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 09:58:22
Link to this Comment: 12286

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?


Questions
Name: Julia
Date: 2005-01-30 10:41:00
Link to this Comment: 12320

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.



I feel as though women in sport have paved the way for the role of women in society, in such areas such as expectations of women (and girls), beauty and others. Now, people expect women to be athletically active, and you rarely find a young girl who isn't involved in some sort of team. This certainly would not have happened if it was still taboo for women to participate in sports. Also, as was touched on in class, it is now considered beautiful for women to be athletically fit and be more buff than they used to be. It indicates that people are now looking towards women atheletes for their ideas on beauty instead of models. Obviously social norms have influenced women in sport, or we wouldn't have women athelets having to defend their sexuality. Still, the atheletes that get the endorsements are the "pretty" ones, and not necessarily the ones who do their job the best.



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


Women sports still don't get as much attention as men's sports, perhaps with the exception of LPGA (which draws a very large crowd, one of the events was held where I live), and they certainly still don't make as much as the men. These are probably because the public isn't as interested in women's sports. Like it or not, the American public has been conditioned to see men's sports as better. This probably will slowly change over time, as all change takes time.


Response:
Name: Megan Finn
Date: 2005-02-02 09:13:42
Link to this Comment: 12432

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.

Women have always been identified as the "weaker" sex, and the Victorians were known to have taken that to an extreme. If a woman is culturally and socially prohibited from exerting herself, she will necessarily remain in the background of all cultural goings-on. Being "weak" implies a need to be taken care of and a lack of agency. Thus women's advancement in sports marks a few very important steps in women's fight for agency. In fighting for the right to be tired and exhausted, women were given credit as people who can push themselves and test their limits without any long-term detrimental effects (i.e. losing a uterus).

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

Today many of the barriers for women and sports revolve around the economics of sports. If male sports bring in more money, they are given preference. Prefence extends to better uniforms, equipment, and playing fields (etc.). Until women's sports capture the publics hearts, imaginations, and pocketbooks, women's sports will continue to be treated as second-class.


Responses 2/2/05
Name: Jenna
Date: 2005-02-02 09:40:41
Link to this Comment: 12433

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.

It seems to me that sports have had a very distinctive impact on women in today's society. Sports have influenced women to become more acitve in the previous 'male' world - women have pushed the limits of the pervious confining society and have only recently begin to win. Until very recently the social norms have forced women to remain very domestic, not really wanting to seem 'unfeminine'. In modern society, the social norm has changed to accept the various definitions of femininity - women are beginning to finally be able to play sports without being judged. There are a lot of changes to be made, but society is finally on its way to understanding.

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

the issue of 'what is feminine' is a great barrier that still prevents a lot fo women become involved in athletics. Women are afraid they will be seen as 'unfeminine' or be judged to be homosexual if they engage in sports. Also, some women who are homosexual don't want the media to make it publically known. Unfortunatly, this is exactly what happens with the media. I also beileve that there are a lot of men out there who still don't bieleve that women should be allowed to engage in athletics, whatever the reason(s) may be. These barriers still exsist do to people's ignorance, fears, and stubborn attitudes. Hopefully, time will change these factors.



Name: Leila
Date: 2005-02-02 18:06:20
Link to this Comment: 12442

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.
There seemes to almost be a direct link between women's social and sports progress. As women received more social freedoms, they were "allowed" to be more visible as sports figures. And still today it is clear that both in society and sports, that although women's rights have improved exponetially, there still is foward movement that needs to be made


2. What are some of the barriers that still challenge women in sport and why do they
still exist?
Well, one obvious barrier is the problem of women sports not being considered as entertaining as the male versions of that. The few exceptions probably include figure skating and gymnastics which are considered very "feminine" sports. The stars of the WNBA deserve the attention that the men get, but unfortunately are denied.



Name: Alexis Gor
Date: 2005-02-02 19:53:25
Link to this Comment: 12444

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.

