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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 - Chris Evert 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 18:18:52
Link to this Comment: 7828

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?

Week 1 Qs
Name: Laura
Date: 2004-01-31 15:03:34
Link to this Comment: 7848

Hi, I'm Laura, I'm a freshwoman ... erhm, I play guitar, work in Rhoads and have never played tennis.

Respond/react to: Society's 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?

Obviously, the trend in women's sports is towards liberation. The changes in the roles of women both inside and outside the house have allowed women greater freedom to choose to play sports. I think the changes in the way women have been allowed to dress is most significant to women's participation in sports - it's simply a matter of being physically -able- to perform. I think culture is changing so that sport is no longer a choice for women, it is more of a 'must.' Now, young girls are expected to play on sports teams and perform well and excel at something physical, in addition to being expected to have perfectly fit bodies. The sport culture has changed the ideal feminine body to something that, though healthier than the Kate-Moss-look, is still not always an attainable ideal. The pressure on girls to perform well in sports now is increasing. Although it's largely positive that women now have the ability to participate in whatever sport they choose, it is also being used to pressure women. Hopefully, the trend will subside a little - once women no longer HAVE to prove themselves worthy competitors, women will be free to participate - or not - the same as the boys.

Response #1
Name: Naomi
Date: 2004-02-01 14:14:24
Link to this Comment: 7864

Hi, my name is Naomi and I am a sophomore planning on majoring in psychology.

I think the documentary showed how women have truly come a long way in proving their worth in the world of sport and often through that form, also in the general society. Today there are definitely many more women participating in sports and more acceptable outlets for them to do so - there are women's sports teams, clubs, etc. - than there were even 25 years ago. This is a testament to the fact that the societal view of women not being athletic or that they should not be athletic has basically disappeared. Compared to 80 years ago, women's sports have definitely become much more a part of the societal norm, although they still have not become as generally popular as men's sports.

first response
Name: Talia
Date: 2004-02-01 15:44:09
Link to this Comment: 7868

Hrm, well, I'm Talia, one of the many Pem West 1st Frosh in this class. Coincidence? The fussball table in my room seems to have become my new all consuming way of relaxing. When not shooting small balls into holes with little plastic men on sticks, I seem to study a lot and paint said plastic men to better represent myeself. Oh and I live with Nicole

I think that the opportunities and expectiations of women in sports have changed a lot over the years, as the documentary showed. All the same the inequality between men's and women's sports is huge. How many people actually go to WNBA games as opposed to NBA games? What are the differences in salaries and prize money for women and men? In high school, regardless of the quality of the team, no women's sport got more support than our loosing men's football team. It is expected for girls to play sports now, but it is still not really considered an option as a career, unless it is in a very few select sports. It seems that our athleticism is frequently expected to remain a hobby, something done recreationally in high school and college. And although many more women can look at sports seriously now then a hundred years ago, their options are still drastically less than those of their male counterparts.

Response #1
Name: Kelsey Smi
Date: 2004-02-01 20:31:05
Link to this Comment: 7877

Hello everyone! My name is Kelsey. I am a sophomore and am majoring in sociology. I love to take long walks through the rain (without an umbrella, thank you very much), write poetry, and see the sun rise.

Women have definitely acquired a greater sense of self-confidence as a result of sports. While not every woman can be a professional athlete, they can watch women's sports events on television and marvel at what is accomplished. Even those who pursue other career choices can still benefit from sports. I know three females who have had their entire college education paid for as a result of sports. That is a pretty significant and would not have been possible not so long ago. I have been to WNBA games before and think it unfortunate that more people don't go. The culture of sports is still changing because girls start playing sports at a young age and the competition allows them to compete in other areas of life as well. Thankfully, people have stopped thinking that sports will ruin a woman's ability to have children!

Name: Nicole Wit
Date: 2004-02-01 22:48:32
Link to this Comment: 7886

Greetings, I am a freshwoman and I have in the past participated in sports. I live in Pem West first, and I am an avid foosball player now.

My response to the second part of the question, is the culture of sport still changing, and I would have to say that womens' sports are stagnic right now. From my past experiences in middle school and high school, the only attendants to our games were usually parents waiting for their daughters to finish playing. When the high schools boys basketball team went 0-16 they got to travel to Ohio to play in a special tournament, while the girls who had a winnning season were awarded with nothing. In local papers there is a special section to showcase every individual football player, while the girls would be lucky to make the paper. I think this lack of recognition is also apparent in professional sports. When I saw an add for March madness, I thought about how it does not inlude womens' basketball. The floundering WNBA league, where the women play for love of the game, because their salaries are far less than their male counterparts. Well, I know it sounds like I am ranting so I will end here, but I do have to say that though many wonderful changes have allowed women to play sports we still get very little recognition.

Name: Laura
Date: 2004-02-02 20:57:18
Link to this Comment: 7911

Am I supposed to respond to everyone? ... welp, here goes ...

Re: Pem West ... anybody wanna teach me how to play foosball? :D

Re: Kelsey ... I agree that it's good that people have stopped buying the reproductive bullshit, but I think that more attention needs to be paid to the higher rates of eating disorders among athletes (and women in general). Eating disorders DO cause reproductive problems. So along with promoting greater acceptance of women athletes, we need to provide more support for these women.

Re: Nicole ... I had a pretty different experience in high school. Our women's sports games were really well attended, received the same level of funding as men's sports, and kicked ass in relation to other schools. We placed quite well in Districts, States, etc. Our newspaper took note of it and featured male and female athletes every week, as well as putting in articles about the women's teams when they performed. It would rock if professional womens teams could get as much exposure as the teams in my high school got.

... not much more to respond to ...
have a good week :D

Name: Kelsey Smi
Date: 2004-02-03 07:35:23
Link to this Comment: 7933

Re: Laura- While I think it is significant that women dress differently, I believe they do so as a result of their lifestyle. For example, in the documentary, some women were shown playing baseball in bloomers and others in skirts. It is certainly good that they don't play wearing such impractical attire now!

Re: Naomi- Yes, it is certainly acceptable for women to be athletic now.

Re: Talia- It is true that most women cannot make a career out of sports, but it is also true that most men do not do it either.

Re: Nicole- Though it is unfortunate that female athletes in your high school did not get the attention of their male counterparts, at least the females have sports teams. When my mother was in high school, no teams existed until her senior year when track was the only option available.

Have a good week, everyone, but don't waste too much time! See you Thursday.

Name: Tiffany
Date: 2004-02-03 10:27:29
Link to this Comment: 7937

I'm sorry this is a little late guys, but I couldn't get into the website yesterday. It might have been something with my computer, but it was probably user error since one of my frosh set me up today.

My name is Tiffany Stenglein and I'm a sophomore. I'm a customsperson in Haffner German and am an Archaeology major. I had knee surgery over break, so this class seemed like the right PE. I'm from northern Minnesota, so this weather makes me feel like it's April.

