men were fighting a Women's baseball league came into existence and continued in to the '50s. Until recently this was the last organized professional women's sport that I know of. Even the WNBA today does not receive close to the amount of support that the NBA does. Yes, there is some interest but it's no where near the same level.

Name: Katherine
Date: 2004-02-03 17:15:37
Link to this Comment: 7947

Ok, this is an easy question for me. NO! I don't consider myself an athlete. I have never found a sport I could play well nor do I particularly enjoy competing phyiscally, probably because I'm no good at it. Don't get me wrong, I love watching baseball. I just can't play it. Sometimes when I'm watching a movie about female athletes I feel as if I could do more if my body were in better shape, which is something I am working at. But I have never in my life felt like an athlete. And to be honest, I usually don't feel like I'm missing anything. However, sometimes when I see these movies I get a little wishful.

Name: Talia Libe
Date: 2004-02-03 23:34:07
Link to this Comment: 7957

Hi, I'm Talia, again. I'm a soc major, and I live in Brecon.

Am I athletic? No. When I was younger, I bicycled, ran, played basketball, and softball....but as I got older, I had less time, and made less time for it, and I hurt my knee and was unable to do some of the things I used to do. I still work out now, but I would never consider myself to be "athletic." No, I don't think that everyone is athletic at some point in their lives. Some people are more athletic than others, but that does not make them "athletic" necessarily. I admire people who are athletic, just as I admire anyone who excells in a certain category of life.

Name: Katie Haym
Date: 2004-02-04 23:01:52
Link to this Comment: 7974

I see myself as being sort of athletic, but I haven't played an organized sport since eighth grade so I don't think of myself as an athlete. I think that body image can be improved by playing sports. When I got to high school and decided not to try out for anything, I always sort of regretted it when I would hear about wins or losses over the morning announcements. I think the involvement and all the hard work can give a sense of accomplishment and improve a person's self-image. I'm playing PE softball in the spring and I can't wait to get involved again. Yea for sports!

Name: Tera Benso
Date: 2004-02-05 09:31:31
Link to this Comment: 7985

I do not consider myself particulary athletic, but this is primarily because I don't associate myself with a particular sport. When I was younger, I played sports all the time, and felt athletic. I think that if people do not begin playing sports at a young age, they do not define themselves as athletic and have a sports phobia... I see this alot more among girls and women.

Bend It Like Beckham
Name: Amy Campbe
Date: 2004-02-05 17:02:22
Link to this Comment: 7994


How does sport reflect the tensions between tradition and modernity, or the masculine and the feminine.

Which character do you most identify with? Why?

Bend it Like Beckham
Name: Katherine
Date: 2004-02-07 14:47:28
Link to this Comment: 8010

I think sports don't nessesarily reflect a tension between tradition and modernity. I think it can be a meeting ground for them. There are some sports that have held on to tradition in some ways. There are women's sports where the tradition of wearing a skirt has continued. Men play lacrosse with modern sticks while women continue to play with the older model.

As for a tension between the masculine and the feminine there is not a great deal of overlap so it is hard to say. There are few sports where men and women compete against one another. The place where there is most overlap is in the coaching. And there sometimes one will see a male coach feeling that he is doiung something beneath him by coaching women, such as in the movie "A League of Their Own." And sometimes not as in "Bend it Like Beckham."

I think I identify with Jess because I too sometimes feel the pull of tradition and some family pressure to marry with in the culture, or in my case to marry within the faith.

Bend it Like Beckham
Name: Jessica Le
Date: 2004-02-07 16:05:07
Link to this Comment: 8012

I think in this movie, sport was a "common ground" as someone mentioned earlier. But to Jess's parents, soccer was seen as a rejection of her Indian heritage, when as was said in the film, it was just something that her parents weren't familiar with-- women playing sports and still remaining feminine.

I think I relate most with Jess-- having immigrant parents, and as a second generation trying to maintain a balance between traditional culture and "western culture". In Jess's case, I think soccer was the balance. It allowed her to assimilate into British culture, by giving her more exposure to people and friends outside of the Indian immigrant community, while also giving her the opportunity to discover her talents and learn to appreciate her parents' mentality.

Name: Tera Benso
Date: 2004-02-07 16:23:30
Link to this Comment: 8013

I think the tension between tradition and modernity is wrapped up in the tension between masculine and feminine. Traditionally, women were supposed to embody feminine ideals which go against competition, agression, etc characteristics of sport. With a redefinition of a woman, and the social acceptance of a more masculine woman, we find greater numbers of women playing sports. However, there is still social pressure to retain a feminine side which can be traced back through tradition and which makes both men and women wary to closely identify females with sport.

Bend it Like Beckham
Name: Talia Libe
Date: 2004-02-07 19:59:30
Link to this Comment: 8020

Sport used to be something that was availiable only for men. Slowly, it became acceptable for women to participate in certain sports, but only if they looked pretty doing it, and didn't brake a sweat. Now, I'm not sure that sports does reflect a relationship between modernity and tradition. I mean, there are examples like this movie, in which there seems to be tension - but, overall, I don't really believe that there is much tension. In some places, of course, women are still unable to participate in sports - but in those societies, they are unable to function fully as human beings.

I think that the character I identified with most was the older sister. To me, she seemed like she wanted to stay within the outer bounderies of her tradition, and the only lying she did to her parents were sort of the basic stuff that, let's face it, everyone does. The reason I identify more with her than with Jess, is because Jess wants to leave her tradition to apoint I am not comfortable with (what's up with that guy anyways? Talk about a forced relationship). Whereas, her sister married another Indian.

Just my personal biases, of course.