I don’t think that sports have necessarily influenced the role of women in society, but the role of women in society has had a beneficial influence on women in sports. As the women’s movement was becoming stronger, this allowed women in sports to stand out and exemplify the ideas of the women’s movement that women were just as strong, smart, ect., as men. However, social norms like the idea of femininity which the women’s movement was never able to eradicate was never eradicate in sports either. So until women are truly equal to men, women’s sports will never be equal to men’s sports.


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

As the others have already mentioned, the lack of equal pay in professional sports is the biggest barrier that women in the sport world face today. Without equal pay and without the same amount of high profile endorsement deals that men have, women’s sports are never going to be taken seriously. What I don’t understand is why don’t women have more athletic wear endorsements? Women in today’s society are obsessed with their body image and working out, and because they are so concerned with their image they always want to look cute while working out. Doesn’t it just make good economic sense to have women selling athletic wear to other women? This way everyone wins: the women athletes are getting more money and therefore more respect, the companies are making bigger profits, and women around the world are getting into shape while looking good.



Name: Nicole
Date: 2005-02-02 21:29:48
Link to this Comment: 12446

1.

I think sports has allowed women to feel more empowered. Girls can now benefit from the lessons learned in sports such as leadership, teamwork, and how to be competitive. With these skills, and the knowledge that they too can compete in 'male activities', they can approach life with the same attitude of "hey I can do that too." There is little room left for men to use the cliche that we are the weaker gender.

2.

The biggest barrier today, at least in this country, seems to be that male sports are king. And not just male sports, but there is an image of the athlete as this above average, ripped, obscenely muscled male. The athletes who do not fit that image are less popular, such as women (obviously) but also male gymnast, swimmers, and ice skaters. And yes these athletes are obviously very fit, but they do not fit this image of 'an athlete' (the manly man). They are thought of as efeminate. Sports and manlieness are still very much intertwined. So its like this ideal of the athlete and what is manly that seems to be a barrier for women and men who "compete in less manly sports."



Name: Talia Squi
Date: 2005-02-02 22:00:38
Link to this Comment: 12450

1. Although it is becoming increasingly more acceptable and even expected for women to participate in atheletics there are still many inequalities. I think it is hard when the option of becoming professional is so much less than that for men. In some ways it has also become just another way of staying "feminine". Women can often be found at the gym, in the pool, or on the playing field to stay thin and attractive, instead of being there because they enjoy athletics.
2. On the economics of sports, I think it is important that women's tennis draws a crowd to rival that of men's. Yet the competitors still earn smaller prizes than their male counterparts. Althought most women's sports can't say that they draw a larger crowd, I still think it's indicative of a larger problem of accepting women as equals in sports. I believe part of this problem may be do to the fact that so many compitions, and teams are owned or run by a world that is still a boy's club.


WK 2 Personal Best
Name: Amy Campbe
Date: 2005-02-03 13:24:00
Link to this Comment: 12481

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?


Response 2
Name: Julia
Date: 2005-02-03 15:47:17
Link to this Comment: 12486

I agree with Nicole in how sports really have enabled women to grow as a gender. Her points about teamwork and leadership are good points; ones that people can take to other fields such as business, finance and politics. The rise of women in sports has also coincided with the rise of women in the corporate ladder (more or less). Both still ned a lot of work, but the "Can Do" attitude that women can take from sports is applicable in all areas of society.



Name: talia squi
Date: 2005-02-07 16:25:52
Link to this Comment: 12620

To me personal best failed to really address the issue of sexual orientation in sports, perhaps that is the most telling part about it. No one in the film was disgusted by the idea of two very physical women who spend a lot of time together and were incidently sleeping together; but neither were they taken seriously as a couple. It was as if their sexual chemistry was just energy that had spilled over from their training together. Everyone was willing to pooh pooh the issue, because it was only a symptom of their athleticism. The expectation existed that the relationship would end and both would move on to more "normal" relationships. Chris was really the main character in this; Tory left the film as soon as she was no longer living with Chris. Chris is also the one who ends up with a man. The film is totally accepting of their relationship in that it doesn't condemn it and no one denies that it happened, but it is portrayed as simply a by-product of being an athlete. Today when sexual orientation is discuessed in athletics there are still many stereotypes and much prejudice, but at least it is accepted that the sexual orientation of the athlete is being discussed, not some youthful folly that everyone accepts and ignores.