In the last 80 years, the perception of sports has changed, not just women in sports. Athletis activity is now seen as a good thing, something everyone--men and women--should do. Specifically for upperclass women, it has gone from a forbidden and dangerous activity, to one that is fashionable. Thousands of dollars a year are spent on professional trainers and athletic classes by upperclass women.
The first female athletes had to struggle to break free of stereotypical ideas of femininity. They succeeded, but there is still work to be done. Women have proven that the can be just as agressive and athletic as men, but today, there is still the issue of defining feminine athleticism. Female athletes (like other women in society) can achieve their goals, but not without losing something else. They can be either women who happen to be athletes, or athletes who happen to be women. We still need to work on allowing people to be both in equal measure.

Name: Amy Campbe
Date: 2004-02-03 14:20:10
Link to this Comment: 7943

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?? Also-you can respond to what otehrs have said--- see you all Thursday.

response to responses
Name: Naomi
Date: 2004-02-03 21:04:19
Link to this Comment: 7952

First, in response to Amy Campbell's questions, I would say that to be considered "athletic" a person has to really work at it -- to be fit, train for a sport, etc. I would argue that not everyone can be considered athletic. Personally, I have always viewed myself as "non-athletic" - never having been a part of a real sports team - especially compared to friends who are/have been on sports teams and train intensely. It takes work to be athletic, and so I think that it is only people who are really dedicated and "work" at their sport who can be considered true athletes.

In response to what others have discussed in terms of men's and women's sports teams not being equal: It is definitely true that in many high schools and in the professional leagues their is a great disparity in popularity, support and money involved between male and female teams. At the same time, we have to remember that women's professional sports are a relatively recent phenomenon and like any other advancement for women, it requires time to become generally accepted and gain wider support as people become more comfortable with the idea. Also, there are many sports that are not represented at the professional level in the United States or even if they are, are not popular. Professional soccer for instance is not at all well supported in the US where it is the most popular sport in many other countries around the world. What does this say about the U.S. sport culture in relation to other cultures as seen through sports? (I know this doesn't relate directly to women, but I just wanted to also bring it up).

Response to Amy
Name: Kelsey Smi
Date: 2004-02-04 18:23:41
Link to this Comment: 7966

Re: Amy- I think that an athlete is someone who excells at sports and, naturally, someone who is physically fit. I am not an athlete because I was born with a muscle condition that makes running and jumping impossible for me. I am, however, somewhat athletic because I can easily walk four to five miles several times a week. In high school, I once walked twenty-eight miles around a track one night (for Relay for Life, an event to raise money for cancer research). We think about ourselves in terms of whether or not we are our ideal weight and in terms of how we view our appearances. I'm not sure about the connection to the movies because I have only seen one of them.

Name: Amy Campbell
Subject: responses
Date: 2004-02-03 14:20:10
Message Id: 7943
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?? Also-you can respond to what otehrs have said--- see you all Thursday.

Name: Nicole
Date: 2004-02-04 23:01:02
Link to this Comment: 7973

Re: Laura- I am glad to hear that your high school female sports had a different experience than I. Perhaps one day my small town will respect female sports as your home town must.

Also, anyone interested in learning to play foosball and/or already knows how and wants to play a game, just talk to Talia or I. We are always ready for a match.

Name: Talia
Date: 2004-02-04 23:13:16
Link to this Comment: 7975

Come on by to Pem West first room 102, we're always ready to play and or teach.

I don't consider myself much of an athlete, although I was a varsity rower for two years in High School. I always considered everyone around me an athlete. I think partially what makes someone an athlete is how much they consider their sport or sports to be a part of them. With crew, although I lifted four days a week and practiced four or five for three seasons a year, I always felt like it was temporary. I still go to the gym, but the 5AM thing here is too much for me. My athleticism wasn't one of the ways I chose to define myself. It was all something I did because it felt good and was fun. I guess what makes someone an athlete is whether or not they consider themselves to be one, not how much time they spend doing something or how good they are. That is when you consider your athleticism something that defins you.

Name: Kate TUcke
Date: 2004-02-05 11:18:03
Link to this Comment: 7987

Hello all,
I'm Kate and I'm a senior...and obviously having a little trouble with this whole posting concept. I'm a political science major writing about policies affecting women's employment.

I really think that the changes that we have seen in women's sports over the past 80 years have been both a reflection of and a catalyst towards change. Women have been able to get more involved in sports due to changes in societal attitudes, but those breakthrough women have also opened up many other avenues for women...and not just in sports. I think breaking the image of the prim, proper "feminine" woman and making it acceptable for women to appear any way they want to has had a big impact on children in the later generations. I love seeing the Nike ads showing beautiful, athletic women. They're great role models. Its certainly a great improvement to have women striving to be fit rather than painfully thin. I definitely think the culture of sport is still changing. The image of female athletes is always evolving, and although the change may be slow, we are making important headways into equality with men in sports.

Bend It Like Beckham
Name: Amy Campbe
Date: 2004-02-05 17:03:30
Link to this Comment: 7996


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
Date: 2004-02-05 21:37:01
Link to this Comment: 8000

First off, I'd like to point out something that I think should have been brought up in class: The movie doesn't end when Jess (Jas?) wins the game and gets a scholarship. Apparently she's not REALLY successful until she has a boyfriend, too. Again, it's the stereotype - girls can play sports, as long as they keep their priorities straight and make sure they remain feminine and straight. I wish Juliette HAD been a lesbian. It would have added some nice balance to the movie. Although not all women athletes are dykes, some of them are, and like Jules said, it's not such a bad thing.

-end rant-

I think the movie did a good job showing the tension between the modern and the traditional, especially in immigrant/first generation families. There's real conflict about the idea of an arranged marriage, that's totally what is expected in a traditional Indian household, versus the attitude of their kids who grow up in Western culture - that they should marry who they love. So even though Jas' sister wanted nothing more than to marry an Indian boy, there was a problem, because that's not the boy her parents chose for her. That's before you get into little issues, like appropriate attire, careers, hobbies and footwear. It's like Jas' family has to go through the whole history we saw in the documentary last time - from not accepting women's liberation at ALL to having to accept that a female in the family is gifted at sport and can succeed at it and still be a woman - in one generation. Our society as a whole has had nearly a century to get used to this idea. It's noteworthy that Jas' family eventually comes to accept who she is. Had she been a white girl in 1900s America, they probably would not have.

... and I don't know which character I identify with. Probably one of the anonymous soccer players. Except I haven't played soccer since 7th grade, and I wasn't very good at it. Go defense.

Name: Laura
Date: 2004-02-05 23:28:21
Link to this Comment: 8001

Crap, that was my post, forgot to put my name on it!