Name: Brenda Zer
Date: 2004-02-08 18:46:03
Link to this Comment: 8039

sports can be a common ground for many people, but it can also create rifts. It can be said that anyone can play any sport, regardless of gender/race/ethnicity/whatever. This is in some cases, true. But one of the things that really struck me about the movie, was while immigrants and their families adapt to their new society, the society does little/nothing to accomodate them. For example: Jasminda's mom doesn't like the idea of her showing her legs to the world, but when she asks her coach if it's okay to wear pants he tells her no. Sports rules/regulations are so strict that something as simple as a uniform could be the reason that someone doesn't play. I know in high school my friend Naseera was exempt from our P.E. requirement, because she wore a head scarf. Because she was never allowed to show her hair to men, she never participated in gym/sports, because her scarf fell off too easily. While my school was too small to really change any of its policies - at a larger institution, it might be possible to create a gym class for girls only, thereby allowing Naseera to play. It just goes to show that there are some boundaries that really cannot be erased between sports & culture. I dunno, my family has been in this country long enough (3 generations), that I myself don't feel any tension between culture and physical activity.

bend it like beckham
Date: 2004-02-08 21:20:42
Link to this Comment: 8046

I agree with Tera's comment about the connection between the two topics. The traditional feminine ideals were challenged when women began participating in sports and acting in a way that was considered too masculine.

I identify with Keira Knightly's character Juliet, mostly because of her friendship with Jess. My parents are always very laid-back and trusting when it comes to letting me make my own choices, but I have friends like Jess who are restricted in many ways by the rules that their parents make for them. It's hard to stand by while one of my friends is unhappy, even though I know that most of the time her parents are just trying to do what they think is best.

next response
Name: Amy Campbe
Date: 2004-02-10 11:21:12
Link to this Comment: 8092

Great respones - hope you are enjoying thinking and sharing your thoughts with the 'team'!

Both Jess and Julie are passionate about playing soccer-and don't see their participation in gender terms yet their frinds and families relate to their participation through the lens of gender and in the case of Julie's mother, sexual orientation. Why does sport heighten the conversation re: gender and orientation for women and not for men? Are there other places in society this happens?

Name: Katherine
Date: 2004-02-10 11:48:04
Link to this Comment: 8096

I think sports hightens the conversation re: gender and orientation for women because it has been a male domain throughout history. typically women who "intruded" into the sports arena were not "normal" homemaking women and therefore labeled as other and often were assumed to be gay whether they were or not. Actually, I think they often were gay. Not because they wanted to play sports but because being outside the norm already gave them a freedom to play that the average women who was concerned about finding a husband and what they neighbors thought did not possess.

There are other places in society were this has happened both for women and for men. Upon until the last few decades of the twnetieth century women who participated in the business world were considered unwomanly and risked "unsexing" themselves. And even today there are certain things that when a man does them cause eyebrows to be lifted. If a man is an interior decorator he is often assumed to be gay. The notion of a man staying home and taking care of the children and the home is just beginning to be thought of as an acceptable thing for a man to do without risking his masculinity.

Bend it like Beckham
Name: Elizabeth
Date: 2004-02-10 15:14:34
Link to this Comment: 8101

I have to say I agree with both Tera and Brenda. Tradition and modernity are linked to the notions of masculine and feminine, and the rift between the two seems to be growing smaller in terms of assigning them specific qualities or roles, or favoring one over the other. But I don't think the terms "masculine" and "feminine" or "tradition" and "modernity" are mutually exclusive;and I think sometimes in our rush to move forward in equalizing the gender divide, we forget that mainstream culture is not the only culture. I, too, had a lot friends in school who were Muslim and couldn't participate in the swimming portion of gym classes because they had to keep their hair covered and the school was so set on making things equal (by having both sexes in the class) that they ended up missing out. Besides of which, I think if the school had seperated the sexes for that sport, and others, none of us would have missed the boys that much.

I think I relate most with Jules since my mother is basically sweet but kind of crazy too. She didn't like any of the sports I played when I was younger, told me to work on the pitch of my voice because it was too low, thinks women should wear lacy push-up bras, is a bit concerned that I play so many male characters in plays and worries about the lack of males at Bryn Mawr. But she's not really overbearing about it. Just kind of embarrassing sometimes.

Name: Talia Libe
Date: 2004-02-10 16:29:09
Link to this Comment: 8102

I disagree that sport does not heighten the conversation re: gender and orientation for men. I think that it isn't in the same way, but I do think the questions come up. For men, sport has always been a sort of safe haven from the questions of sexuality. They can freely slap each other's asses, and as long at they have a uniform on, it is acceptable. I think that these days, the very same thing applies to women. While playing sports, women can be very touchy with each other, and I think that it is irrelevent to societies. It may be that society used to frown upon such acts from women, but the trith is, women have always been more free to touch each other publically, and I don't think sport has anything to do with it anymore.
Many friendships between men are friendships based on sports - teammates bond over things when they may not have anything else in common. I don't think that men are any different in that regard that women are.

Name: Brenda
Date: 2004-02-10 23:19:10
Link to this Comment: 8112

I think that the topic of sexual orientation is more prominent for women in sports. My guess for the reason behind this is because while women now participate in "masculine" sports, there are not many sports considered "feminine" that men participate in. When's the last time you saw men playing field hockey or doing sychronized swimming? So while women who play "masculine" sports have their sexuality questioned, men prefer to avoid the issue all-together by staying out of women's sports. I have no idea if this is true, but I guess that's how I perceive things at the moment...

Plus, it's far more accepted for women to have short hair and dress manly, than it is for men to have long hair and dress feminine. I sometimes feel that straight men are VERY afraid of being labelled gay, whereas women just take such..umm...accusations(?) in stride.

