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Remote Ready Biology Learning Activities

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Women Sport and Film - Spring 2005 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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Week 1 Dare To Compete
Name: Amy Campbe
Date: 2005-01-28 09:57:47
Link to this Comment: 12285

1. Trace the connections of how sport has an influence on the role of women in society
and how social norms have influenced the role of women in sport.

2. What are some of the barriers that still challenge women in sport and why do they
still exist?

Women prevail...
Name: Rosemary M
Date: 2005-01-30 13:39:28
Link to this Comment: 12324

Women, in the past, were held back from participating in sports, and unfortunately, still are in many ways. While we must acknowledge the obstacles that we have yet to overcome, I think it is also important to recognize that sports provided an outlet through which women succeeded - though which they were able to raise themselves up to look men in the eye. It might sound cheesy, but through sports women have prevailed. Yeah... definitely cheesy. But isn't it true? I don't really play sports, myself, but I am in awe of what women athletes have accomplished in recent years, let alone the women who "dared to compete" when it wasn't acceptable. In short, I think sports have played a great role in women's rights. There are many stages of activism that have featured in the struggle for equal rights, and my point, is that sports was definitely one of them. (PS - did anyone feel inspired to go to the gym after that movie?)

Women and society
Name: Angel
Date: 2005-01-30 14:06:37
Link to this Comment: 12325

Traditionally women were meant to be caretakers of the house, they were meant to be the meek, the ones subordinate to their husbands. In effect, they were not meant to do anything outside of their realm of the house, including sports. However as women started going out of the house more, they started indulging in things like sports a lot more often. With success in a male dominated field like sport, women felt more empowered and questioned their place in society. At the same time societal concerns caused women to be pushed out of this empowering place. As the women became more and more successful in the field, society had to accept their rising equality in the heirarchy. Thus society and sports were in constant dialogue with respect to the changing position of women in society. The field of sports was definately one of the arenas that empowered women and allowed them to challenge the confines of societal roles.
The barriers that still challenge women in sport is the concerns raised over the sexual orientation of the women who play sports because a lot of sports are still considered to be male sports and women who play them are looked at skeptically. Another issue is the popularity of some womens sports. They do not have as much patronage as mens sports do, which causes them to lose money and thus have to close down their federations. This takes away opportunity from women, thus creating a vicious cycle of even less publicity due to less funds causing lesser interest and the subsequent failure of womens leagues that in fact usually have nothing to do with the quality of the league.

NOTE: posting your email on this site leads to spam issues, so i would suggest not putting your email ID on here.

Name: Meagan
Date: 2005-01-30 19:30:57
Link to this Comment: 12344

After having watched "Dare to Compete" I am stunned by the distance that we, women, have come in the arena of sports. Without the courage of our sisters in athletics, women might still be considered unable to exert themselves on pain of death (or loss of reproductive life, in which one might as well be dead). The push for women to be able to complete in athletics directly mirrors the feminist movement in the United States. Women had to prove over and over again that we are not in fact weak, that we are not in fact timid, and that we are equal to men in stamina, stature, and strength. Intellectually, women must prove a prowess that is assummed to exist in men naturally. The aesthetic factor/pressure of women is also forced in athletics. The coach's statement, "I want foxes, not oxes" is amusing but it strikes deeper social cords. Women today are expected to look and act a certain way, even in sports. Anna Kornikova is not the greatest tennis player in the world. But she is incredibly attractive. Men and women alike respond to her for that. Women are still regarded as too weak to play with men on the football, baseball, basketball, soccer and volleyball fields. Of course, it has been less than 100 years since women were thought capable of voting....perhaps all we need is a little bit of time.

Devons Comments
Date: 2005-01-30 22:28:39
Link to this Comment: 12359

I think that before, when women were still thought of as delicate creatures only good for reproduction, that sports actually would damage their reproduction. I can see how uneducated women would believe things like that. However, the more we educated ourselves and were educated that it was clear that sports were a healthy way for women to work our stress and agression. Later then that as women were proving their equality it became more acceptable for them to play sports and be thought of as strong. However, women are still struggling to be on equal footing as far as prize money and TV time go. I honestly think the next step would be for women and men to compete against each other in the olympics and see who really is the best.

Comment 1
Name: Elhanna
Date: 2005-01-30 23:21:15
Link to this Comment: 12367

Personally I feel that the rise of women as professional, respected atheletes reflects the gains that women have made in becoming professional, respected members of our society. It is no surprise that the greatest strides women made in sports came alongside the changes of the women's liberation movement. Not only did the movement show men that women were capable of being their equal on the sports field and off, it also taught an entire generation of young girls that there was absolutely no reason why they shouldn't be allowed to enjoy sports as they please.