Bend It Like Bekham
Name: Kate Tucke
Date: 2004-02-07 12:44:24
Link to this Comment: 8007

I actually disagree about what the ending symbolizes. I don't think its saying that Jess has to have a boyfriend. Her parents imply for most of the movie that she will never be desirable to a man if she continues to play soccer. Jess discovers that she is actually desirable, and finds someone that she wants to be with as well. Instead of settling for whatever boyfriend her parents find acceptable, she is able to follow her own wishes. Its actually one of the things that I really like about this movie. The women are very athletic and yet still portrayed as feminine. I don't mean that in the pejorative "weak" sense, simply that they are still viewed as fully women and not hampered in that respect by their athleticism.
I identify with Jess and really all of the female soccer players in this movie who go against what society traditionally tells them to do. While I have never encountered such obstacles from within my family, I have often been at odds with the female stereotypes.

Bend It Like Beckham
Name: Kelsey Smi
Date: 2004-02-07 19:36:08
Link to this Comment: 8019

It is interesting that Jess's family viewed academic excellence as admirable but athlect success as wasted effort. Both require much effort and motivation to do well.

According to Jess's family, it was unacceptable for her to be playing soccer because she should be focusing on being a good Indian housewife (Uggg!). Since Jess is a young woman, her mother views soccer as a male activity in which Jess should not partake.

One example of the tension between tradition and modernity is that Jess's father was not allowed to play soccer because of his culture but due to changing cultural values, his daughter was allowed to do so. This is why Jess's father was not initially eager to allow her to play sports.

I'm not sure which character I identify with, but most likely least I identify with her desire not to be a girly-girl!

Bend it Like Beckham
Name: Naomi
Date: 2004-02-08 14:52:25
Link to this Comment: 8028

I think that reason why most of the characters in the film, except for the soccer players, were uncomfortable with the idea of women playing a sport -- professionally and competitively at that -- was because it's something new that they were not used to, and I think that they may have felt threatened by it to some extent. The men probably felt threatened by the fact that a woman, who is supposed to be "weaker" and subordinate, is in fact just as strong, if not stronger than them in the sport. For the older women, this idea was simply novel to "everything they knew" therefore making it "wrong" and unable to jive with their ideas and beliefs about femininity and masculinity that they had been taught and had internalized. For the younger women (i.e. the sister and her friends) there was probably the fear of being considered "too butch" if they played sports, an accusation which Jess and Jules did face. In essence, all the characters who were uncomfortable with the fact that Jess wanted to and was good at playing soccer, were most likely expressing their fears -- fears of the unknown (i.e. breaking from traditional notions of male/female roles), fears of name-calling, fears of being considered inferior.

Bend it like Beckham
Name: amelia leo
Date: 2004-02-08 19:40:41
Link to this Comment: 8041

i feel we covered most of the response to this question in class- honestly, i don't think too many people are as opposed to women in sport in modern times as jas' parents were aside from heavily traditional families clinging to cultures that are not as accepting of the less feminine image portrayed by female athletes. All of the mothers and fathers i know are proud of their daughters for participating in athletics and haven't shown any desire for them to be 'more feminine'. the one traditional family i know from the middle east allowed their daughter to play lacrosse and fully supported her. jas obviously had much stronger opposition to face then anyone i personally know, and as someone else commented, her progress through the movie was very similar to the progress of women in sport in the documentary. the irish eye candy was a little too much- the movie was about her exceeding in sports, not getting together with her coach on the side. the hope that her family would eventually accept him seemed a bit extraordinary- how far can she push them?
i don't identify with any of the characters in the movie, though i'm sorry to say i've met a lot of mothers as embarrassing as juliette's.

bend it like beckham
Name: Talia
Date: 2004-02-08 23:01:46
Link to this Comment: 8050

I found it interesting that one of the reason jess' mother protested her playing soccer so much was that it included her showing the burns on her legs. I liked that athletics allowed Jess to become less ashamed of something that she had untill then considered "disgusting" and take pride in her skills on the soccer field. The film showed how much more comfortable someone can become with their body when they excell or even just participate in a sport. I find that people who were involved in athletic tend to be more accepting of their bodies even if some would perceive them to be flawed. By going out in shorts and exposing something that others might consider ugly, Jess showed that she was more interested in being an athlete than devoting her life to creating an appearance of beauty. It wasn't that she didn't want to appear beautiful, but that it was no longer her primary purpose and she didn't want to lie in order to be beautiful.

Bend it like Bekham
Name: Nicole
Date: 2004-02-09 00:07:43
Link to this Comment: 8055

I was suprised by the negativity Jes received from her parents. Her father thought he was protecting jes from racial prejudice and her mother was just trying to make her into a respectful traditional woman. I am sure that such families still exist that would want to honor their religion above sports, but I think a lot of that is changing. Sports give girls a lot of opportunities, including scholarships to schools and universities. Perhaps the girl who is a bit average academically will get a second chance through her abilities in sports. And I think a lot of families recognize the opportunities for their girls to recieve funding for school. So much so, that you get another extreme opposite of Jes's parents, those parents who begin their children at a sport at a very young age. And not just the money, but also that sports keeps their kids occupied so they are not doing drugs, or drinking, or any other mischevious things the kids could get into. Especially with families on very different schedules.

I don't think I could completely relate to one of the characters. Though Joules father kind of reminds me of the attitudes my parents had. The whole as long as she is playing with a basketball instead of boys idea.

Name: christina
Date: 2004-02-09 20:42:50
Link to this Comment: 8077

I have to agree with kate here. The movie's ending was not about getting a boyfriend. Also, her having a boyfriend is irrelevant to how she played the game. Honestly, I don't see why the coach turned into a boyfriend, esp since it created a huge schism between Jules and Jess. Perhaps, that is all the director was trying to do. Show that teamwork in a team also means teamwork in life (as cheesy as that sounds).

I also have to note something we brought up in our discussion last week. I believe there are strong male characters in the movie. Granted the film is aimed at girls, but that does not mean male characters are necessarily weak. And if they are, so what? The coach was not only eye-candy; I assume we would not have said that if he was unattractive. He had a very significant role; if not for him Jess would never had the courage to play in America.

This movie was portrayed very well, I believe. I identify very much with Jess, myself coming from a very traditional family. I used to struggle with playing sports in junior high and high school because my mother preferred that I play piano and study hard instead. As a compromise, I did all of them. I understand what Jess must have gone through; trying to do what's best for yourself and keeping your parents happy. It's hard to find a perfect medium.

next response
Name: Amy Campbe
Date: 2004-02-10 11:22:15
Link to this Comment: 8094

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: laura sock
Date: 2004-02-10 20:35:58
Link to this Comment: 8108

I think anything that puts women in the spotlight brings up question of their identification with gender roles and their sexuality. Traditionally, women are supposed to be demure. Anything that goes against this - politics, acting, sports - can be used against a woman, both in terms of her sexual orientation and her role as a woman in general.

bend it like beckham 2
Name: Naomi
Date: 2004-02-11 18:29:58
Link to this Comment: 8119

In response to Amy Campbell's remark/question: I think it really is a matter of generation/cultural values that makes Jess' and Julie's views different from their parents. They have grown up in a world that has given them new views on what's "ok" and not in terms of gender roles and sexuality that is different from their parents. At the same time many of these 'new views' are also new to others of their same generation (i.e. the boys that Jess started playing soccer with) and in playing the sport, Jess and Julie are paving the way for future women -- they are still breaking down barriers in terms of people's views of women playing sports. In being "jet-setters" (i think that's the phrase) and continuing to pave the way for future women sports players, Jess and Julie have to face questions, not being accepted, being made fun of, etc., which in the end, I think, only makes them stronger in their determination to play the game and go further with it.