Name: Elizabeth
Date: 2004-02-11 19:45:23
Link to this Comment: 8121

I think sports heightens the conversation about gender because in most of the western world, sport as entertainment has been for men to participate in. In ancient Greece, the women were not only barred from participating in the Olympics, they were even barred from attending (historically). The sports world, I think, was one of the last all-male strongholds, so while the idea of a serious female athlete is no longer shocking, it's not as common place as the idea of female drivers (who were, at one point, cosidered to be quite shocking). The competitive edge and physical nature of athletics goes against the feminine ideal in traditional gender roles. I think this is why gender becomes a question with female athletes. Meanwhile, males aren't questioned because they are engaged in the most traditionally masculine field in the world.

I would have to agree with Katherine about the business world being another area where gender was questioned, although I doubt it is so much the case today, as well as with what she said about males in "nontraditional roles." I would also say that theater is another area in which people question the gender of both males and females. For example, the stereotype about male actors being gay (I guess because they wear makeup, get dressed up, usually can sing and dance and are supposed to be in tune with their emotions-- I'm not sure I undertand that notion, but I know it's out there). If female actors play roles that are too "masculine" or untraditional they are labeled as lesbians. Sometimes it's true, sometimes it's not, but why it's anyone's business or can cause a scandal, I'm not sure.

Name: Tera Benso
Date: 2004-02-11 21:03:12
Link to this Comment: 8123

I agree that as sport is masculinly defined, women who actively participate in sport find themselves on the defensive. I think that this is particulary true for women or girls who embody the tom-boy image. Probably, because this is seen as a complete break with traditional views and roles of the female. I believe that in this day in age, female atheletes who wear make-up, short skirts and heels outside of competition are not chastized for their involvment in sport. These symbolic manifestations of a belief in traditional female definitions put others at ease.

gender in sports
Name: Katie Haym
Date: 2004-02-11 22:09:11
Link to this Comment: 8125

Sorry - that anonymous comment up top is mine, I forgot to fill out the bottom of the page before posting.
Since sports were tradtionally male-oriented, questions of gender arose when women started participating. In recent years I think that these questions don't automatically come up just b/c a woman is athletic - I think that other factors can cause people to make gender an issue. In the movie it wasn't just the fact that Jules played football that made her mom think she was a lesbian - it was also her way of dressing, her friends (and lack of boyfriend), and other trivial things like the posters in her room. All of these factors including her interest in sports gave her parents the wrong impression.

Sexual Orientation
Name: Jessica Le
Date: 2004-02-12 01:32:47
Link to this Comment: 8133

The reason why women in sports are questioned about their sexuality is because of codes of conduct accepted by society.

Sports, athlethics, muscles, etc are regarded as "masculine"; on the flipside: fashion, cosmetics, certain genres of music, etc are regarded as "feminine".

Just as women in sports are accused of being homosexual, I'm sure lots of us would question a guy's sexuality if we found out that he uses Estee Lauder lotion or listens to Cher.

There are different expectations for men and women in society, which are now crossing over, but nontheless still exist. Women and men are both accused of being gay... but for different reasons.

Remember The Titans
Name: Amy Campbe
Date: 2004-02-12 16:51:01
Link to this Comment: 8137

Racial tension and social equality are complex issues which reside through out all aspects of society- as do the other 'isms' and "phobia's" --sexism, agism, classism, homophobia, etc.

Movies can provide a snapshot of those issues and in Remember the Titans, a true story has been used to portray sport as 'an even playing field' and a place where the common goal of pursuing victory and what it will take to achieve victory, eventually trumps the racial tensions.

What makes sport an easy vehicle to shed animosities and what other vehicles are there on College campuses to "bring people together" in dialogue and deed. What are the vehicles we can use on our campus to bridge cultural, racial, ethnic, orientation divides, when they exist?

Remember the Titans
Name: Elizabeth
Date: 2004-02-12 23:14:08
Link to this Comment: 8145

I think sports is an easy vehicle to shed animosities because whether or not you like each other initially, you have to work together if you want to be able to compete; and eventually, I think, people grow to like and appreciate each other because they've been working together and striving towards the same goal.

I think most clubs on college campuses can serve as a vehicle for shedding animosities - singing groups, theater groups, etc. I think performance based groups though, sports, theater, musical, etc are the most likely to attract people from all different backgrounds and to help them shed their animosities because they're all chosen on merit and working towards a common goal.

Name: Talia Libe
Date: 2004-02-13 01:35:01
Link to this Comment: 8147

I think that the reason that clubs (including, but not limited to, sports) "shed animosities" is because it brings together people with common interests. The people are there because they want to be there - they choose to associate with people who share similar interests.
In sports, the people not only all, presumably, love the sport, but they have to work together in order to do well. They must transcend their differences in order to accomplish their goals.

Name: Katherine
Date: 2004-02-14 12:56:34
Link to this Comment: 8160

I think sports are an easy way to shed animosities because once you start to play you sort of lose a feeling of who is sho and can experience their talent. At least I think this is true when there is not outright hatred at the beginning. That on guy in "Remember the Titans" would never have been able to see talent in any of his black teammates.

I think organizations like SGA bring people together because they deal with the wellfare of the entire school.

Sport and other
Name: Jessica Le
Date: 2004-02-15 02:21:56
Link to this Comment: 8166

I have to agree with what others have been saying... sports allows people to forget their differences because it requires that they work together for a common goal. It's a good example of a group activity that relies solely on one's abilities.

In the same respect, many other activities and organizations can bring people of different backgrounds together. For example, music. In a choir or an orchestra a person's background, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, political views, etc. do not matter; the only thing that matters is music.

Working towards a common goal creates a "level playing field", because it is based on merit. Nearly all the campus activist groups, sports teams, musical groups, theatre groups, literary organizations, etc should effectively bring people together and avoid animosity, because the common ground should be one's capabilities and interests.

