Women, Sport, and Film Course

Cosponsored by Athletics and Physical Education at Bryn Mawr College and the Exercise and Sports Studies Department at Smith College, with support from the Center for Science In Society at Bryn Mawr College and the Serendip website.

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Name:  Chris Shelton
Username:  cshelton@smith.edu
Subject:  Welcome to Forum 4
Date:  2002-02-06 18:51:20
Message Id:  838
Greetings to all and welcome to the first discussion in this joint effort to do an interdisciplinary and inter-institutional course about women and sport.

As the discussion leader for this forum, I would like to ask all of you in Forum 4 to post a brief bio about yourself. Who you are, where you are from, what you are majoring in, sports/dance experience you have and finally one thing you hope to get out of this course.

This shouldn't take long and it is my hope that we can begin to get to know each other through this exercise. I will post the first discussion questions related to the readings and "Dare to Compete Video" after noon on Thursday, February 7th.

All for now from Northampton.

Professor Shelton

Name:  chris shelton
Username:  cshelton@smith.edu
Date:  2002-02-07 10:09:46
Message Id:  849
Hello to all in Forum 4:
I have just received the first discussion question and wanted you to have it so you can begin to think about it as you do your readings.
Remember to first post your bio (see comment #1) and then lets get started.

In the book, "Women, Sport and Culture" by Susan Birrel and Cheryl Cole
They write:
"At the broadest level, the debate over Title IX and public policy
has completely avoided questioning the sex-role polarization that sports
creates and the long-held belief that sports is a masculine domain. Though
social scientists and public policy makers are content to leave to
philosophers and radical theorists any questions regarding the ultimate
nature of the human experience, they do so at the cost of leaving a vacuum
to be filled by the dominant cultural and institutional definitions that
have been shaped by men's values, men's understandings of the world, and
men's experiences. Women's alienation from sport, their indifference to
it, and their reluctance to enter it stem in large measure from the fact
that, as it has existed historically, what sport celebrated, what sport
offered, what sport demanded, what sport rewarded do not reflect much of
women's experience of the world"

Please comment.

Name:  Sarah Katz
Username:  skatz@smith.edu
Date:  2002-02-08 21:05:42
Message Id:  875
HI. I am a senior, Latin American literature major, backstroker and IMer on the swim team. Native of St. Louis, Missouri

I have been reading some of the other forums' responses to the question and I have to say I am generally pretty suprised at the responses. SOme students feel pretty certain that women who don't participate in sport today don't do it because they don't want to- not because of any lack of opportunity or social construct that discourages it (something I would raise an eyebrow at). One girl also posted something I found interesting- she said that women and men will never be equal in sport until all sports are co-ed.
I don't know quite how to respond to these assertions, but I do know two things: 1)THe thing I value most about women's college is the fact that our sports programs take a back seat to no one. We are the priority. While I know that most places, though it may look equal on paper, women's and men's athletic programs do not recieve equal resources. 2) though I do not mind swimming with men, there is something incredibly powerful about all-women situations, particularly in athletics. swimming is one of the few sports where men's an women's documented peak ability levels are not so distant from eachother.
I cringe slightly that some of us take so lightly our luxury of sport opportunity. Watching 'dare to dream' was a concrete inspiration in that sense. I always knew I was tremendously indebted to the struggles of my foremothers, and the documentary gave me the names and stories to go with it. I think about Gertrude Ederle's english channel crossing regularly during practice now to get me through rough spots.
We are so lucky. But there is so much more for us to do.

Name:  Em Friedman
Username:  efriedma@brynmawr.edu
Date:  2002-02-09 16:10:30
Message Id:  881
I'm Em Friedman, a junior Mawrter English major and Classics minor from Houston, Texas. I DON'T consider myself an athlete, in any of the wild and wonderful permutations of the word.

I too have looked at all the posts so far, and would like to let the Smithies know something interesting about the makeup of the BMC class. Because of the time of day, and because women who participate in sports on campus already fulfill our gym requirement, when a poll was held of our class, only 2 women in the class currently participate in organized sports, and only about half participated in organized sports in high school or college.

While many of us were not surprised by this fact, it did faze our eager instructors, who expected to tailor the class to the understanding of women who were actively engaged in the culture and concerns of competitive, or at least organized (and mostly team) sports.

As someone who for the most part stands outside of this culture, though surrounded by it (my roommate is VP of our Athletic Association, I know many athletes, etc.), I'm now unsure of what my role in this class will be.