The greatest barrier that I think faces women in sports today is the hypocritical standards that they're held to. Women are expected to be consumate athletes while at the same time they're told that they can't compete too hard because it's unfeminine, and they're also expected to exude sex appeal. Women who compete too heavily are ridiculed and female athletes who happen to be gifted physically are often the focus of media attention while their more gifted competitors languish in the shadows.

Devons Follow up
Date: 2005-01-31 15:20:59
Link to this Comment: 12388

I would like to respond the Elhannas comments about women still being held to a double standrad of being athletic while still exuding sex appeal. I think sex appeal sells whether male or female. I think alot of women watch mens sports not always for the sport but fot the muscular men. Think about it, really fit men running around with balls trying to score (double meaning anyone?) to impress who? Originally deats of strenght from men were to impress women and win their affections. In some ways I still think thats the case (except for football).

Rose 2nd Coment
Name: Rosemary
Date: 2005-02-01 10:41:50
Link to this Comment: 12416

With regard to the "sex appeal" issue... I think that women, in general, are more pressed to look good or to "exude sex appeal" as Elhanna put it. I do think that sex sells either way, but whether beastly or fair, the male athletes are going to get more attention and more money. This, hopefully, will change over time. I think, perhaps, it's starting to. To add to what Devon said though... it is true that sex sells either way. Most of the quarter backs in NFL aren't too shabby looking, and the players consulted (outside of game time) are usually the hotties, like Tom Brady, Peyton Manning or... bless his heart, Dan Marino (a stud from the golden days of the Miama Dolphins). Tom Brady i think might even have an advertising deal... The only difference is that I think women are EXPECTED to be sexy, and when they aren't, as Elhanna said, they get left in the shadows.

Meagan's second post
Date: 2005-02-02 17:40:20
Link to this Comment: 12439

I really like what everyone is saying. It's true, women really haven't come that far.....So let's break the bonds of the patriarchy

Comments: Dare to Compete
Name: Sarah Spie
Date: 2005-02-02 22:19:01
Link to this Comment: 12452

As far as the role of women's athletics goes, there has been a huge sense of respect for women develop among all people, but also allows for a leveling of the playing field because women are showing the world that they can do anything they put their minds to. The is actually a norm in society for women in sports. Honestly, it seems like women's teams make bigger leaps and bounds in athletics faster than men do.

Unfortunately for every step put forward by women in sports, there is always some group of doubters who continually question the abilities that have already been shown possible. As far as women have come, the only thing that should be keeping them back is themselves, and that comes from a choice of participation or support of athletics

Name: Sarah Mack
Date: 2005-02-02 23:15:30
Link to this Comment: 12456

In the past, sports have altered the gender roles and norms of women. Like Babe, women were masculinized because of their participation in sports or physical exertion and it threatened social gender norms because it empowered a woman physically, and henceforth mentally and empotionally as she gained confidence in her sports abilities. Therefore the men could not handle them - seriously. Women were no longer the weak, meek, cook-your-dinner-by-the-time-you-get-home, let-me-rub-your-feet-dear, please-open-the-pickle-jar-for-me-you-hunk-of-man sentient beings.
Still today, the values of our society are salient in the lack of funding for womens sports [despite title nine] and women still have to live with the negative stereotypes.

WK 2 Personal Best
Name: Amy Campbe
Date: 2005-02-03 13:23:30
Link to this Comment: 12480

Sexual orientation has historically been a touchstone issue in sport. What message does the film give and has the climate changed in the past 23 years? Today, what is the message when sexual orientation and sport is discussed and what link does it have in the role sports plays in our society?

reply dare to compete
Name: Angel
Date: 2005-02-03 14:20:06
Link to this Comment: 12485

Elhana said:
The greatest barrier that I think faces women in sports today is the hypocritical standards that they're held to. Women are expected to be consumate athletes while at the same time they're told that they can't compete too hard because it's unfeminine, and they're also expected to exude sex appeal. Women who compete too heavily are ridiculed and female athletes who happen to be gifted physically are often the focus of media attention while their more gifted competitors languish in the shadows.

I agree strongly with what Elhana said, even in our class we brought up Babe's looks and how she was more attractive when she was more athletic and the curls and skirt made her look like "a drag queen" (i believe those were the terms used). Even women today cannot stop objectifying other women and subscribing to the norm that women must be beautiful and feminine and that is one of the biggest challenges we have to over still.

Second Time around
Name: Sarah Spie
Date: 2005-02-03 16:29:06
Link to this Comment: 12491

I'm not sure who posted this comment, but I have to wonder if it best represents women's achievements in sports to have them compete against men. Sure, there are physiological differences between men and women that make them better at different things, but to compete against each other isn't representative so much as it is just a source of entertainment and heated dispute. Women should be able to prove themselves based on what they do, period. Who needs inter-gender competition when women still face issues in society?