Name: amelia leo
Date: 2004-02-15 13:56:56
Link to this Comment: 8170

the teamwork aspect of sport, obviously the most important unless we're discussing a one on one game of basketball or something, is what brings people of different backgrounds together. generally it's not to the advantage of your team to exclude a good player simply on the basis of their race or sexual orientation. even if people don't want anything to do with the different teammember initially, they will at least respect their athletic talent, and perhaps this respect will lead to acceptance and friendship.
clubs and activities bring people together on campus, but classes can too. look around the arch 102 room on any given day and you'll find that all the people in the class are there because they want to be and are interested in archaeology. (with the exception of the girl who needs the class to fulfill her classics major. but she's obviously interested in a similar subject.) common interests bring people together and lower barriers.

remember the titans
Name: Katie Haym
Date: 2004-02-15 14:18:49
Link to this Comment: 8172

The whole "common goal" factor in sports is what makes people's racial or social differences less of an issue. Playing together on a team - being forced to work together and trust your teammates - makes it essential for understanding and mutual respect.
I think college in general - Bryn Mawr in particular - is such a mixing of people from all different backrounds that just being here is a great way to meet and interact with people. I agree with the other comments that the clubs and activities on campus can create connections between very different people.

response 2
Name: Amy Campbe
Date: 2004-02-16 11:54:12
Link to this Comment: 8207

Great responses. These are complex issues. Many have talked about the arts and athletics as providing an environment which brings people together for a common goal. Are there other opportunities on campus to engage in conversation, areas which encourage an inclusive environment and ones which support and appreciate diversity?

Name: Tera Benso
Date: 2004-02-16 11:59:01
Link to this Comment: 8210

I agree with everyones comments. In joining a team or club or group with a concrete mission shared by all, the goal becomes most important. Therefore, race is not an initial category of excusion. In sharing a common goal, otherwise unconnected people realize a commonality among themselves that can bridge othwise unsurrmountable differences. I think that forced integration and a belief in/passion for a collective goal are fundamental in this process.

Name: brenda
Date: 2004-02-16 16:48:08
Link to this Comment: 8218

sports require teamwork. If there is no unity there is no team. Being on a team doesn't mean that you have to like the other people, but the game goes much more smoothly if you do.
Most college campuses have many sports teams, intramural teams, clubs and other sorts of gatherings to promote unity. Bryn Mawr has customs groups for freshman. In general, dorm life tries to promote all-around good feelings, as living with people you hate is very difficult.

Name: Jessica Le
Date: 2004-02-16 17:02:53
Link to this Comment: 8219

There are many opportunities on campus where diversity is embraced, in addition to sports teams, clubs, performing arts, and other extracurricular activities; major departments are another place where conversations about diversity can arise. As with sports teams and organizations, within each major department, the majors obviously share common interests, and may share common aspirations and goals. This brings people from diverse backgrounds together, again through common interest and abilities.

Name: brenda
Date: 2004-02-16 23:02:03
Link to this Comment: 8235

acampbell: "Are there other opportunities on campus to engage in conversation, areas which encourage an inclusive environment and ones which support and appreciate diversity?"

Yes, most colleges have groups like ASA, SAW, etc. that are supportive of diversity, while still maintaining an inclusive environment. As one of the non-South Asian women in SAW, I can personally attest to this. Bryn Mawr tends to do a better job of adressing diversity than most universities/colleges, but I suspect that this is because we are not as diverse as many public institutions.

groups on campus
Name: Talia Libe
Date: 2004-02-17 02:03:21
Link to this Comment: 8244

I think almost all groups on campus encourage conversation. they may not all agree with your opinion, but mostly they are all open minded and inclusive - and they certainly are open to debate and discussion. I also think that many classes provide a forum for this kind of converation, within certain contexts.

Name: Tera Benso
Date: 2004-02-17 15:53:53
Link to this Comment: 8253

I agree that most groups on campus encourage diversity. In particular, we are all here for the academics and cannot shirk class discussions. I have taken several classes in which peoples' differing backgrounds have influenced their opinions relative to course topics. Diverse backgrounds make for richer in-class discussions.

Name: Katie Haym
Date: 2004-02-17 18:13:55
Link to this Comment: 8255

There are lectures and discussions around campus that deal with diversity and race issues. I think that these sorts of activities are a great aspect of the whole college experiance although community involvement isn't always what it could be. Someone mentioned customs, which reminded me of the discussions way back in September during customs week when small groups of freshwomen met to discuss the packets they had sent us over summer. Each group was led by one of the undergraduate deans; it was a good start to the year and a way to meet some of our classmates.

Name: Katherine
Date: 2004-02-17 20:58:56
Link to this Comment: 8258

I thnk things like SGA bring people together. Also pre-professiona; groups like pre-med and pre-law bring people who have common interests together from across society. And classes. Especially in a school like this were the academics are so pervasive that it crosses all sorts of barriers because we all share the stress.

Name: Elizabeth
Date: 2004-02-18 08:54:52
Link to this Comment: 8261

I agree with everything everyone has said so far regarding opportunities on campus for people from various backgrounds to join in discussion. Most clubs, the academic environment itself, the students w/in your major and SGA are all great places for people to come together and interact with people from different backgrounds. Students may not always agree, but all these ptions give them an environment in which they can safely and comfortably share their own perspectives. I would also like to reppeat that Customs really is a great program. As a customs person, I am always impressed by how different the girls in my customs group are and yet how close they are as a group. Although that might also be because we live in Erdman basement Diamond C and there are only 7 of us (including mself and my customs partner). So dorms are another place on campus where miniature communities filled with people from different backgrounds are created.