Name: Talia
Date: 2004-02-12 00:26:02
Link to this Comment: 8129

I don't think that it's exclusive for women to be sexually stigmatized based on athletics. Men in figure skating, dance (especially ballet), gymnastics, and cheer leading are often accused of homosexuality based purely on the sports they participate in. There was a male cheer leader in my school that always had to be the bear mascot because he was the only man and they didn't know what to do with him. Conversly, women in these sports aren't frequently accused of being un-feminine, because they are perceived as feminine sports. I think that almost every sport is stigmatized as being appropriate for a certain gender and it is hard for someone of either gender to break those barriers. I think that more sports are probably harder to access for women then men, but that the problem goes both ways and that all sports should be equally accessable and acceptable for both genders.

Name: Nicole Wit
Date: 2004-02-12 00:28:06
Link to this Comment: 8130

IN response to the second question, I don't think that only females sexual orientation is questioned in sports. I think that men also fall into this subject. When we think of a jock we have a very defined image of a male in his prime form. There are very 'manly' sports such as football and hockey, and then there are sports where mens sexuality is questioned like ballet and figure skating. I think the issue of father and son come into this too. I am sure most fathers would rather take their sons to baseball practice than to ballet. That would be demeaning for the father to appear before his peers and share the fact that his son is interested in dancing, because his son is going to be precieved as a wimp. Of course I am using the above as an example.

Remember The Titans
Name: Amy Campbe
Date: 2004-02-12 16:52:06
Link to this Comment: 8139

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: Charles Da
Date: 2004-02-14 11:48:58
Link to this Comment: 8157

Amy Campbell said, "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."

This is true because, if you accept the standard interpretation of Darwin's view, we are animals. We are driven by the same needs, and this includes the need to dominate.

Amy Campbell said, "What makes sport an easy vehicle to shed animosities ..."

ibid [if you accept ...] we are pack animals. Things like race, sex, etc., normally define the pack. Sports redefine the pack.

Amy Campbell said, "... 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?"

Redefine the packs, or change the primitive thinking (i.e., the animal nature) in your fellow students. The second is a very tall order, most religions have tried and failed, however that is not reason for you to give-up or avoid trying (the individual is a good place to start).

Remember the Titans
Name: Naomi
Date: 2004-02-14 12:27:05
Link to this Comment: 8158

I think that it was not only the fact that the football players were playing a sport, but the fact that they were doing something TOGETHER for a common goal. If we were to then use this case as a model of how to "even the playing field" so to speak for all aspects of racism, sexism, etc. then it would seem logical that if you put a bunch of different people together in a situation where they need to work together to achieve a goal, then they would resolve their problems surrounding those "isms." However, this sounds fairly naive, although theoretically one would think it would work. It is impossible to bring all the people in the world together in situations where they would be forced to bridge their differences. But, on the microcosmic level of our campus community, perhaps if there were smaller activities where this idea was pushed, then maybe it would change the way people talk about and deal with these issues.

Remember the Titans
Name: Kate
Date: 2004-02-15 01:16:51
Link to this Comment: 8165

I think one of the things that makes sports a useful medium for overcoming racial, social, ethnic boundaries is that to be part of a team you must redefine your personality to some extent. The training that Denzel Washington's character put his players through at camp was very reminiscent of army boot camp (or at least how boot camp is portrayed in movies!). One of the important things that they got out of it was a group personality. They sacrified some of their own personal beliefs for the sake of the team. Being part of a team requires that people come together. Teams allow people to unite around a common goal. The characters in Remember the Titans didn't need to have a lot in common. They worked really hard to be good football players and spent a lot of their personal efforts on the team; for the rest of the time they could be different. While they were on the team they were united in their efforts. Sports rules also are irrelevant to all those boundaries that those characters had to deal with. The rules within the game are the same for everyone. This is why other organizations can be used for the same purpose. Political groups or issue groups are a good example. There are many different organizations on campus that allow people to organize around common issues, regardless of their other "isms".

Remember the Titans
Name: Kelsey Smi
Date: 2004-02-15 15:24:21
Link to this Comment: 8176

Education helps to bring people together in colleges, but only if people are open-minded about differences that exist among their peers. If that is lacking, no amount of information will bring people together. If people are open to new perspectives, everyone will be changed since all will appreciate those who are different.

Volunteering is another vehicle for bringing people together because it provides a common goal of helping others. People will achieve satisfaction from improving the lives of those who are less fortunate. They will also gain information about these people and the lives that they live.

Name: Talia
Date: 2004-02-15 23:54:45
Link to this Comment: 8187

I think one of the things that helped bring the team in remember the titans together was the fact that they were all miserable together. One of the quickest, albeit most unpleasant ways, of making a bunch of people befriend each other is to make them all equally unhappy together, then they at least have the fact that they are all miserable together. The coach used this technique to bring his football player who had very little else in common together. Later their competitiveness brings them together, they realize that the best way to reach their common goal is to work together. The desire to be part of a perfect team made each of them more willing to ignore other differences. Someone unwilling to work for the team, and accept everyone only hindered them. So they couldn't be accepted. In the end the drive to excell and the competitveness pushed the team to come together, because it was the only way that they would succeed.

Name: Nicole
Date: 2004-02-15 23:59:58
Link to this Comment: 8189

I think one of the things in sports that helps overcome racial barriers is the amount of bonding between teammates. You see each other in practice, your teammates fighting as hard as you for a goal. I think when you share a physical hardship together there is this instinctive bond. And you fight together. You fight in every game and this means you also share your loses and victories. I think sharing in this way, the elation of victory or the duldrums of defeat, and knowing that there is someone else at the same moment feeling the same emotions, thats bonding between anyone despite race.