Personal "Best"
Name: Meagan
Date: 2005-02-07 14:53:35
Link to this Comment: 12610

I am not sure that the film actually had very much if anything to do with a lesbian couple. What struck me more in the film was the female bond of atheletes and also the gratuitous sexual overtones. The film doesn't use the word "love" to describe any of the relationships between either of the two couples (one homo the other hetero) and I am not sure that was the director's intention. I really believe he knew what would sell and sex always sells, even if the movie is terrible with no conceiveable plotline or dialogue. I believe that the climate for homosexual women has improved in the past 23 years, not stating that we are finished fighting the good fight for the day when sexual orientation is ignored and the athlete's performance is the only factor by which we judge them. Gay men, on the other hand, do not have such an easy time of coming out to their fans. Women have a static role, but we must realize that men do too. This society expects them to perform a certain identity. I believe that gay women athletes are far more accpeted if they prove themselves while gay male athletes (unless in ice skating) are shunned. I think this factor deomonstrates a good comparison the the society as a whole, for mostly, gay men are social pariah's unless they have some witty hair styling opinions. But to see them kissing is another story . . .

Name: Rose Malfi
Date: 2005-02-07 17:59:19
Link to this Comment: 12632

What do I think this film had to offer besides excessive amounts of crotch-shots and athlete dope-smoking congregations? Lengthy scenes in the sauna of course. I jest, I jest. In all honesty, while I sat a little dumbfounded throughout the movie, having come away from the film with some time to reflect, there are definitely some clear messages that were being directed at the audience. I don't know if anyone else noticed this... but Chris made this interesting evolution throughout the movie. When she first met Tory, she was very much a girl. She lacked confidence and maturity (fart jokes anyone?). But as the movie went on, and as she began to break away from Tory romantically, she started to look and act more like a woman. When she became involved with skeevy-water-polo-man she wore more make-up, and wore her hair totally down. She looked older. It's almost as if the message here is that while it's alright to fool around and experiment in your youth, it's not a "proper" way to exist as an adult. Does anyone know what I mean? She went from being herself around Tory to making breakfast in bed for Polo-dude while wearing his business shirt. It's as though part of growing up was growing out of her relationship with Tory. I really hope it was society pushing her to be with that guy because if it was of her own volition, she has some serious issues. Ick.

Devons Comments
Date: 2005-02-08 11:58:20
Link to this Comment: 12666

I think that this movie says that all women athletes are going to be lesbians. I think now we all know that to be true in our hearts but I don't think the general public knows or feels the same. I think that women who compete in physically demanding sports, especially those with alot of contact, are thought to be gay. Why else would women roll around in the mud after a rugby ball? They have to be gay right. I know that I don't think that way but I still think that we have to get the message out to the world that gay women are ok whether they play sports or not, and that playing sports doesn;t make you gay.

Personal Best
Name: Angel
Date: 2005-02-09 11:24:48
Link to this Comment: 12708

In my opinion, the film tries to gloss over the rising concerns of homosexuality in sports. By the way in which the relationship between Tori and Chris is shown, like friends who occasionally have a sexual relationship, they are trying to discredit the phenomenon of homosexuality all together, trying to make it look like just women having some fun, but nothing more concrete than that. Women in sports was something that was against the traditional patriacal roles assigned to women anyway, with the rise of the expression of homosexuality, women were distancing themselves from the patriarchy even more. Simply put, they were much more capable of saying "damn the man" because they did not need him, not even sexually. The message this movie seems to give is that there really is no such thing as homosexuality, because both women are interested in men as well, even Tori in the end remarks on the fact that Chris's new boyfriend was cute. In addition, the detachment with which the female body is portrayed in most places, like the sauna scenes, which even though they show 10 naked women in a steam room, it is not sexual in any way (much like the repeated crotch shots). I really came away from the movie remembering the words of one of my uncles when we were discussing the gay culture at Bryn Mawr. He said "in america, what we would consider as just close friends, they call it a 'gay' relationship" trying to completely shun the idea of a sexual relationship actually occuring between two people of the same sex.

I feel like the climate has changed at least in the fact that homosoexuality is recognized as something that exists, that there are individuals who are attracted to their own sex only. however, in the case of women, it is always seen as women trying to become men, trying to be something they are not supposed to be. In fact, sport does allow women to be assertive and dominant in a way that society does not allow in everyday life.

Sarah's response
Name: Sarah S
Date: 2005-02-10 10:00:18
Link to this Comment: 12741

I think "Personal Best" is not a film fixed on emphasizing lesbianism or homosexuality in women's sports. I totally agree with Megan in that there is more emphasis on female bonding than anything else, because clearly not all female athletes are gay.