Name: Mya Mangaw
Date: 2004-02-20 09:09:29
Link to this Comment: 8307

Good morning. Thanks for the great participation last evening. Here are the discussion questions we didn't get to tend to last night:

Director Karyn Kusama's emphasis on Diana's environment (family, school, housing projects, etc.) can be seen as a critique of those social structures Kusama called "forms of oppression and violence." However, this emphasis on Diana's environment could also be seen as a way to explain or even apologize for such an aggressive young woman.

Do you think Kusama does a better job at challenging gender stereotypes or reinforcing them by "apologizing" for her aggressive protagonist?

Is Diana's aggression somehow made more "acceptable" because she is a poor Latina? Likewise, does Kusama make Diana more "acceptable" by emphasizing such a prominent (heterosexual) love story?

Name: Katherine
Date: 2004-02-21 20:07:57
Link to this Comment: 8343

I don't think what Kusama did was exactly apologize, it was more like excusing or explaining. For the boys the reason they were learning to box could be that they wanted to get out of the neighborhood or they were learning how to "be a man." For a women this is not enough of a reason to learn to box. An abusive father coupled with the violence of her neighborhood makes it more understandable.

I do think that Kusama does challenge gender stereotypes. In moist movies the girl would either end up getting into a great college with a full scholarship and leave all the horor of her early life behind her or she would meet a guy who would take her away. For Diana neither of these things happen, she deals with things herself. And she doesn't really get out. She is still faced with the same things only no she has probably scared her father away from abusing her.

I don't know if Diana's aggression is more acceptable because she is a poor Latina. It is more understandable, not because she is Latina but because she is poor. Maybe it is more acceptable. It would be really hard to understand that level of anger coming from a rich girl, of any race. I'm also not sure if the love story aspect of the movie make it more acceptable. If Diana had been gay there might have been a question of the aggression coming from an inner conflict over her sexuality. But if she had been gay the movie would have been another hour as she tries to sort through her feelings and comes to accpet herself for who she is. *Dramtic sigh* I think the love story adds to Kusama taking on the gender stereotypes. We tend to think of some gay women as being butch so making her heterosexuality clear removes that explaination for her aggression. It also adds to the tesion of the male having to deal with his girlfriend being as strong as he is. It also come back to the abuse because he did not want to hit the woman he loved.

Name: Brenda
Date: 2004-02-22 13:41:00
Link to this Comment: 8352

While I don't think that the director was either excusing or apologising for Diana's behavior, I hardly think that it has anything to do with her being a poor latina. I know plenty of people who live in the projects (not in that city, but projects tend to be the same nation-wide) and not many of the people I know are THAT agressive. It has just as much to do with family upbringing as it does with environment (both home and school). But I do agree that Kusama is making a statement about Public Schools. Public schools have a long way to go to be called good. When I was in public school (back in the day) I got into a good number of fights (most of which I lost), which is why my parents eventually moved me to private schools. I have no idea where I'm going with this, as I just woke up, but I think most of you will get the gist of my post...

Girl Fight
Name: Talia Libe
Date: 2004-02-22 17:51:53
Link to this Comment: 8360

I think that Kusama is trying to show us something about the socio-economic situation in order to explain that Diana's situation is not simple. I don't think that it is necessarily an attempt to apologize for who Diana is, but more of an explaination of some sort of background. I don't think that it reinforces gender stereotypes, I think it helps to blur them. But, I do think that it's possible that it creates a different kind of sterotype - about people growing up in inner-cities, underprivelaged, abused, etc. However, I do believe that stereotype is steeped in reality (unfortunately).

Name: Jessica Le
Date: 2004-02-22 18:09:58
Link to this Comment: 8361

I think Kusama effectively challenges gender sterotypes by depicting Diana as such a strong character, because we learn in the film that the abusive home and violent environment made Diana's mother submissive and cause her to commit suicide in order to escape. Diana's father expects her to be quiet and feminine, I think his hostility towards her is exacerbated because she is not either of these things.

Tiny learns how to box because he must learn how to "be a man" and fend for himself in the dangerous environment; while females are just supposed to accept it. Diana's violent environment explains her rage but her anger is more towards the injustice she has experienced as a girl. Her learning to box avenges the injustice both she and her mother experienced.

I think Diana's sexual orientation does make her more "acceptable", especially to her friends and family. Had she been homosexual, she would have been completely ostracized by the community and I doubt anyone would have trained her to be a boxer.

Name: Katie Haym
Date: 2004-02-22 22:25:40
Link to this Comment: 8377

Yes, Diana is agressive but I didn't get an impression that it was anything to apologize for - she was responding to her environment, her school, her family. I definitly think that Kusama challenges gender stereotypes in this movie, she doesn't reinforce them. I remember thinking right before the end of the fight between diana and the main guy that I almost wanted the guy to win because it would make things so much easier, but Kusama didn't take the easy way and it was better to have Diana win the fight. I don't know if her aggression is more acceptable b/c she's a poor Latina woman, I think it's more the fact that she has so much to be angry about; her whole situation is a reason to be angry, and even though boxing probably won't solve anything or make things better for her, at least it's a part of her life that she feels passionatly about.

Name: Elizabeth
Date: 2004-02-23 15:32:03
Link to this Comment: 8395

While Kusama's focus on Diana's environment can be seen as a social critique,I don't think Kusama uses the environment to excuse Diana's behavior. Diana's behavior is one form of reaction to her environment, but I also think that she just had an agressive personality. After all, her friend Marisol lives in the same environment and she's very gentle. In fact, I think the movie shows how learning to box teaches her to harness that agression and use it in a more positive way. Yes, boxing is violent but she's not beating up people at school anymore.