That said, Title IX has rarely touched my life in obvious ways, as I am a product of (private) single-sex education from the 9th grade on. My own worldview is less "male sports vs. female sports" than "sports in general vs. me".

Make of that what you will.
Name:  Debbie Siu
Username:  dsiu@brynmawr.edu
Date:  2002-02-09 19:58:19
Message Id:  885
1. Hello! My name is Debbie Siu, I'm a junior at Bryn Mawr College, and I'm majoring in East Asian Studies with a concentration in China. I'm from Parsippany, New Jersey. I love swimming, badminton, and volleyball, but I'm not involved in any sports in school. The work load is too much here! =(

2. "... Women's alienation from sport, their indifference to
it, and their reluctance to enter it stem in large measure from the fact
that, as it has existed historically, what sport celebrated, what sport
offered, what sport demanded, what sport rewarded do not reflect much of
women's experience of the world"

I have to disagree with this phrase. I think women's desire to enter the sports world is BECAUSE OF "what sport celebrated, what sport offered, what sport demanded, what sport rewarded..." I believe women enter the sports world because sports are what they love to do, and sports offer them the opportunity to show off their talents to the world. Sports also reward athletes for doing great jobs. Professional athletes get endorsements, fame, money, accolades etc. Think Mia Hamm, and Venus Williams. Women who play sports in school can get scholarships and accolades. Sports also demand a lot from athletes. Being an althete demands that you commit to the sport, practice regularly, work hard at it, etc. I think the reason some women do not want to enter sport is because they just don't have the time to do it. Or perhaps, they prefer to spend their time on something they like more. The reasons why women don't want to do sports are their reasons alone. Each of them probably has her own reason. And I just don't think we can summarize all the reasons why women are relunctant to enter sports into the idea that women don't do sports just because "what sport celebrated, what sport offered, what sport demanded, what sport rewarded do not reflect much of women's experience of the world."

Name:  Jackie Raymond
Username:  jraymond@smith.edu
Date:  2002-02-10 16:32:21
Message Id:  893
Hi everyone! My name is Jackie Raymond, and i am a first year at Smith. I have not declared a major yet, but i have been thinking quite a bit about psychology. In high school, i played volleyball and basketball, as well as junior olympics volleyball, baystates volleyball, AAU basketball for four years, and summer league basketball for three years. i do not play sports at smith right now, but i might next year. throughout this course, i hope to gain more knowledge on viewpoints other than my own. i always find it very interesting to see, hear, and listen to what others feel about sports, and more specifically women in sports.

Title IX states: "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance."
Women participate in sports with knowledge of the constant struggles that we have undergone to get to where we are today in the world of sports. We, as women athletes, for the most part have been in the shadow of male athletes and male athletics. However, women are progressively moving forward, and it is not "shocking" to see a female athlete on the news or in the newspaper or magazines. As we have learned from the course thus far, women in sport in the past have been pushed aside, and men have been in the spot light. It was once believed that women would damage their bodies bye participating in certain sports, and that women had to have a very prim and proper look to them~which means that certain sports for women was out of the question. As you can see however, some women have come through and made a huge impact on women in sports, which has helped pave the way for female athletes today. However, the few women that actually achieved their goals of making it "big" in sports did it with desire and heart, and they didn't allow men athletics to hold their dreams down. Yes, it was very hard for woment to prove themselves in earlier centuries, but the females that truly wanted to prove themselves, did.
I believe that women will struggle for a very long time in sports. In high school, my basketball team would have the practice time on the courts from 8-10 p.m. most of the time, and the boys would get to practice from
6-8, allowing them to get more rest and not practice so late. and the few nights that the girls team was allowed to practice from 6-8, the boys team would arrive at the gym at about 7:30 and begin shooting around at the side hoops during our scrimmages, and by 7:45, they would be trying to end our practice to begin theirs, and the coaches would argue about this. this sounds very petty and stupid, but it did occur, which proves that women today are still struggling to overcome male dominance in sport.

Name:  Jacqueline Dasilva
Username:  jdasilva@Brynmawr.edu
Date:  2002-02-10 16:52:44
Message Id:  895
1) hello everyone, My name is Jacqueline Dasilva a first year student here at Bryn Mawr and the first thing I will like to make clear is that I am not an athlete and neiter athletic.