Name: Sara
Date: 2005-02-10 10:55:46
Link to this Comment: 12744

The film was.... interesting. If I had the time or the enegry I would devote a few years to dissecting the defunct relationship between the two women, and the skewed sexual politics of Chris. Crazy.

Yes, well i think the film makes a comment about the perceptions of the outside world on women atheletes' sexualities - to be buff, kick-butt, and in great shape must mean she is queer because she is physically competetive. It is the relfection of our society's values.

Devs Comments II
Date: 2005-02-10 11:47:26
Link to this Comment: 12745

I think I have to agree with Megan and Sara. I dont think the lesbian tendencies is the forfront of this movie. I think its the most controversial point but I think its trying to portray women in a competitive sport and what male directors think goes on in the locker room.

#2 for Personal Least
Name: Meagan
Date: 2005-02-10 13:09:41
Link to this Comment: 12747

I think that we're beating a dead horse at this moment. We all seem to be in agreement--either way, this film was poorly done and wasn't exactly clear on a message. Angel, I really liked your comment about the fact that a "gay" relationship here is called "close friends" somewhere else. It used to be the same way here, too. In Victorian society, women spent far more time with one another than with their husbands. They probably fooled around a bit. But the term "lesbian" is incredibly new, and so is the concept that women are sexual. Perhaps "Personal Best" is just grappling with that. Or not.

Name: Angel
Date: 2005-02-10 15:28:48
Link to this Comment: 12754

Rose wrote about Chris's evolution through the movie and i think its very interesting .. i didnt notice this, but i find myself agreeing with the idea that the way in which Chris seems to have been shown growing up after she's with water-polo-dude is definately a sign that being gay is a phase, not something real.

personal best
Name: Calisse
Date: 2005-02-10 17:09:22
Link to this Comment: 12763

I thought that the message the film that the film wanted to portray is that women who are athletic and spend lots of time together must be in a relationship with each other. I found it very interesting that no one actually said anything to either Chris or Tory as though there was something wrong with their relationship, even though everyone knew what was going on.

When sport and sexual orientation is discussed in the US it mirrors the exact same response that exists in general in the US surrounding sexual orientation. Most people do not have a problem with gay female athletes, but they would certainly feel odd about male gay athletes, just how most are more comfortable with the idea of gay women than they are with gay men.

what else is there to say
Name: Rosemary M
Date: 2005-02-10 18:11:20
Link to this Comment: 12766

How do I think this film applies to today.... well, i think that we stereotype, certainly. I think sporting events are often thought of as "masculine" so women who participate in them are thought to be masculine as well. What we might fail to see is that men are held to this standard, too. It is not expected that homosexual men be olympians or football players, or tobacco-chewin' baseball players. I think this movie highlighted these stereotypical roles (not so much the gay man, but there were definitely two very predatory masculine men in the movie... not to mention sketch-tacular).

Week 3 Hero For Daisy
Name: Amy Campbe
Date: 2005-02-11 09:51:44
Link to this Comment: 12777

Challenging the assumption of how women should act--- do women's sports - high school, college, professional, recreational have an opportunity to change the accepted assumption? In the three movies we have watched, what evidence is there and how do you see it reflected today?

Devons Comments
Date: 2005-02-14 10:59:23
Link to this Comment: 12874

I believe that we as women at any time have the right to challange whats expected of us. I dont think that we should be treated differently as women but I believe thats most peoples opinions. I think the movies we have watched have showed the struggle of women to be considered equals and to prove their prowess in athletics. I think womens sports is a celebration of the female form and of female strength, and while men might not think that to be feminine I think women believe that to be one of the best ways of proving how strong we can be in all other walks of life.

Hero For Daisy
Name: Meagan
Date: 2005-02-14 23:15:34
Link to this Comment: 12900

Women are women are women. They should act however they want. At least nowadays. They now, thanks to feminists, have the choice to be a housewife or a CEO. Of course, women must prove themselves when men have the assumption that they are already competent. In these three movies, the standards of society still apply, of course. More "manly" looking women (i.e. short hair, lots of muscles etc.) have a tougher time of it. Of course. That is how it is in society. Women in sports have the ability to at least admit that they're athletes so that they do not have to worry too much about being effeminate.

Devons Comments II
Date: 2005-02-15 20:01:38
Link to this Comment: 12918

I would like to respond to what megan said about men thinking their competent. I think women need to start challanging men in their traditional roles. I think that at least half the time we are doing just as good if not better. I think there needs to be more of challanging men in their roles and seeing how they stand up to that. Ha!