Response 1
Name:
Date: 2005-02-07 18:18:08
Link to this Comment: 12633


Personal Best1
Name: Julia
Date: 2005-02-07 18:30:03
Link to this Comment: 12634

I didn't feel as though Personal Best really dealt with the issue of sexual orientation as a key issue. The fact that it wasn't a central issue relates to the viewer that homosexuality was acceptable to most people at the time. Unfortunately, I believe that society has backtracked a little over the past 23 years. People are less accepting, and a movie such as Personal Best would definitely provoke an outcry among the religious right if it were released now. For the most part, discussing sexual orientation and sports means that you are talking about whether a woman is a lesbian; it rarely means that you are questioning a man's sexuality. It's a one-way street. This unfortunately shifts focus from a woman's performance of her sport to her sexuality, which may make people think that her sexuality is more important than how she does her job.


Personal Best
Name: Alexis Gor
Date: 2005-02-09 19:11:11
Link to this Comment: 12720

I agree with the others that the film glosses over the characters sexual orientation. It is there in the film, but never really discussed. However I think that Chris’s boyfriend (the water polo guy) comment about how the whole school knew about Chris and Tory’s relationship is one of the most interesting parts of the movie. I think it means that although the relationship is never discussed visibly on the screen it is discussed at least secretly by the entire school. This whispering about women athletes and their sexuality in the movie is very important in real life. Nothing has changed in 23 years; people still discuss women athletes’ sexuality behind their backs.


Personal Best
Name: Jenna
Date: 2005-02-09 21:59:29
Link to this Comment: 12726

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?

Once again, I agree with the previous posts - Personal Best did not really touch on homosexuality in sports. The message that I get from the movie is that homosexuality is actually ignored in sports, ironic considering that the movie was porbably made to project just the opposite. The movie was very confusing and didn't even go into in-depth details of the relationship between the two woman and how those around them felt about it. I dont really think that the attitude has changed between the time of the movie and now. Today I still think homosexuality in sports is being treated as either 1) non-exsistant or 2) as an excuse to scandalize players. It seems that still today a lot of people look of sports with a bias of thinking a lot of the players are homosexual - and thats not something a lot of people are ready to deal with.



Name:
Date: 2005-02-09 22:27:57
Link to this Comment: 12728

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?

For so many generations women athletes were often accused of being lesbians. Women's sexuality and sexual preferences were called into play every time they entered the athletic arena, thus it is no surprise that one of the first mainstream movies featuring lesbians revolved around sports. It is as if to say "if lesbians aren't acceptable, at least they can be portrayed through an acceptable stereotype". The movie exploited sexuality in film and generally exploited the sexual aspects of a lesbian relationship without focusing often or deeply enough on the emotional/social aspects. In the past 23 years, as sports have become an arena to which women can now claim a certain belonging, the stereotype of the "butch athlete" has faded away. Slogans like "Girl Power" and an I-can-do-anything-you-can-do attitude has turned the world of sports into a platform of empowerment and equality. As can be seen in the Olympic Women's Indoor Volleyball team, women's sports are still sexually exploited, but many of the stereotypes about orientation seem to have (thankfully) fallen by the wayside.


personal best
Name:
Date: 2005-02-09 22:58:56
Link to this Comment: 12730

I have to agree that it is rather interesting that this movie is about sports. Doesn't this in some ways further the stereotype that lesbians are athletes, or maybe to some that female athletes are lesbians. However, as said before the movie itself doesn't discuss this like it could. There are so many issues that could have been addressed, but unfortunately were not.