2) In response to Title IX I will like to say That it is one of the best things that came into the life of women. Title IX gives women just enough rights to feel freedom but still leaves certain holes in it's force to separate female from many sports which is not healthy for the female body.

After attending the first class I felt out of place because I myself feel that alot of sports are not healthy for the female body (football being the first), but after going back to my room I felt that this is something that we are taking far over our heads, it's okay to have women rights but like many things in life there is a line drawn between men and women in everything and maybe that is the reasons for the holes in title IX.
Rather then arguing and feeling like things are not equal, lets just silently move forward and try to change things, importantly we already have the freedom nessecary to fight the situation without violence.

Name:  emily
Username:  erumph@smith.edu
Date:  2002-02-10 17:03:41
Message Id:  898
Hi, my name is Emily and i am a junior at smith. My major is psychology and i do not play sports at smith. However, i have taken ESS classes (ie tennis). I played varsity sports in high school, and so even though im not currently playing, i would consider myself somewhat athletic. I am from Lenox, MA.

I agree with Debbie Siu ,and with others who have posted similar responses. Being a women who once was a very active member of her soccer, tennis and alpine ski team in high school, i can safely say that my choice to discontinue participation in sports has nothing to do with men and thier domination over the elements of sports.
The quote Debbie (and others) refers to is making a huge assumption that women are deterred from participating in sports becuase we cant relate! This, to me, is simply not true. When i did play sports in high school both the girls and boys' teams shared the soccer field for practice, we alternated early and late court times for tennis practices, and my alpine ski team was co-ed. In fact, i was co-cpt. with a guy on the team! if the section of the quote that is in question was really true, i would probably have stopped playing sports after i was too old to play youth sports (which are co-ed)! i continued to remain athletic because of the fun, the rush, the friends i made, and becuase of the pride i got from being able to say i was an athlete! women who dont play sports could surely have chosen not to (as i have since being at smith) for a multidude of other reasons that have nothing to do with men?!

Name:  Jennifer Banas
Username:  jbanas@smith.edu
Subject:  Women athletes
Date:  2002-02-10 18:27:13
Message Id:  900
Hi my name is Jennifer, I'm a sophomore majoring in psychology with a minor in exercise and sport studies. I would love to play field hockey, but unfortunately I don't have enough time to devote to sports right now.

I think that women have been given the opportunity to have equality in sports and title IX was one of the greatest things to ever happen for equality in sports, but sport is masculine. Athletes work hard, they build muscular bodies and sweat. These are not typical feminine qualities. It makes me angry to look through so many magazines involved with sports and see women athletes portrayed as beautiful objects to look at, never once in action poses or sweating. I don't think women athletes will ever be treated equally unless they really show their dedication and hard work and stop letting themselves be portrayed as beautiful, feminine objects.

Name:  Erin Ragoza
Username:  eragoza@smith.edu
Date:  2002-02-10 22:12:45
Message Id:  906
If we look at sports on tv there does seem to be a men doninated industry. I see men perfroming sports on tv much more than women. We see more men broadcasters and coaches on tv. The men are more visible in sport and there we have room for improvement. But the women playing sports are there underneath it all. Women have many more opportunities in sport than they had years ago and we can see this moving in the right direction. We cannot expect change to happen over night. Change takes a long time to stick. For my whole life I have never thought that women were inferior to men in anything, including sports. This means that Title IX has had a large effect on women and sports. I think that as times moves on women will feel more and more comfortable competing in sports. I also think that women should no longer feel reluctant to play sports, there has been enough change to make women feel comfortable playing and it can only get better.
Username:  Anonymous
Date:  2002-02-10 22:21:11
Message Id:  907
Hi, My name is Roberta and I'm from Northampton, MA. I am a junior at Smith and I am majoring in psychology. I transferred here from Westfield State College where I played soccer and softball and participated in intramurals. Throughout the course, I would like to learn more about the progression of women's participation in sports - something similar to the beliefs that were presented in the "Dare to Compete" video.
Today, women's alienation from sports shouldn't be due to the historical aspect of women's experience of the world. If someone loves to participate in sports, there should be no reason not to participate besides personal choice - not because of someone's opinion. If women are reluctant to participate in sports becuase of what has happened in the past, then they probably aren't passionate enough about the sport. I don't feel that participation in sports today is even considered "a musculine domain" - I think that idea is old and sports are looked at today as something everyone should get involved in. Unfortunately, some people still hold these beliefs, but hopefully someday they will realize just how important the role of sports can play in someone's life.
Name:  Tina Tan
Username:  tptan@brynmawr.edu
Date:  2002-02-10 22:39:02
Message Id:  908
Bio: Hi, I am Tina Tan, a sophomore at Bryn Mawr. I am from New York, and am probably going to declare Math as my major. I enjoy playing and watching sports, but of course like many other students, I can't find the time to play. I honestly wasn't expecting to be so involved in the issues because I don't consider myself an athlete, but after the first class, I began to think more about every woman's role in sports and athletics, especially now since also seeing the beginning of the Olympics.