I think it's interesting to think of how the movie reinforces gender stereotypes. I would say primarily it challenges them in the form of Diana as the less-studious but committed athlete and her brother as the artistic, good student who wants to get out and go to college. But in terms of her relationship with her boyfriend, aside from the final boxing match, the gender roles seem to be more stereotypical. Then again, I think the question of challenging or reinforcing gender roles depends on how you want to view the film. If you view Diana as an unique individual then the combination of masculine and feminine traits seems to be understandable since I think most people are sort of mixed and the movie neither challenges nor reinforces gender roles, it simply presents one individual's story - male or female doesn't make a difference. However, if you decide to view Diana as woman then the movie challenges some gender roles and reinforces others.

I don't think that Diana's story is made more acceptable because she is a poor Latina, I know plenty of girls from upper-middle class who live for participating in more agressive sports like wrestling and karate.

The heterosexual love story on the one hand seems to be an attempt to make the character of Diana more acceptable - although somehow I think the people who would take offense at Diana's being a lesbian might also not being interested in the story of a poor Latina boxer. On the other hand, I like that it doesn't reinforce the whole "butch" lesbian stereotype because that's not fair to lesbians or to heterosexual women. I have plenty of straight friends who are more "butch" than I am.

Name: Tera Benso
Date: 2004-02-24 09:10:23
Link to this Comment: 8439

Although Diana's situation does not justify her aggressive behavior, I think that the director uses it to explain how she came to embody so much anger. For many viewers without connections to people living in similar situations, Diana's behavior reinforces stereotypes of persons in her situation. However, there is enough coverage of other characters in the movie, such as her brother, to help dispell this generalized portrayal. I think that Diana was portrayed as heterosexual so that the general viewer could connect to her character. Were she both a fighter and homosexual, I think that the director and actress would have to work much harder to resonate with the viewer. It can be done, Boys Dont Cry or even Monster use undesirable and hard to like leading actors yet still manage to connect to the viewer.

Name: Katherine
Date: 2004-02-24 19:19:56
Link to this Comment: 8465

Hmm... the only movies I can think of were the woman is aggressive she is definately heterosexual. Movies like G I Jane and Miss Congeniality where the woman behaves like a man. But both of these women have male love interests.

Name: Talia Libe
Date: 2004-02-24 19:43:44
Link to this Comment: 8466

I was going to say G.I. Jane, but aside from having a serious love interest, she actually has to defend her sexuality in the movie. Miss Congeniality is another possibility, though I feel as though it's "excused" since she is an F.B.I. agent. How about Kit from A League of Their Own? Also, the one everyone says is really ugly (but she does get married in the end).
Is the moral of this story that in order to create a film with a tough cookie female either there needs to be an excuse for her actions (she was abused as a child, she grew up on the streets, etc), or her sexuality must be defended?

Name: Elizabeth
Date: 2004-02-24 20:30:37
Link to this Comment: 8467

I can't think of any movies that portray an agressive female protagonist without giving her some reason to be agressive and assuring the audience she is heterosexual. Actually, I remember having a similar conversation in a lit. class once, nobody could think of any books where this was the case either. I can't remember the cover of the first Women's Sports Illustrated either.

Name: Katie Haym
Date: 2004-02-24 22:08:09
Link to this Comment: 8473

I couldn't think of any movies with an agressive, not obviously heterosexual female lead. but after much brainstorming, my room mate came up with two sort of obscure movies: "Streets of Fire" (apparently a bad 80s flick) with an aggressive female in a supporting role and the second Conan the barbarian - he had a strong female sidekick and her character was supposedly written for a man but a woman got the role. Of course, it's pretty sad that both of these examples apply to sidekick characters in obscure movies.

girlfight 2
Name: Tera Benso
Date: 2004-02-25 22:06:37
Link to this Comment: 8508

I had a hard time comming up with an aggressive female in past films. Rizzo in Grease is an aggressive female who does not have a very real or functional relationship with her boyfriend. Another character is Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz.

Love and Basketball
Name: Amy Campbe
Date: 2004-02-27 09:20:30
Link to this Comment: 8540

Question for week 5

How are the films Girl Fight and the role of Dianna and Love and Basketball and the role of Monica similar. What do their roles stand for and what are they saying about women - using the medium of sport- that is the same and what is different?

Diana and Monica
Name: Jessica Le
Date: 2004-02-27 15:27:34
Link to this Comment: 8544

One major thing that Diana and Monica have in common is that they participate in male-dominated sports that their love interests also participate in. Both Diana and Monica have similar dynamics in their relationships because they challenge the gender role, by being equals to their boyfriends in the ring, or on the court.

I think one major thing that both female protagonists represent is respect. Diana learns to trust Adrian, because she gains his respect as a boxer. Quincy learns to love Monica, because he respects her as a basketball player. We can see this theme of respect and the role of women, in both Diana and Monica being the foil to their mother.

Diana's mother remained silent and submitted to the opression she faced in her home; Diana avenges her mother, because she overpowers her father's abuse. Monica's mother is very different from "tomboy" Monica, but she gave up her dreams to become a mother. We see Monica challenge the sterotype that the role of women is ultimately to serve as a mother and a wife by balancing a professional career in basketball and her family.

Response to Week 1
Name: Jessica Le
Date: 2004-02-27 15:38:15
Link to this Comment: 8545

I didn't realize that we had a web response for the first week. Sorry for the delay.

"Respond/react to: Societies view of women and sport has changed significantly in the last 80 years. How do these changes impact women today and is the culture of sport still changing?"

Society's response to sport has definitely progressed. Women are no longer banned from competitive sporting events, they can receive scholarships and endorsements, and most importantly the stigma that was previously placed on female athletes as being "butch, masculine, abnormal, unladylike, unattractive, etc.." has faded.