Remember the Titans
Name: Laura Sock
Date: 2004-02-16 10:40:37
Link to this Comment: 8203

Talia said, "One of the quickest, albeit most unpleasant ways, of making a bunch of people befriend each other is to make them all equally unhappy together, then they at least have the fact that they are all miserable together." ... and I wholeheartedly agree. There is no better vehicle for bonding than an all out bitch-fest. At Bryn Mawr, girls who have NOTHING in common can at least find something to complain about. Ahh, discontent. Such the uniter.
---I think that another reason sports are so uniting is that the decisions of who interacts with whom are made by another person. In classes and on the bus, students can segregate themselves. On a team, the coaches tell you where to go and what to do. If you don't want to block for the guy of another race, you can do it - and get yourself kicked off the team (a la Gerry's friend). It takes pressure off the individual to make a stand.

response 2
Name: Amy Campbe
Date: 2004-02-16 11:55:09
Link to this Comment: 8209

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: Tiffany
Date: 2004-02-16 13:54:18
Link to this Comment: 8212

Film acts as a passive forum; they don't require any active commitment from the audience. Other passive fora have the same ability, like TV shows. The audience memeber is not required to state an opinion, only follow along like a good little lamb and agree with what is placed before him/her. When we try to have real conversations in the real world, participants actually have to take stands on controversial issues, not just agree when presented a one-sided argument. Film can also, as we discussed in class, "sugar coat" issues. Remember the Titans certainly glossed over Gerry's disability. In television or film, there is also a limited amount of time available to resolve a conflict. In reality, conflicts can last much longer than the hour and a half reserved for a film.

2nd response
Date: 2004-02-16 20:01:06
Link to this Comment: 8227

Other places that are inclusive of diversity ...
the first thing that comes to my mind regarding Bryn Mawr is the work-study program. If you get financial aid here and you're a freshman, you're in the dining hall. It's as simple as that. I think it'a situation that forces you to bond. Working in the dining hall is kind of like that football camp, just on a less extreme scale. The work sucks, it's hot (or freezing), it's dirty, it's wet, and nobody really wants to be there. Again, there is bonding over the complaining. And it gives you a common ground with other people that you'd otherwise have no reason to talk to. I like that Bryn Mawr forces all the freshmen to work in dining services - for one thing, it makes sure that there are enough people to staff them, but it also forces people to bond with very different individuals.

titans #2
Name: Kate Tucke
Date: 2004-02-16 23:52:54
Link to this Comment: 8236

I think that the comment re: work-study is very true. All freshwomen go through the same sucky situation...and bond with the people they work with. That's true in pretty much any work situation, even if you don't work in the cafeteria. Since you're confronted with a common set of problems to deal with, you end up bonding with the people you work with. Also, as I said before, this can work for any club. Some clubs are oriented towards certain groups or people with certain beliefs, but even those orientations will mix people up to a certain extent.

response 2
Name: Naomi Spec
Date: 2004-02-18 14:52:43
Link to this Comment: 8269

I think that, along the lines of what Kelsey said, that the sheer fact that the people attending or teaching at a college are there (or at least presumably)for the purpose of education. And just like people were saying with other situations, it's a case where "we're all in this together" -- we all have some sort of shared identity as "Mawrtyrs" and would feel a sense of closeness to a stranger who was wearing a Bryn Mawr shirt on a random street. So, I think it is the creation of a common identity that is beyond the realm of race, gender, etc. that allows those usually dividing factors to become less important and causes people to overcome a fear of difference (or at least in an idealistic world).

Titans #2
Name: Kelsey Smi
Date: 2004-02-18 19:15:30
Link to this Comment: 8274

Another way to bond is to play what my friend Jean calls "Poor Man's Poker", an activity that is no more complicated than people listing what work they have to do and how little sleep they've had in the past three or four days. It is considered a good activity because many people at Bryn Mawr prefer talking about the work they need to do before they actually do it.

Name: christina
Date: 2004-02-18 23:47:08
Link to this Comment: 8280

I agree with the previous comments on how it was not just the sport, but doing something together. It's about teamwork, and teamwork can also be found outside sports. It's found in the classrooms, especially at institutions like bryn mawr college, and clubs and other extracurrical activities. however, we have to remember that in the movie, racism was embedded in the mindset of all the characters. It was something they all had to overcome, although initially it was an issue they did not want to confront.

All the -isms dissolve into nothingness when people can defeat prejudices and prior misunderstandings, experiences, or knowledge and just get to know people as people. I'm not sure if any of this makes sense... but I know that here at Bryn Mawr, although we continually discuss issues such as race, class, and sexuality, they are always approached with a positive light and try to set an example of harmony. It's not what sport you play, or what club you're in; it boils down to the individual to make a difference.

Date: 2004-02-18 23:52:47
Link to this Comment: 8281

And just to say ... that anonymous post with the subject '2nd response' about working in the dining halls ...

yeah that was mine. I NEVER remember to put my name on things!

Name: Talia
Date: 2004-02-19 00:04:57
Link to this Comment: 8282

I agree wholeheartedly that the dinning halls are a place that we are all equals. Even if we do not specifically utilize them as a forum, we learn to respect our fellow workers, both the students and the permanent staff. I know that there are diversity forums and such to discuss "problems" of diversity, but I feel that these are a bit redundant. It seems that those who are willing to tromp to where they are held, and activily participate are the most dedicated to the idea of racial, sexual, etc. equality. As I close up my first evening of hellweek, I feel that a lot of the traditions here work to break down barriers for everyone. I've just spend an hour and a half running around looking for cans of soda, novelty condems, and crazy straws. Being on the same neurotic escapades as everyone else brings us all together in the same way being miserable together does. On that note, I'm going to go bond with my fellow scavengering mates.

Name: Nicole
Date: 2004-02-19 00:09:44
Link to this Comment: 8283

Though labs are required I think they offer a forum for people with a realted interest to explore their field of study together. I know once a week I come together with my other geology lab partners to discuss our common interest and to solve the problems of the lab for the week. And he labs share the same diversity we have on campus and those students from Haverford as well.

Date: 2004-02-19 00:27:19
Link to this Comment: 8284

Love this, you all are really thinking. We need more about why sports and the arts (film) work, and how could we use the model. Also other models. I don't think an answer is far away.

2nd response
Name: Tiffany
Date: 2004-02-19 14:55:47
Link to this Comment: 8290

This entire campus brings people together in a supportive way--well, except for men. What the college doesn't do enough of is opening dialogue. We're all here, working together, but we don't actually talk about our differences. We ignore them and try to pretend that they're not there. I really don't know whether ignoring our differences is progress or not, but it seems to be where the college--and our society in general--are headed.