Personal Best2
Name: Julia
Date: 2005-02-10 04:18:13
Link to this Comment: 12736

I agree with Jenna in her assesment of homosexuality in sports. And while homosexuality is used as an excuse to scandalize players, we need to remember that this is not only limited to sports at the present time. Women at top executive positions often have to defend their sexuality, because they have "Man-like" ambition. Aggressive female lawyers also find themselves in this same position. It is unfortunate that women in so many professions find themselves having to defend their sexuality.


response 2
Name: Talia Squi
Date: 2005-02-10 14:42:14
Link to this Comment: 12752

I think Julia made in interesting point in saying that all women you have a drive to be aggressive or succesful ina traditionally male field are frequently accused of being lesbian. Our culture still believes that lesbians are "manlier"or want to be like men and that in order to succeed as an athelete or a business person you have to be "manly." Even the language we use today of saying someone is "ballsy" instead of tough, reckless, or gutsy reflects the belief that aggression belongs to men alone.


Week 3 Hero For Daisy
Name: Amy Campbe
Date: 2005-02-11 09:52:13
Link to this Comment: 12778

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?


Response_1
Name: Julia
Date: 2005-02-15 10:04:44
Link to this Comment: 12910

I think that all types of sports have the opportunity to challenge commonly held assumptions...if they want to. In my high school, sports didn't challenge any assumptions because, quite frankly, the women who played were quite comfortable with what people thought. So I would put forth that if there is something wrong with what's going on in women's sports, then different types of sports do have the opportunity to challenge them. But if people don't see anything wrong with what's going on, they won't give it a second thought. As in Hero for Daisy, the fact that they didn't have proper facilities outraged the rowers, and they changed that. They changed the assumption that they were meek girls who were happy with what was doled out to them. In Personal Best, Chris challenged what the coach thought of her. He did in a way think of her as a girl that needed looking over, and she changed that opinion. As for Dare to Compete, well, those women were constantly challenging assumptions, and changing the world of sports as we know it.


response 1
Name: Talia Squi
Date: 2005-02-16 16:18:32
Link to this Comment: 12932

I believe athletics offers many opportunities for women to challenge how the world thinks about them and how they should behave. In the class there were many mentions of girls who wanted to get on to all men's teams. My high school had a girl on the previously all male wrestling team, she made the argument that if there were going to be no facilities for her to wrestle with women, she should be allowed to wrestle with the men's team. The women in hero for daisy challenged what was acceptable in so many ways. By walking in shirtless they were forcing people to acknowledge that they were seriously athletes and women. They were not trying to hide this fact or use it to get something, simply stating, we are women, we are athletes, and we deserve facilities.


Hero for Daisy
Name: Alexis Gor
Date: 2005-02-16 16:41:05
Link to this Comment: 12935

I think that to a certain degree women’s sports challenge the assumed way that women are supposed to act. However, I also feel that to a certain degree in today’s society there aren’t that many assumptions left on how a women should act. Women in sports are strong and independent, which are traits that women are “allowed” to have. But this acceptance is in part due to the pioneering women in sports like the Yale crew team. Even though this was during the ‘70s (at least I think), strong women were still looked down upon, but thanks to their efforts today strong women are accepted both in sports and in daily life.


Response to Dare to Compete
Name: Alexis
Date: 2005-02-16 16:48:17
Link to this Comment: 12937

I think that Julia’s discussion of the LPGA was very interesting and pertinent to the discussion. I know that this sport is very popular and draws big crowds, but I had no idea that they made less money then the men. I guess because I was taught that women were equal to men I assumed they would make the same amount of money (even though I know that is not true in the work place, but I assumed that in sports it would at least be equal). But as Julia points out, people are simply more interested in men’s sports, and I completely agree with her that a change in the way the public views women’s sports will take a very long time.


Response to Personal Best
Name: Alexis
Date: 2005-02-16 16:57:18
Link to this Comment: 12938

I found the posting that mentioned “girl power” and the Olympic women’s volleyball team really interesting. I agree with her that the idea of the butch athlete has basically faded away with the 90s and the introduction of “girl power.” Yet, it is interesting that now women athletes are subject to being made simply into sexual beings like the volleyball team. I mean do their uniforms really need to be that short?



Name: leila
Date: 2005-02-16 20:45:03
Link to this Comment: 12943

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?