I feel as though Title IX has affected my life in that it succeeding in making sports more accessible for women that I never really gave it much thought; sports never seemed as off limits for women to me as it did to the generation a few decades ago. I agree that since we never really think twice about seeing a female athlete on t.v. or in ads, that we have come a long way in our attitudes about sports. Yet at the same time, I am frustrated at the fact that women still haven't come as far as they could; thinking back to high school, I now remember all the girls' teams fundraising all year long for uniforms and tournament fees, but never seeing the boys' teams doing so. So while letting the girls play might seem like fair practice, I do believe that the price that females pay (literally and mentally) are greater.
I don't think that teams should all be co-ed; but I do think that every sport should have a female counterpart. Women should be able to play any sport, whether is is considered gentle or "too rough" but thinking realistically, the average or even above average woman cannot always be able to compete against 250-300 pound men. But I hope to be pleasantly surprised one day...

Name:  Brooke Coleman
Username:  mbcolema@mtholyoke.edu
Date:  2002-02-11 14:49:07
Message Id:  917
Hi, my name is Brooke Coleman. I'm a Junior, Psych major at Mount Holyoke. I grew up in Edgemont, PA which is actually @ 15 minutes from Bryn Mawr. I played soccer, basketball, and tennis in high school, but am only playing soccer in college. I'm looking forward to these forum discussions, and am excited about the broad range of opinions it looks like we will be hearing over the next few weeks.

Our society as a whole has historically been monopolized by male culture, and sport is a prime example. While we a society continue to struggle to strike a balance between the sexes, the fact remains that venues such as sport were created with men in mind, and have followed this path until too recently. It is obvious that, given equal opportunity, women will excel right along side their male counterparts. It is also obvious, however, that although Title IX has taken us a long way, we are still unable to shake the fundamental male domination of sport as a whole. I believe this dominance has been bumped to more of a subconscious level with the enforcement of Title IX, but I also agree with the statement that "...what sport celebrated, what sport offered, what sport demanded, what sport rewarded..." has histoically been tailored around men, by men. Yes, we have the same opportunites on paper, but there's something to be said for the fact that a portion of our society believes that women shouldn't necessarily compete in sports, and the subconscious effects that can have on young girls.

Name:  Katie Montgomery
Username:  kmontgom@email.smith.edu
Subject:  Bio and Comments
Date:  2002-02-11 17:21:34
Message Id:  918
Hi everyone! My name is Katie Montgomery and I am a junior chemistry major at Smith. I am on the crew team and have been for the past three years. I also played three sports in high school: swimming, field hockey and lacrosse. I am from Ridgewood, New Jersey, about thirty minutes outside of the city. I hope to learn more about sports and many athletes that have made a difference in the world of sports both for women and for athletes in general.

The comment posted by Professor Shelton illustrates the fact that even with Title IX, sports is not often considered a place for all women. I believe that this can be seen from the "games" children play through grade school and up the the division I college athletics. I have played sports all my life and it's still very upsetting to see how the conditions for men and women are different on a broad scale. I do not want anyone to take this as me not being grateful for Title IX because without my childhood would have been boring. However, men and men's sports are still what are thought of. This idea is beginning to change and documentaries like "Dare to Compete" are helping. Smith hosts a program for National Women in Sports Day. I believe that this is something that is vital to the contituation of the Title IX spirit. It allows girls of grade school level to try out many different sports and see what college athletes are like. For many of these children, TV shows them male athletes and not much of the female athletes. This gives then the ability to see a differnt side to the sporting world. Title IX is something that the crew team and myself think about everyday. We understand that our sport is not always offered at colleges because of the expenses. We understand how much women such as Chris Ernst did for the sport. I do believe that the desire for women to enter the sporting world is increasing on a daily basis thanks to new advertising campaings, (Nike), and because of famous women athletes such as Mia Hamm, Venus Williams, and all of the US olympic women such as Michelle Quan and Picabo Street. (Sorry if those spellings are wrong.) I have a feeling that women's sports can go nowhere but up and therefore this century we will see the "golden age" of women athletes.