These changes definitely open many new doors for females today, however there is always room for progress.
One apt example, since we watched "Love and Basketball" yesterday...
I a lot my friends, male and female, are NBA fanatics. They never miss a game, idolize the basketball players and buy into all of the marketing and advertisements that also result from the NBA. But when asked whether they follow the WNBA, they asked, "What for?!"

There has been great improvement for women in sports over the years; and many opportunities exist for women in sports, but realistically it will still take many more years until female athletes gain the same fan support, recognition and enthusiasm that male athletes do.

Name: Brenda Zer
Date: 2004-02-27 23:45:48
Link to this Comment: 8548

While I agree with Jessica that both Diana and Monica represent strong female figures in male-dominated sports, they do so in different ways. It's not so strange to see a woman basketball player (probably because they teach it in middle and high school), but I personally would be a little shocked to meet a female boxer. And though I do agree that the WNBA is taken to be a joke by most sports fanatics, it's not nearly the same as women's boxing. If a girl told someone she was a boxer, I bet they'd ask if it was mud-wrestling or something equally as degrading.
But Monica and Diana do become equals to the men in their chosen field. Though both fields are still incredibly uneven, they personally overcame the gap.
I guess part of my confusion about Love and Basketball (as opposed to Girlfight) is that I have no clue what the history of the WNBA is -- people had to explain to me that the reason that Monica went to Spain is because the WNBA hadn't been formed yet. How old is the WNBA and how many teams are there? Living in Michigan, I know that we have the Detroit Shock, but honestly - no one in Michigan would watch the Shock if they could watch the Pistons (Detroit's NBA team --- and yes, you can tell that Michigan is big into the auto industry!)

missed posts:
Name: Brenda
Date: 2004-02-28 00:07:29
Link to this Comment: 8549

Here are some of the postings that I missed:

Week 1, Question 2:
I would have to say that an athlete is someone who participates in any sort of athletic activity. Regardless of skill level or for how long (time-wise). I used to consider myself an athlete (back in the day when I played varsity softball and field hockey). Here at Bryn Mawr I no longer see myself in that category, as I play no sports here and rarely make it down to the gym.

Week 4, Question 2:
Thinking of movies of women who are aggressive for no apparent reason is harder than one would think. The only ones I could come up with were:
Sigourney Weaver - the Alien movies
San - Princess Mononoke (although she IS raised by wolves...)
the two main characters in the musical Chicago (didn't they murder their husbands?)
Uma Thurman - Kill Bill (the title says it all)
Um...for TV I guess I'd go with crazy chicks like Xena (I mean, she is a WARRIOR princess!) or maybe Buffy (I've never seen the show, so I dunno how 'violent' she is -- other than shoving stakes through vampires...)

Name: Katherine
Date: 2004-02-28 17:34:41
Link to this Comment: 8552

Well, as everone else has said, both Diana and Monica are involved in male dominated sports. But Monica plays basketball because as she says "I am a ball player." She loves the sport. Diana has no deep love for boxing that drives her to compete. She has a great deal of aggression and boxing is a way for her to deal with it. As she gets good she enjoys it but her identity is not bound up with the sport the way Monica's is.

I think both characters represent strong female athletes. But neither of them have to fight too hard to get involved in the sport or to prove their ability. Aside from the one guy in Girlfight, Diana is respected as a boxer. And Monica has to prove her ability but just the same way any frosh would when they arrive on a team.

I think at least Love and Basketball is saying that women have come along way. The fight now is much less about the right to play than about the balance between different aspects of life.

catch up
Name: amelia leo
Date: 2004-02-28 17:45:49
Link to this Comment: 8553

i think this computer hates me. or maybe just this forum. i know i posted responses to question 2 from week 1 and question 1 from week 2. they unfortunately don't show up in the archives, but i'm going to ignore them for now and concentrate on the ones i actually missed. which is like all the others. i am very sorry.
week 2 question 2 (why does sport provoke gender and orientation issues for women and not men-where else in society does this happen?)

Sport has long been thought of as a masculine activity, and of course men who are threatened by finding women enroaching on their athletic territory are going to claim there's something wrong with them. When I think of athletics I think of huge men with looming shoulder pads throwing themselves against eachother and making grunting noises. I'm glad to say that's not very feminine. But one of the main things a woman is accused of if she is written off as too masculine is being homosexual- and sports apparently bring out the more masculine side of women. The only other place in society I can think of this happening is in the army, and I actually don't know too much about that even. I just assume men would bring up these issues when women volunteer to join.

week 3 question 2 (are there other opportunities on campus to engage in conversation? any areas which encourage an inclusive environment which supports and appreciates diversity?)

Customs? Dorm living? Though in these cases, it seems like we just ignore diversity, not really support and appreciate it. No one cares as far as i know that there are several indian, asian, and black girls on my hall. It seems like it would be obnoxious to make a big deal out of it. ("here you are and here i am and look how different we are!!!! we are soooooo diverse!") I think it's better if it just happens naturally and no one makes a big deal about it.

week 4 question 1 (does kusama do a better job challenging gender stereotypes or reinforcing them by 'apologizing' for her aggressive protagonist? is her agression more acceptable because she is a poor latina?)