Name: Mya Mangaw
Date: 2004-02-20 09:11:56
Link to this Comment: 8309

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: Kate
Date: 2004-02-21 05:15:31
Link to this Comment: 8327

The portrayal of Diana as an angry woman dealing with a violent background does somewhat "excuse" her aggressive attitude, but I don't think this is any more so than a movie about a man might do. There are many movies about angry young men that show how they got that attitude and show how they channel those aggressive energies into something productive. Diana's story is no different. Although I am not a fan of boxing, it is still a much more productive and rewarding use of time than getting in fights over trivial matters at school. I don't know a lot about boxing, but it seems to me that it requires this buried aggression. It would take a lot of anger for me to get in that ring and box. So if Kusama is apologizing for Diana's behavior, then she is really apologizing for the sport as a whole and the conditions that drive people to that anger, not just singling out women. It is more unusual to see women take that route...obviously there are not that many women that box or Diana's story wouldn't have been unique. But that gym was full of angry young men. Diana has the same background and the same feelings. I don't think the movie apologizes for her acting that way as a woman, but perhaps it does for people acting violently in general.
I think Diana's story is made more acceptable because she is a poor Latina and because of the love interest. She is a young woman with nothing to lose. Boxing certainly can't hurt her...instead it gives her a way out of the mess that she lives in. Whereas a student in a better school might succeed by going to college, Diana's options are more limited. It is a triumph that she found a possible route to success, even if it was not conventional. The love interest also makes the movie more palatable, but I don't think its implying that a woman has to have a romantic relationship or that boxing was just a route to finding a man. Instead, I think it shows that Diana could be herself and follow her passions and still form a healthy, loving relationship. Does a woman have to have a boyfriend? No. But is it nice for her to find someone she cares about that can accept her for who she is. Yes! And he paves the way for other men to approve. But I really don't think that Kusama is implying that Diana is more acceptable because she fell in love. I think she is simply allowing Diana to live the life she desires, which makes her chosen path more acceptable because she is satisfied in her relationships as well as her careers.

Name: Laura Sock
Date: 2004-02-21 23:41:29
Link to this Comment: 8345

I don't think Kusama is apologizing for Diana's behavior, at all. I think she somewhat explains it in a social context, but her agression is not meant to be viewed in a negative context. It is rebellion against her social circumstances, but it is POSITIVE rebellion. Once she channels it into boxing and improving herself, that is. I thought a really key scene was when she sat down to watch TV after clearing up dinner - there were 3 different things she flipped through: a news story about a woman who was raped and/or killed, a novella (something love related, I don't know what, I don't speak spanish), and a commercial with some woman extolling the values of a cleaning product. I think this rather succinctly summarized all of the things that Diana broke out against - violence against women (as when Diana turns the tables against her father), women as love objects (as when she takes control of her relationship with Adrian), and her expected domestic roles (like when her brother ends up having to make dinner. She doesn't apologize, at all. I loved that!)

... I think the social context serves to rationalize Diana's behavior, but it doesn't EXCUSE it or apologize for it. That implies that Diana shouldn't be agressive. I think Kusama showed that she had all the reason in the world to be aggressive.

(and look! I remembered to sign my name)

girlfight #1
Name: Naomi Spec
Date: 2004-02-22 18:26:10
Link to this Comment: 8362

I think the emphasis on Diana's environment does make the fact that she is an aggressive young woman more reconcilable for the audience. They can feel more comfortable and are able to more easily understand (and empathize with?) her because she is a "poor Latina." I think that this emphasis is not so much to "apologize" for her behavior, but to make it more accessible to the audience, so they aren't easily scared off or feel uneasy and thus wouldn't watch the film. Perhaps it is sort of an excuse or apology for the filmmaker not being as aggressive or as confident in making the film -- she shows the audience what they want or expect to see, to an extent. Ultimately, though, the fact that the filmmaker made a film about a female boxer is a feat in itself, and does show a great degree of confidence on her part that audiences would see a physically aggressive female, as the protagonist, on screen.

Name: Kelsey Smi
Date: 2004-02-22 20:06:43
Link to this Comment: 8365

I think it is entirely acceptable that Diana was aggressive. She needed a way to channel her energy. Kusama does a great job at challenging gender stereotypes because it is not typical for a woman to be a boxer. Being a poor Latina helps make the aggression more acceptable because Diana does not have other options. Kusama definately makes Diana more acceptable by having a heterosexual love story since people too frequently assume that a strong and slightly masculine young woman is homosexual.

Name: talia squi
Date: 2004-02-23 00:00:50
Link to this Comment: 8380

I don't think that Diana's aggression was being justified more than being apologized for, I also feel like it was a more general justification for all of the boxers, than just Diana. I found the relationship with her boyfriend interesting, because it seemed tacked on at times. I thought a lot of it rang true, especially his struggle between chivalry and equality. He was raised to look at respecting women differently than she wanted to respected. She didn't want to be treasured, she wanted to be treated as a complete equal, and still seen as different in some ways. She wanted to be a woman, loved by a man, but in the boxing ring she wanted the competitors to be "gender blind". I didn't feel like she wanted to be "one of the boys" so much as for her and the boys to all be genderless entities.

I also found it interesting that she started in very androdgenous clothing, even for her first boxing lesson and matches. Later she was wearing an athletic top which clearly showed her to be a female. In her last match, she boxes in a sports bra leaving no room for doubt about her gender. Also she wore her hair down more often as the film went on and her relationship began to develop. After establishing her as violent and not "girly", the film seemed more eager to strip away her androgany and declare her as a woman.

Name: Nicole
Date: 2004-02-23 00:03:57
Link to this Comment: 8381

I was thinking about the scene in the movie where there is a violent confrontation between the father and daughter. I thought this scene was interesting because it is believed that children growing up in a violent home tend to violent tendencies when they grow up. And typically one would think of the son to become violent, but in this case we see the daughter as the violent sibling. I think this adds to her tough appearence.

girl fight 1
Name: Tiffany
Date: 2004-02-23 19:23:16
Link to this Comment: 8400

Kasuma isn't apologizing for Diana's agressiveness, she's just giving it a context. Diana isn't just angry because she's strange or unstable, she really has something to be angry about. It gives the audience something to identify with. We would all be angry in that situation, too.

As for the prominence of the heterosexual relationship, it was necessary. The movie is not trying to re-enforce stereotypes about lesbians and straight women, but break them down. If Diana had had a relationship with another woman, the tension between her own two halves would have broken. In that instance the movie would also have failed to address the issue of male acceptance of women in sport. The movie hits it's mark here because of the heterosexual relationship. The most threatening thing that Diana could do to her boyfriend's masculinity was to beat him up, and she did. That he was willing to fight her, and take that risk, is more a victory than her actual win.

Name: Mya Mangaw
Date: 2004-02-24 09:46:47
Link to this Comment: 8446

These were very thoughtful and helpful responses. I must admit, I am with Jessie (Group 3) and remain "definitely conflicted about this film." While as Talia (Group 2) suggests, Kusama does a good job at "show[ing] us something about [Diana's] socio-economic situation" that ultimately manifests in what Laura (Group 4) called a "positive rebellion," parts of the film remain troubling. Perhaps it is that it does feel a bit like Kusama is as Katie (Group 1) suggests "blaming the environment," but my uneasiness stems most directly from the fact that aggressive females (and their representations) are still so often and so deeply entrenched in explanations and assurances.

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)?

response 2
Name: Laura Sock
Date: 2004-02-24 12:26:57
Link to this Comment: 8453

Aggressive female for whom there is no explanation ...

Yeah, she was a supermodel, which is "girlie" - but she was the anti-supermodel for her time. She was something different. Dark and wild and addicted to heroin. Not that those are all positive characteristics.

And she liked girls, so it definitely wasn't rationalized through a heterosexual relationship.