Name:  Chelsea Brown
Username:  cbrown@email.smith.edu
Date:  2002-02-11 20:15:21
Message Id:  930
Hi, my name is Chelsea Brown, I am a first year at Smith and a psychology major. I'm from Dummerston, Vermont, a tiny little southern town but I love it. I've played some form of sports my whole life, soccer, baseball, softball, track, lax, but mostly field hockey which I picked up in high school and have continued to play at Smith. I hope that through this course I will receive a better understanding and appreciation for the women who were courageous enough to play before me so that today my athletic experience could be what it is.

When Title IX was established it was quite an exciting moment for women; yet men remained then and now to dominate the athletic world in many ways. If you open up a sports magazine today the differences are incredibly apparent. Women's magazines shout out independence and "girl power" yet the majority of the articles talk about looking better, being healthier and the like instead of being a better athlete; however this does depend upon the magazine and the author. Look at Anna Kornakova (however you spell her name), she's beautiful, the Britney Spears of tennis. It's her beauty more than her talent that gets her the attention. This is evidence enought that women in sports are different than men in sports. Randy Johnson is one of the strangest looking athletes yet he receives the fame and fortune that most women athletes will never see. If a woman athelete is beautiful she is more likely to receive attention, not so with men. No where in Title IX does it say an athelete has to be attractive but at the same time it is what is expected of women by the majority and there is no denying that. This may be a stretch but I would like to suggest that perhaps many women shy away from sports because in the past men where the ones who were expected to be strong and daring. This is changing now but there are still many older beliefs that exist along these lines. There may be arguments against this but before you cast idea out completely, take a look at a women's sports magazine then a mens, then a general one for both sexes. Count the number of articles in the coed one on men and women and take a look at the appearances of the athletes. There will be less women in the coed ones and they will be portrayed in more sexual ways or weaker than the men. It may surprise you. They should have thrown something about this in Title IX too.

Name:  Lorian Jenkins
Username:  ljenkins@email.smith.edu
Date:  2002-02-11 23:52:10
Message Id:  938
Hi, my name is Lorian Jenkins. I'm a first year at Smith College, and I'm from Los Angeles, CA. I have played softball since I was 6 years old and will continue to play at Smith. I also played basketball and volleyball in high school.

My view as an athlete and based on my experience with other female athletes, I believe that women participate in sports for the same satisfactions has men do: competition, teamwork, strength, endurance, challenge, triumph, and all other rewards that come from competitive athletics. As recently as 25 years ago women didn't have the opportunity to participate in organized athletics in schools and universities. Title 9 contributed to huge strides in helping develop women's athletics. Women of my generation who have been afforded opportunities to participate in athletic competition in schools, as a result of title 9, will probably be more encouraging to our daughters about the value of athletic competition. Therefore more and more girls and women will be participating in athletics has generations go by. Although the process might be slower than we might like the lessoning of sports as a male domain can be seen through the existence of womenís softball, basketball, and soccer as recognized Olympic sports, as well as the establishment of professional womenís softball and basketball leagues, and the employment of more women coaches for high school and university athletics. As a female athlete I disagree with the premise that sports donít reflect womenís experiences, as more women participate in sports the more women will appreciate the value of sports as I have.

Name:  Liz Marcus
Username:  emarcus@brynmawr.edu
Subject:  Mixed Feelings
Date:  2002-02-12 16:21:49
Message Id:  948
Hi! My name is Liz Marcus and I am a freshman at Bryn Mawr. I'm from Allentown, PA. I am planning to design an independent major which would incorporate Political Sceince, Sociology, and Spanish with the focus on urban issues.
The quote brings up some intersting issues of women's feelings on being able to enter the world of sports. However, I believe that it neglects the impact that individuals, who are constantly in contact with aspiring female athletes, have on those individuals. As one who was always taught I could do anything I wanted and there were no restrictions becuase of my gender, Title IX has been sufficient. I do not believe that women are indifferent to sports. Sports have been succeeding at women's clleges for many years and also at co-ed colleges. This would not have happened if women were indifferent. However, I do agree that much of the world of sports has been focused around the male concept. To see this, one only need turn on the TV. Which is more likely to get more prime time viewing, men's or women's basketball?
Name:  Jennifer Chang
Username:  jchang@brynmawr.edu
Subject:  Bio & Title IX
Date:  2002-02-13 09:57:02
Message Id:  959

Hi, my name is Jennifer Chang. I'm a senior psych major from Bryn Mawr who enjoys ballet, Chinese folk dancing, and skiing.