I think that Dianna's background definitely gave her more reason to want to fight, which simply made her character more believable- i didn't think of it as a way to apologize for her behavior, but a way to explain it. Jumping on random people in the hallways in school and beating them against the ground isn't acceptable for anyone.
I kind of felt weird about the 'poor latina' thing. for some reason it did make her more acceptable as an agressive character, but at the same time is seemed like it shouldn't have. i know that if kusama had said, "ok, i want a petite blonde with a high squeaky voice and a miniskirt to box," then it would have been a parody of women in sport, but there should be some middle of the road. i couldn't stop thinking about the monty python skit with the little blonde woman in the blue checkered dress going up against john cleese in a boxing match. ("are you nervous for the upcoming match?" camara moves to girl perched on edge of flowery bed serenely kitting a scarf- "no, you see, i'm a southpaw, so i think it'll confuse him." then the next thing you see is john throwing her around the ring.)

week 4 question 2 (think of films with agressive female protagonists w/out an explination for agressive behavior nor assurance she is hetero?)
the 'alien' chick comes to mind. while she was essentially an agressive bitch, the filmmakers still made sure to emphasize her femininity. the jocky underwear scene comes to mind. then in the second movie they had her form a bond with newt, the orphaned child who brought out all her supressed maternal instincts. . .whatever.

and finally, this week's question.
i thought there were more differences between monica and dianna then similarities- the whole issue with dianna not being accepted into the sport because she was female and boxing was considered men only was the center of the film. and then there was a guy. who apparently couldn't have sex with her before his fight. monica's story was about her relationship with the boy next door who kissed her for exactly five seconds when they were 11 and then took her virginity after the spring dance in an unnecessary sex scene. oh, and then there was basketball.

i have other questions to answer if those first two fail to appear, but i'll save them for the next posting. i swear if these don't come up on the forum after i click the post button, i'll burst into tears in a very pathetic non-agressive feminine manner. and then smash the computer.

Name: Talia Libe
Date: 2004-02-28 18:03:35
Link to this Comment: 8554

Both Diana and Monica are women who are attempting to break into male dominated sports (basketball and boxing - though, in reality, most sports are male dominated). The both represent women who have no qulams with being involved in something that may not be considered "for them," because they love what they are doing. They respect the sports, and they put their all into it.
I think, really, all that they are saying about women's roles as it relates to sports, is that it is a commitment, like anything else. If you truly want to succeed in it, you must give it your all. Women belong in all arenas of life, and they must struggle with the same dificulties that men face in those departments.

Comment for Week 4
Name: Jessica Le
Date: 2004-03-01 15:35:16
Link to this Comment: 8591

Here is my second posting for week 4: Girlfight.

"Can you think of any films in which there is an aggressive female protagonist for whom there is neither an explanation for her aggression (a traditionally "masculine" attribute) nor an assurance that she is heterosexual? Can anyone remember the cover of the first Women's Sport Illustrated (this should get you ready for this week's film)?"

There aren't many movies that had a strong female protagonist for whom there is no assurance of her sexuality. Sex is usually a major aspect of a movie, so sexuality usually isn't ignored, whether the protagonist be straight or gay. But, most strong female protagonists in movies that were mentioned before such as Miss Congeniality and A League of Their Own are straight.

The only movies I can think of where the female protagonists' sexual orientation gets a bit hazy are in "The Color Purple" and "The Hours". In both movies there is an unexpected "lesbian" kiss with the female protagonists, and loveless marriages.

In "The Color Purple" Celie is forced into a marriage, and she never experiences love or affection, until Shug Avery (ironically the woman Celie's husband is in love with) kisses her. This empowers Celie, and in the end she leaves her husband and does not marry again; her sexuality is unclear.

In "The Hours" Meryl Streep's character is lesbian... and it is ambiguous whether Nicole Kidman's character and Julianne Moore's characters are homosexual...both of their characters also engage in a lesbian kiss.

Both of these movies had ambiguities, but I guess it can also be argued that these characters were not exactly "agressive females" and that the lesbian moments may just have been triggered by the loniless they experience in their homes.

About the second question: I am completely ignorant about Sports Illustrated magazine... I didn't even know there was a Women's Sports Illustrated.

Love & Basketball
Name: Elizabeth
Date: 2004-03-02 19:04:32
Link to this Comment: 8636

I agree with everything Jessica, Brenda, and Katherine have said. I'd like to add that there are huge differences between the socioeconomic status and homelife of the characters, which might contribute to some of their differences. Due to these differences as well as a lack of female boxers, Dianna's problems are related to succeeding in this difficult environment and overcoming gender stereotypes in order to be able to box. Monica, on the other hand, can play basketball- nobody says she can't, she did go to college, she grew up in a nice home with a nice family, her problem is learning to balance all the things that are important to her. Both movies, however, show that women can be serious athletes however different the characters.

Bend it Like Beckham
Name: Elizabeth
Date: 2004-03-02 19:50:39
Link to this Comment: 8637

Week 2, Response 2 - Who is an athlete; are you an athlete?

I feel like a true athlete is someone who works very hard to reach a particular athletics-related goal, usually in a competitive situation. I would not call myself an athlete, while I consider myself to be dedicated, driven, etc - which are all qualities tied in with athleticism - I do not direct those qualities/ideals towards any particular sport and I don't really like competing with anyone other than myself. I enjoy watching sports movies, and I love playing most sports, but casually with friends, so while I enjoy watching sports movies about people who love their sport enough to basically devote their lives to it, I don't feel any strong connection to their goals. However, I might still be able to see myself in the characters because we have similar personality traits or backgrounds; but my goals are different.

Love and Basketball
Name: Katie Haym
Date: 2004-03-03 18:35:08
Link to this Comment: 8661

I thought that although there were some similarities between the two characters, there were also some differences. I think that Dianna turned to boxing as a way to deal with her aggression, fueled by her situation in life - her sport was a way of coping. Monica played basketball because she loved the game; she was challenged to find a balance between her sport and the other parts of her life, but she wasn't driven to it by need and aggression the way Dianna was.

Name: Alli Nordf
Date: 2005-02-17 18:32:33
Link to this Comment: 12985

I think all black people should be aloud to do everything whites do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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