Name: Rosemary
Date: 2005-02-16 18:17:11
Link to this Comment: 12940

Again and again this will present itself as an issue, and while I hope and believe it will continue to get better with time, I don't think we'll see elimination of the stereotype for women disappearing from the collective societal "mind." The idea of how a woman SHOULD act and SHOULD behave is, unfortunately, something that is learned. I do think that institutions, such as colleges and highschools, have the ability to shape the people of tomorrow, and I think part of that shaping can definitely be the questioning of traditional ideas and the building blocks to create new foundations. I think Bryn Mawr (BMC now that is) is one of those places. I think we deconstruct many traditional ideas and make people think about how they view things, including "the woman." In highschools, I think it would be a valuable thing to incorporate. I know my school had a women's club which anyone could go to, guy or girl (though of course no guys went b/c that would be "gay") and discussed women's issues and women today. I think that's a great thing, but something that is probably not done widely.

conventionality and women
Name: Angel
Date: 2005-02-17 00:07:00
Link to this Comment: 12952

The evidence that sports challenges how women should behave is pretty blatant - men/society don't think women are capable of it. It comes up in every single movie. Every time a woman does something only men did before, they challenge the convention related to women coz women aren't seen as able to do everything. They are thought inferior to men -- either their reproductive abilities are compromised or their feminity is or they are viewed as physiologically uncapable of certain things. Today too there are some arenas that just aren't open to women. They are objectified irrespective of what field they work lies in. And the trend will continue. Whenever there is the first female president of the US, the assumption of how women should act will be challenged.

Name: Sarah Spie
Date: 2005-02-17 11:38:59
Link to this Comment: 12965

Even after the three films we've watched in class, I still feel like the role of women in sports is still challenged and not quite accepted. We may be equal under Title IX, but that doesn't change an individual's views about women actually playing

Response: Hero for Daisy
Name: Sarah Spie
Date: 2005-02-17 11:41:48
Link to this Comment: 12966

I don't doubt at all the ability of women, but something is undeniably missing. We can do whatever we want, run companies, run the marathon, whatever. But we are still considered less, inferior. And not just by men. Its well known that its harder to over come these obstacles when its women holding women back. What does that say about our gender???

Name: Angel
Date: 2005-02-17 15:14:09
Link to this Comment: 12976

I agree with Rose, there should be a more active role played in education to try and irradicate the mindset that imposes these stereotypical roles on women.

Name: Rosemary M
Date: 2005-02-17 18:46:53
Link to this Comment: 12986

I agree with Sarah -- there are women holding women back, and what I think it says about our gender is that we still are under contraints from the past and it takes more than will to break free... it takes time. And it takes EDUCATION. So, thank you bmc.

League of Their own
Name: Amy Campbe
Date: 2005-02-18 14:41:38
Link to this Comment: 13001

Much of our discussion, last night, about A League of Our Own focused on familial dynamics: the competition and love and jealousy and fondness that exist between two sisters, one of whom is more talented (or is she??) than another. This morning's follow-up question is about the ways in which the film's focus on the sibling relationship between Dottie and Kit contributes to (or reduces?) the usefulness of this movie in on-going query of this course: how do films about women in sports reflect and/or challenge social norms?

In other words, does the movie's enticing us into investment/identification w/ one or another of the sisters (and framing their story as an intensely nostalgic one) lead us away from engaging in the larger social issues (as defined not just by gender categories, but also race and class and sexual orientation...) of access to the public arena, public performance, public accomplishment and acknowledgement?....

Looking forward to hearing some more of your thinking on these matters--
and thanks for last night's enjoyable discussion--

Devon Comments
Date: 2005-03-01 14:18:09
Link to this Comment: 13329

I think that having sisters in the movie show us another way in which women can react with one another. Having a sisterly bond shows us how girls who are so close can compete not only as a team but against one another. It's another level to watching and studying women in the role of athletes. No one really thinks of family when dealing with women in sports but having sisters gives us another and I think more personal look into the role of women athletes. I also dont think that brothers would act the same in the same situation. I think boys are naturally more competitive and there for fit more naturally into the role of one vs the other. As for DOttie and Kit I think they worked better as a team ( as most girls do) then opposite one another.

Date: 2005-03-02 15:53:32
Link to this Comment: 13346

Some of the barriers that still face women in sports are 1.) women's sports have a serious dirth of funding, 2.) Because of societal norms, women atheletes are forced to 'prove' their feminity oftentimes by confirming their heterosexuality.

Additionally, women atheletes arent taken as seriously or given as much deference or prestige as male atheletes.

A League Of Their Own
Name: Angel
Date: 2005-03-02 16:45:35
Link to this Comment: 13347

I feel that by drawing attention to the sibling relationship the story makes it much easier for us to identify with these women and thus makes us unable to say that they are unreal and unnatural just because they challenge the norms by playing sports. I think that the movie uses this as a device to draw in the audience and thus make a much more powerful statement about how women are just as capable as men of being in the field of sports and still continue to be women. In fact, the choices Dottie and Kit make in the end (whether to stay with the game or not) also make us see that it is possible for a woman to be involved in sports and still have a large family and fulfill those roles that are typically assigned to women, while at the same time challenging them.