Some people seem to be mentioning that true equality in sports would be a point in time when men and women can play with each other on the same field together. My opinion is that, although in an ideal society, it would be wonderful to have men and women on an equal playing field. However, the truth is, men and women are physiologically different. Each gender group has its own weaknesses and strengths. This is not to say that there are women out there who can "beat" men. But especially after watching this past week's Olympic events in Salt Lake City, there is talent undoubtedly found in both gender groups, but overall, men are faster, they jump higher, and they seem to be stronger.

That's my 2 cents.

Jennifer Chang

BMC '02
Name:  Stephanie Johns
Username:  sjohns@brynmawr.edu
Date:  2002-02-13 11:26:38
Message Id:  960
I would like to introduce myself as an Olympic Gold Medalist. I would like to, but I can't. My name is Stephanie and I have no athletic ability whatsoever. I am a McBride Scholar(an old student just in case you didn't know) at Bryn Mawr.

I have procrastinated in posting my comments as I do not have an opinion. I do not participate in sports. I never have. I never will. I am mostly indifferent to sports, that includes baseball, darts and NASCAR racing. I have never understood sports or the desire to participate in a game. As for "...what sport rewarded do not reflect much of women's experience of the world," I disagree. Why isn't their a sport that includes carrying a crying three month old baby while soothing a two year old toddler, all the while juggling the groceries?

Name:  Adrienne Leonard
Username:  a2leonar@brynmawr.edu
Date:  2002-02-13 12:05:57
Message Id:  961
Hi, my name is Adrienne, and I'm a sophomore Physics major at Bryn Mawr.

I used to participate in sports before I came to college, but when I arrived here, I found that I no longer had the time or the desire to participate in any competitive sports. I am originally from Zimbabwe, and had actually never heard of Title IX before last week's class. When I was growing up, I never found there to be much discrimination between the sexes regarding participation in sports. In fact, women were encouraged to participate in athletics as fully as possible. However, there were still certain sports and activities which were not offered to girls in the schools. Sports like soccer, cricket and rugby were traditionally viewed as "guy's sports" although we were never told that we could not play these sports. I went to an all-girls high school, and when I first arrived, soccer and cricket were not sports that were offered at the school. But before my class graduated, we had convinced the school to introduce these sports into the curriculum - something that they were more than happy to do. I always felt that these sports were not offered at the girls' schools simply because nobody was interested, and not because anybody held the view that women shouldn't play these sports. I think that if women are indifferent to sports, or are not actively involved in them, it is a completely personal choice, and has very little to do with any form of sexism.

Name:  Celeste Caviness
Username:  ccavines@email.smith.edu
Date:  2002-02-13 15:35:01
Message Id:  963
Hi my name is Celeste, I am getting into the game here a little late but I am a first year from California. At home I played just about every sport there was to play from the time I was very young. I am planning on playing soccer here next season. Hip surgery kept me away this year.

I have to somewhat agree that sports have been in the past a male dominated arena. Up until Title IX opportunities were very limited however I do not think that is the case now. I have never stopped a sport because of pressure I felt from the male world. I have not had a friend feel that either. While sports originally were based upon male ideals and thier world view, they are no longer limited to that. Reading the articles about the PE teachers who wanted the games women played to be sportsmanlike and distinctly seperate from the model given by the male athletes, I think they succeeded. In women's sports there is a trend of sportsmanship, and a true love of the game that cannot always be found in men's games. The last summer Olympics is a prime example when the mens relay team won the gold medal they danced and celebrated even doing a pole dance with the American flag. The women on the other hand handled themselves well and with dignity.
I also do not agree that all sports are male dominated in the US. There are definate areas where women hold the upper hand in terms of skill and success. Soccer is an example of that, the mens team is far behind the women, while they are one of the best in the world. I think that the women athletes of this world do not shy away from competition, however I think they also understand that they have a lot to teach the men about the nature of sport.