I don't know if this is the best example, though, since it's not the happiest story. It was just the first thing that came to mind. In terms of current movies, you could go with Eowyn from Return of the King. Now THERE'S an aggressive female ... "I am no man" and all of that.

Name: christina
Date: 2004-02-24 18:27:22
Link to this Comment: 8463

I think Kusmana was challenging the stereotypes of Diana's social background by using Diana, a girl, to be doing something that's described as male. She aggressiveness may have been a result of a reaction to her parents violence, or just her own personal way of dealing with behavior. I think it's important to note however, that since she started training, she stopped having fights in school and was able to control her anger and focus it in a more healthy manner.
I did think the relationship between her and the boy was a bit irrelevant. Perhaps it was to show that she was heterosexual, but I think it took some emphasis away from her sport. But she did beat him, and that made him upset, bringing in themes of jealously and competition between male and female.

Girlfight 2
Name: Kelsey Smi
Date: 2004-02-25 07:42:19
Link to this Comment: 8482

No, I don't know of any examples where there is an aggressive feamle protagonist for whom there is no explanation for her aggression. I think the aggreesion works well in Girlfight because it shows one way of conflict resolution, even if it is not the most direct route. I agree with Tiffany in thinking that Diana had something to be angry about. She didn't fit in with her emotions or her environment and boxing gave her an opportunity to find her place.

Bend it Like Beckham 2
Name: Kelsey Smi
Date: 2004-02-25 07:55:12
Link to this Comment: 8483

Sport heightens the conversation re: gender and orientation for women and not for men because it is rooted in culture for men to prove themselves athletically. One example is the ancient Olympic games, an event in which only men participated and viewed. As a consequence, it is normal for men to be athletic. With women, by contrast, it has only become mainstream in the last fifty years and people still talk about orientation. I cannot think of other places in society where this happens for women. However, men who participate in art and dance (esp. ballet) are frequently talked about in terms of their orientation.

girlfight 2
Name: Kate Tucke
Date: 2004-02-25 12:18:57
Link to this Comment: 8487

It is difficult to think of any movies where women are aggressive, but that aggression is not explained in some way. I think Eowyn from Lord of the Rings in actually a good example. In that scenario, the character is part of an aggressive society, but as a woman is not supposed to participate. But I think if we look at the motivations of her character...she wants to fight with honor like the men do. Seeing that movie...the way they fight is pretty brutal. But it is rationalized, even for the men. Its okay that they behave in that way because its for a just cause and because it makes them honorable men. I am not bothered by rationalizing the reason that women act more aggressively and violently in these films. I think its more worrisome that sometimes we don't analyze it. Its much more of a concern that we think its acceptable for a man to beat someone up (without having any extreme influence from life). Men are traditionally supposed to act aggressive and violent when the times call for it. Thus we would expect that reaction from men when faced with situations that anger them. Some women don't respond this way, but many women do through violence towards themselves. Anywhere I see brutality, it is my instinct to look for the causes of that brutality, regardless of gender. Violence is not something I'm willing to accept as "just the nature of the beast".

Bend it like bekham #2
Name: Kate
Date: 2004-02-25 12:29:42
Link to this Comment: 8488

The misunderstanding that Jules' mother has about Jules and Jess's relationship is actually prevalent all over the place whenever people break societal gender norms. Whereas women have started breaking out of the constraints, I think its actually often more noticable for men. Sometimes women do face being labeled as a homosexual because they participate in activities (such as sports) that in the past were considered a masculine pursuit. The same is true of men who enjoy things that were traditionally considered female activities. Look at Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. Okay, yes, the men on that show are actually gay...but the implication is that gay men like decorating and dressing well, which is usually characteristic of women. There are tons of other situations in which men face this same stereotype. What is really going on is that people feel threated by the loss of those stereotypes and are lashing out at them by any means possible.

Week One make up posts
Name: ktucker@br
Date: 2004-02-25 12:48:03
Link to this Comment: 8489

I swear I posted once to the first week's forum, but it isn't on there, so I'm going to combine the two posts into one just to minimize confusion.

A little belatedly, I'll introduce myself.
My name is Kate. I'm a senior political science major and I live in Merion.
I think the changes that have occurred surronding women and sport are reflections of larger societal changes that have been occurring at the same time. This is a process of gender redefinition. I would like to believe that gender ideologies have been broken down somewhat and that the playing field is now equal for all genders, but I think the reality of the situation is more that gender ideologies hav been reconstructed. And the new reconstruction has slowly made it more acceptable for women to play sports and participate in other activities that used to be considered masculine activites. This makes it sound like a passive process, but that's not really what is has been at all. Instead, this redefinition has occurred by the determination of many women who possess the talent and the ambition to take on these "male" activies. Women who enjoy these activities and won't take "no" for an answer. We owe our expanded opportunities and more flexible gender ideologies to these pioneering women.

Okay, and for post #2:

Generally, I'd say an athlete is someone who is committed to excelling in the area of athletics by maintaining the physical fitness necessary to do that and by improving oneself in the chosen sports. I wouldn't call myself at athlete. Certainly during my years at Bryn Mawr I have not been athletic in the slightest, and I'm not sure why since I was usually involved in some sport in high school. Looking back on it, though, I never considered myself to be athletic. I guess because, even though I enjoyed my two chosen forms of athleticism, softball and Tae Kwon Doe, I wasn't particularly talented at either one or physically fit. I was much more physically fit than I am now, though! So in hindsight, perhaps I was an athlete in high school.

girlfight #2
Name: Naomi Spec
Date: 2004-02-25 15:59:37
Link to this Comment: 8491

I can't think of a particular film in which there is such a female character, but it made me sort of think of many movies that show a group of kids (like a Disney movie) where there is always a "tomboyish" girl in the group. And it's as if there always has to be one girl like that in the group to make it "politically correct" or something, but then usually in the end, as the girl grows up she "grows out" of that tomboyish stage, and puts on some makeup and a dress and turns out to be really pretty and she and the main boy character fall in love, etc. So in these cases it seems to show this sort of "masculinized" (I think I made that word up) girl character as a constant or normal occurrence within a group of kids, but portrays this only as a "stage" she's going through and in the end she really is like all other "girly" girls.

Name: Nicole
Date: 2004-02-25 20:51:43
Link to this Comment: 8505

In response to a strong female character who is strong I can think of one character who is a little obscure. I recently saw a film from the eighties called Streets of Fire, where the maIn character picks up a sidekick named McCoy. The only cause for her aggression may be that she has been a soldier. She can carry a gun, knock out any guy, and does not succumb to the sultry Tom Cody, the hero. She is in sharp contrast to the victim in the movie, a very sexy singer who has had a relationship with Cody. McCoy is pretty much asexual throughout the movie, showing no attraction to either gender.