Week 5 Pumping Iron II
Name: Amy Campbe
Date: 2005-03-02 20:39:31
Link to this Comment: 13358

This movie pushes us to think about our definition of femininity and who 'owns' that definition, oneself- or others. Is it possible to be a woman, be strong, push the boundaries of sport---and feminine?

a memoir
Name: Rosemary M
Date: 2005-03-02 21:51:00
Link to this Comment: 13364

I think framing the story as a memory is a good way of making the movie interesting, while conveying historical points. The whole point of a motion picture, whether people want to admit it or not, is often enjoyment. That doesn't mean that a movie can't have other goals, but if you want people to watch it, it has to have some kind of appeal. Here, the appeal is how personal the story is. For me, my favorite part of this movie is the characters, and the sisterhood of the team, not just the bond between dotty and kit. And yeah, I get that fuzzy feeling when they all become popular and well-liked as a women's league, and I don't seen anything wrong with that. I still understood the significance of the movie -- i think maybe its even more significant because of how personal it was. I love those characters --- knowing them made it easy not to see just what those women (the real ones) accomplished historically, but what hardships women of that era went through as individuals. They were torn between expectation and desire, which I think is actually highlighted, rather than shadowed, by the intimate bonds between the characters displayed in this film.

Devons Comments II
Date: 2005-03-02 22:49:47
Link to this Comment: 13365

I like what rosemary said about desire vs expectation. I think that thats something very common to womens sport films. I also think its something thats often misconstrued. I think we need to focus on desire a little more. I dont think men have the same problem as women, what they desire they can have what we desire is usually somthing we cant have and to fight for. I think that that's a theme of alot of movies about women and film.

Sarah's comment I
Name: Sarah S
Date: 2005-03-03 12:38:48
Link to this Comment: 13380

I think the sisters in A League of Our Own are representative of the problems facing women in sports today, and then. The sisters are too busy competing with one another without working towards the benefit of the sport as a whole.

comment II
Name: Rosemary M
Date: 2005-03-03 12:48:58
Link to this Comment: 13381

I remember discussing in class the fleeting shots that alluded to other civil rights movements, such as Rosie O'D ripping up the picture of her abusive boyfriend (and perhaps liking Madonna -- I forget their names in the movie), or the black woman who throws the baseball to Dottie. A lot of people said that this had a high "cheese" factor, but I thought it fit in well with the movie. I think my comments probably sound a little defensive, but it was sad when people negatively criticized this movie because it is such a favorite to... well... like everybody. I know it had some cheesy stuff, but I think the point of the movie was clear. Yes, the fight for civil right of women, blacks, and more recently homosexuals were and are grave matters, and they should ne taken seriously -- we SHOULD be concerned.... but this movie was not meant to make you feel the intensity of those issues in that way. Instead of putting a negative spin on the movie, making the message somethign to the effect of "Look at all they had to go through, all the hardship -- doesn't that make you angry that had to happen? And don't you feel compelled to make sure changes continue to happen?" The message was more "Look what great thing these women accomplished in a time when they weren't seen as equal. Isn't that inspirational?" Both messages have their merit, and I don't see a problem with "A League of Thier Own" taking the warm and fuzzy route. So there. :)

Name: Angel
Date: 2005-03-03 23:09:05
Link to this Comment: 13401

responding to rmalfi, i completely agree. there were allusions to what was going on and it was a nice and subtle way of making a point and getting people to notice it. kindve like putting medication in icecream to make it go down better.

A League of Their Own
Name: Meagan
Date: 2005-03-14 18:51:30
Link to this Comment: 13492

I feel as if the familial tension is incredibly necessary to the plot progression of this movie. Obviously in sports, there is competition, even amongst teammates. What better way to depict this strife than with siblings? Women do not always cooperate and that should be depicted. Also, on a basic movie basis, how many people actually get along with their siblings? I mean, really?

Pumping Iron II
Name: Meagan
Date: 2005-03-14 18:55:30
Link to this Comment: 13493

Yes. I do believe that one can be both strong and effeminate, and I do not believe that the two are mutually exclusive. I personally do not find muscles attractive on either men or women, so body building is not necessarily something I care much about. But the movie made it pretty clear who should have won that competition. It also made clear, without so many words, that women are expected to be beautiful and feminine even while they tone their muscles. Stupid patriarchy.

We are here to pump YOU up
Name: Rosemary M
Date: 2005-03-14 19:45:35
Link to this Comment: 13496

I think, in general, society owns terminology. We struggle to change the meaning of words, we struggle to change our use of some words over others... the word culture is a good example of this (meagan, i think you know what i mean). While I think there are many people today who would accept the fact that a woman can be both physically strong and feminine, the word feminine still holds onto certain facets. Women are traditionally thought of as curvy, voluptuous, soft, and rounded... not bulging. One day, perhaps the word "feminine" will be redefined, or claimed by each individual as a set of different criteria, but at the moment I think it belongs to society... I agree with meagan. Stupid patriarchy....

Devons Comments
Date: 2005-03-15 21:45:48
Link to this Comment: 13538

I think overall even todays definition of man and woman can become skewed. I think that for women in sports it's up to them to definie whether they are feminine or even if thats what they want to be. I think that in all walks of life it's hard for a woman to be strong and feminie at the same time. In the end it's all a crap shoot but YOU have to be happy with YOU and if thats the case then society can kiss it ( to be blunt).

Pumping Iron II
Name: Meagan
Date: 2005-03-15 22:58:23
Link to this Comment: 13541

I think everything we're saying is right on target. Living in a community of such diverse body types, we're sort of out of touch with what larger society wants us to look like. Of course, there are women here with body image issues. Women here can still be "ugly" because of anything--fat, bad hair, too manly etc. But I think that at Bryn Mawr, we ignore those labels. Pumping iron ii sort of just reminds us that none of us are immune to being labled--in Bev's case, she was too masculine. It's annoying that with all of these films the idea of femininity is being forced down our throats. Thankfully, these films remind us that women don't have to be effeminate in order to still be women.

Pumping YOU up some MORE
Name: Rosemary M
Date: 2005-03-16 19:07:46
Link to this Comment: 13553

I think everyone is speaking to the same idea. Even if you are not society's definition of "effeminate" (spelling anyone?), you are STILL a woman, and that cannot be taken away from you. I don't know if anyone remembers that swimmer (or maybe she was a diver...) who competed for a long time, winning along the way, and found out at some point that she actually had a Y chromosome. As a result, she was disqualified from the competition she was in at the time, and more or less barred from any future competition. She WAS a woman. Or was she? Her husband didn't think so. He left her. All of the things that made her a good athlete were assumed to be a result of her Y chromosome, even though, by pretty much all other accounts, she was a woman. More than her "femininity" being taken away, her SEX was taken away. People are very afraid of the gray area - they like things to be black and white. From terminology to actual circumstance, society has a lot of trouble with ambiguity.

Devons Commnets II
Date: 2005-03-17 18:43:19
Link to this Comment: 13607

I like what Rosemary said about ambiguity. I think society would be happier goinf back to a time where things were black and white and women wore skirts and en wore slacks and people gave cocktail parties and served spam. I think this goldage of american set the standard and with all the things that are changing now a days its hard for people to realize that a gray area helps to define us even more as individuals. The black and white is what causes the confusion.

Pumping Iron
Name: Angel
Date: 2005-03-17 21:55:14
Link to this Comment: 13612

The movie very clearly points out - femininity is defined by society and that leaves very little up to the individual. I have to admit, Bev did not seem feminine to me, because I have a preconceived notion of what is considered feminine, much like what was described in class. I think it is VERY possible to be a strong woman in sports and still be feminine, but not in a sport like body building, because women are thought to be lithe, not built, so anything that pushes that limit isnt seen as feminine, because the delicacy of the female form is lost.

Name: Angel
Date: 2005-03-17 21:57:23
Link to this Comment: 13613

again, I have to agree with rmalfi, the ambiguity upset society, women like Bev threaten society, because they present a HUGE challenge to the norms. Bev didnt have a Y chromosome, but the way they treated her, she might as well have.

echoing mhume: damn patriarchy

Week 6 Rocks With Wings
Name: Amy Campbe
Date: 2005-03-18 09:14:58
Link to this Comment: 13620

This documentary explored the relationship between sports, culture and class. What do you imagine happened to the girls on the team--from now until then? How does this film culminate the W.S and F class?

Rocks with Wings I
Name: Rosemary
Date: 2005-03-19 15:38:10
Link to this Comment: 13641

I would like to think that all of those young women went on to lead motivated and successful lives. Is that what I think happened? Not really. Having that kind of outlet definitely made a difference in their lives -- it taught them that they could excel and gave them a new attitude about life. They didn't have to accept defeat... they could win, and they could ENJOY winning. Their history, unfortunately had barred them from experiencing that, which is the fault of a tragic series of events, which unfortunately are more or less beyond remedy at this point. The women this film traced came from the poorest of poor towns -- they had to fight for WATER, one of the most basic human resources. I would like to think that they could get out, that they went on to pursue great things, but I'd bet money that most of them stayed. I hope the one who went to Cornell was determined enough to go there -- she seemed like the most likely candidate for getting out of Shiprock. I think the time of Cheryl's interview was a year to a few years after she'd left high school, and she was working on a farm. I don't think she had any intentions of leaving. Many of the people of Shiprock had lived there all of their lives... They didn't have a lot of opportunity, or ways to get out. That is the trouble with many places in America (let alone the world).