Name: talia
Date: 2004-02-26 11:41:11
Link to this Comment: 8525

This is the other girl from 102, where we watch very odd movies. Our most recent favorite has been Jesus Christ, Vampire Hunter (fabulous film, complete with musical numbers, and chock full of camp). The protaganist, or head vampire, was definitly not heterosexual. but Mary Magdeline was also gay. She was out to save the world and kick butt and all, but in the end her slight flirtations with Jesus only revealed that she was more interested in women. I'm not sure if this was to emphasize the message of the film that all love is good love, or if it was to highten the sacreligiousness of it all, but it worked fabulous. Also the evil vampire, becomes good in the end, but maintins her sexuality, so it was clear that she wasn't just gay and violent because she was the evil one.

Love and Basketball
Name: Amy Campbe
Date: 2004-02-27 09:21:45
Link to this Comment: 8542

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?

Love and Basketball
Name: Kelsey Smi
Date: 2004-02-29 19:06:37
Link to this Comment: 8565

Dianna and Monica are both highly aggressive and self-assured. The fact that both of them are involved in the same sport as the man that each of them is dating is also worth noting. Each of them expresses the desire to be assertive with their family members, but the difference is that Monica is in conflict with her mother (female submissiveness, in her case) as compared to Dianna being in conflict with her father (excessive male domination).

Love and Basketball #1
Name: Kate Tucke
Date: 2004-02-29 19:15:00
Link to this Comment: 8566

Both Monica and Diana are using sports to rebel against societal norms and follow their own dreams. As we talked about in class, Monica's story is markedly different in that she is accepted as an athlete by most of the characters in the story. The film does show, however, how she is ostracized by the girls in her high school because of her 'sporty' demeanor. Monica also faces criticism from her mother and her sister about her choices in life. So although Love and Basketball doesn't focus as much on the pressures that Monica faces, they are still present. I'm not saying that Monica and Diana are engaging in these activities just to challenge social norms, rather they both follow their hearts despite social pressure that pushes them in the opposite direction. They both eventually fall in love with men that are able to appreciate that athletic drive in them, possibly because the men have that drive too.

Name: talia
Date: 2004-03-01 13:20:33
Link to this Comment: 8586

I found it interesting that both Diana and Monica fell in love with people in the same sport that they were playing. Even though their respective sports came to consume all aspects of their lives. Monica, who discovered the need to balance her passion, ended up with someone who let basketball go in the end. It was as if some aspect of her life had to be removed from the sport so that she could be happy, at the same time their love and basketball were so closely linked, it is hard to imagine them in love without them both playing. In the case of Diana, who was fighting for the right to play, there was no need to balance. Boxing was her life, was the life of the love her life, was everything. Monica had the freedom to balance her life with other things, because she had to excell at basketball, but not fight for the right to play it.t

Name: Nicole
Date: 2004-03-01 23:07:57
Link to this Comment: 8609

Monica and Diane both have a passion almost obsession that brings them between their sport and their boyfriends. Both choose their sport over their love interests. When Monica's boyfriend is feeling dewerted she follows her basketball curfew, and Diane fights her boyfriend in the ring. What is also similar is that they also do better in their sport than their boyfriends. Monica has a successful career in Europe and then moves on to pros in the states, whereas her boyfriend does turn pro but then is injured. Also Diane goes on to defeat her boyfriend in the ring.

Love and Basketball #1
Name: Naomi Spec
Date: 2004-03-02 00:13:44
Link to this Comment: 8615

I think that both Diana and Monica are models of women who have fought and worked hard to achieve their goals in sports despite many forces working or speaking against them simply because they were women in male-dominated sports. In the end, though, they are both triumphant -- they are able to play their sports and also do well in them. Ultimately, they both become professionals (or at least do really well) as opposed to their male lovers whose accomplishments in the same sport are diminshed or non-existent while the female character's achievments in that sport are emphasized and glorified by the films.

Love and Basketball #2
Name: Kelsey Smi
Date: 2004-03-03 16:36:22
Link to this Comment: 8658

Re: Talia-I agree that it is interesting that Dianna and Monica fell in love with guys of the same sport that they were playing, but I think this happens because both women allowed sports to consume their lives. They wouldn't have had time to meet any other guys!

Re: Nicole-Yes, both women neglect their relationships. However, amazingly, Monica's relationship ultimately works out in spite of her lack of effort earlier on. It makes sense that Dianna's boyfriend didn't stick with her since it didn't seem that the two of them had much potential.

love and basketball #2
Name: Naomi
Date: 2004-03-04 14:15:29
Link to this Comment: 8670

I am reacting to Talia's comment that "Monica had the freedom to balance her life with other things, because she had to excell at basketball, but not fight for the right to play it." I don't think that Monica was completely free in not having to "fight for the right to play" basketball. We see that she had to work much harder than her boyfriend as they were both freshmen (i.e. same status) on their respective male and female teams. She also had to fight against her family's expectations of her and their views of societal norms as to what girls should do - they thought she should wear dresses more, think of a job not basketball, etc. - while they ultimately did support her decisions. So while her problems in fighting against societal norms and expectations were not as intense as Diana's, they were not altogether non-existent.

Oh so many comments
Name: Tiffany
Date: 2004-03-05 14:45:15
Link to this Comment: 8706

Posting 2 for Dare to Compete

I don't consider myself to be an athlete. I can't even make it up the stairs from the basement of Carpenter since my surgery, and I've always associated "athlete" with physical activity. I had a teacher in high school though--he was the AP coordinator at my school--who would use the term "Academic All-Star" (yes, I know it's a sports metaphor, or I wouldn't bring it up) to describe the students he wanted in the AP program. Those students that could take and do well in 3 or 4 AP classes a year fit his definition. In that sense of striving dedication and single-mindedness I made his cut, and I suppose in that sense, some could consider me an athlete. I still think that there needs to be some physical activity involved though.

Bend it like Beckham 1

There is strong tension in this film regarding modernity and immigration, but soccer just serves as a single manifestation of that tension. Jas also has problems convincing her parents--before their wild mood swing--to let her go to school in the US. Unfortunately the movie strongly favors modernity over traditionalism and portrays many of the more traditionalist figures as backward and nearly insane (i.e. all those really weird Indian women). The film seems to equate modernity with good and traditionalism with bad in a way that puts me off. Some aspects of modernity are favorable, but there are also severe consequences. Jas's parents could have had real justified fears, but in the movie, their fears are ridiculed and depicted as shadows that they needlessly fear.

Bend it like Beckham 2

To the contrary, sexual orientation is a concern among male athletes as well. Remember the Titans dealt with it in some respects. While there is more open question of sexual orientation among female athletes, there is also an almost underground homophobia among many male athletes. A few years ago, there was a TV show--I think that it was Boston Public--in which rumors spread that one of the star football players was gay. I can't remember now whether he was or not, but the was a large hoopla about it and a lot of the players and their parents went to the coach to have him thrown of the team. Worst, most of this went on without the player knowing why he was getting strange looks and why he was getting a hard time in school. Rather than coming out and asking him, and then deciding what to do, the men's team was incredibly secretive about the whole thing.

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