This was a nice culmination of the course. It brought in a factor that had largely been left out of our discussions -- culture. It showed another aspect of sports that didn't involve sexualizing women, but evaluating the effect sports has on motivation, and how sports can be a way of succeeding when academics can't.

Rocks with Wings
Name: Angel
Date: 2005-03-20 15:32:26
Link to this Comment: 13664

The title kind of sums up with can be thought about as the essence of the film. The film tells a story about the girls in the Indian reservation who have lived all their lives there, and have never known anything else, being rocks in the scenary, part of what is stable and taken for granted there. But still, these girls found their wings, found something that gave them the mobility that otherwise would have remained unknown to them and as one girl in the movie mentioned, it made it so that they could realistically hope to go to cornell university, and it was all coming from this sport that they worked really hard to get good at and succeeded in doing so.

Their cutlure accepted their attempts to be better in their sport because it believed in the equal relationship between men and women. This is why this movie did not question the fact that it was women playing a sport, the question rather came from them proving themselves to be good players even though they came from a less priviledged background. This is why this film was a good end to the course, because in the end the question was not about a WOMAN in a sport, it was an individual from a particular culture and background in a sport.

Name: Angel
Date: 2005-03-20 15:34:15
Link to this Comment: 13665

I agree with rmalfi, i think most of those women probably did not end up leaving, but they did learn from the experience, learn to push themselves, and if nothing else, they will remember it as a glorious wonderful time in their lives.

Rocks with Wings
Name: Meagan
Date: 2005-03-20 20:19:44
Link to this Comment: 13690

The girls on the team probably remained on the reservation. There is very little upward mobility provided Indian Americans in this country. Also, reservation life is incredibly harsh and brutal and the youth rarely escape.
This film closes this class well in the sense that it finally moves past the stereotypical roles of women in both culture and sports. Instead, it focuses on the hopes of atheletes who happen to be women.

Devons Comments
Date: 2005-03-20 22:22:49
Link to this Comment: 13701

I would like to think that a winning expariance would teach the girls and the community that there is life and prospects outside the community and that if they work together they can achieve anything. I think that adding the aspect of culture in makes us think about sports differently. Its not that they werent good at sports it's what their cu;ture added to the thought of women playing on a team etc. I thought it was very interesting how they coincided.

Devons Final comments
Date: 2005-03-20 22:28:07
Link to this Comment: 13702

I like what megan said about hope. I feel that things should always end with hope. While the girls probably did stay on the reservation they gave their people on their reservation and those to come the hope that one day maybe things wil be differnt.
This film closes the class with the hope that one day maybe we will all beable to play without sterotypes and barriers and that our personal heritage will be thr only thing that adds to our ability to play sports and be women of the world.

Name: Sarah
Date: 2005-03-21 12:45:32
Link to this Comment: 13752

Society doesn't define an individual at all. She is free to challegen the societal norms in order to find out who she is. Unfortunately this kind of action is seen as rebellious and out of the norm because society controls the ideals that surround the definitions of what is okay and "appropriate behavior."

Secondary response
Name: Sarah
Date: 2005-03-21 12:50:12
Link to this Comment: 13753

Pumping Iron 2 showed the issues at hand the even woman who care about building up their bodies are forced to squeeze themselves in to the mold of femininity- which is ridiculous but there is nothing that can seemingly be done. Reading over everyone else's responses to the film I feel like we're all on the same page about this. Women shouldn't be defined by their roles in society or how womanly they are. And frankly that kind of classification simply alienates people who under any other circumstances wouldn't be left out.

Name: Sarah S
Date: 2005-03-21 12:52:39
Link to this Comment: 13754

In a perfect world, all the hopes of these girls would be realized, especially those who wanted to leave and experience the world and all it had to offer. I know better though and it is clear that most, if not all of these girls are still in Shiprock and the only thing memorable that they have to their names are a handful of State Championship trophies and their memories of overcoming all the internal strife that existed during the first seasons.

Rocks with Wings 2
Name: Sarah S
Date: 2005-03-21 12:55:37
Link to this Comment: 13755

I know its not a hopful image, one of the women staying on their reservation, but at least they had (and still have?) basketball as something they know they can accomplish something in. As for closing this course, I think this film was the best example that we saw as women as athletes and how the sports moved them up, at least in esteem and unity. The film was very culturally and racially oriented which was something the course had yet to really deal with.

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