I think they do, and there are several notable examples. A Hero For Daisy is the obvious example. Women baring their breasts is definitely not how a "typical" woman should act. It also showed how much a group of women could accomplish. Although I think there are much less assumptions of how women should act, there are still "unfeminine sports", for example women's boxing, that I think do make an impact. And although it may not be a new thing, having women continue to be involved in "unfeminine" sports defitnitely helps to continue to change assumptions.


Response_2
Name: Julia
Date: 2005-02-16 22:46:09
Link to this Comment: 12949

I agree with Leila said about "unfeminine sports". There are definitely sports that it's still not completely okay for women to compete in. Her example of boxing is good. Wrestling is another one. Women's weightlifting is still generally made fun of. But the persistance in these areas will eventually enlighten the world to the fact that women are capable of competing in them and like to do so.


response 2
Name:
Date: 2005-02-17 11:17:29
Link to this Comment: 12963

I'm always encouraged by the clear generational difference. I took a weight lifting class that was basically intended for the football team when I was in high school. My guidance counselar didn't want me to, I had to go convince the coach to let me in, even though he knew I was in the weight room at seven o'clock everyday anyways. But once I was in the class with only four other girls, the football players didn't care we were women. All the resistance had come from the older authority figures in our school. In fact there were many comment when we were lifting the big weights of I hope my sister will be just like you. I'm sure that there were many things influencing this change in response. It showed at least how much atttitudes have changed in women participating in sports and "unfeminine" things like weight lifting.


Hero for Daisy - Response 1
Name: Nicole
Date: 2005-02-17 13:21:52
Link to this Comment: 12968

I do believe that women's sports can challenge current assumptions, but you have to have bold women to stand up and do it. As mentioned in one of the responses my high school girls were kind of dismissive of the fact that the only people who were in the crowd were the parents waiting for them to get done. You need someone with a strong personality to stand up and challenge the norms, like in hero for Daisy when she leads them into that office with title nine written on their chests.


Daisy
Name: Jenna
Date: 2005-02-17 18:22:14
Link to this Comment: 12982

I bieleve that the only limitations fo a persons mind, regardless of their sex, is their own mind. I bileve that women can play any sport if they want, it just takes a little determination, clearly demonstrated by the most recent movie. I do also thin k there is still some prejudice in some sports against women today. I also bieleve that with a little work, those barriers will be gone. Dont let anyone else dictate your minds limitations.


response 2
Name: nicole
Date: 2005-02-17 18:22:49
Link to this Comment: 12983

In response to the weightlifting comment, I would have to agree that resistance for girls in certain sports does seem to come from older individuals. I remeber weightlifting in gym class and the instructor told the girls to take it easy. And of course the guys were all struting around like hot shots, but if you showed the guys you could lift, they seemed to respect it. A lot of the guys would come up and compliment a girls abitlity to be tough.


response 1, hero for daisy
Name: megan finn
Date: 2005-02-17 19:00:32
Link to this Comment: 12990

The three films we have already viewed this semester implicate the capability of women's sports to change the society's assumptions about feminine roles. In Hero for Daisy, we saw women come together, cooperate and organize to gain equality. These are three important values taught to athletes through team sports, and the women utilized what they already knew to gain social equality.

Sometimes however, I think women are still viewed stereotypically within the sports they dedicate themselves to. The obvious currently of sexuality in Personal Best proves that sometimes society's preconceived notions still win out.


ps: I for got to put my name on the personal best response. For the record, the one with the missing name is mine!


League of Their Own
Name: Amy Campbe
Date: 2005-02-18 14:42:11
Link to this Comment: 13002

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--
Anne


league of their own response 1
Name: Talia Squi
Date: 2005-02-22 14:05:39
Link to this Comment: 13136

I feel that just as personal best dodged the whole issue of sexuality; "a league of their own" dodged most of the issues that could have been addressed. The vague nod to race was enough to establish that there were no black women in the leauge, but didn't real chose to deal with the issue. Similarly, class and classiness were definitly something that the league was very worried about. Although there was a little mocking of the fact that these athletes of classes were being forced to be "ladies", there was no real commentary on it. The ultimate story was between the two sisters and their rivalrynot about baseball or women in sports


Response_1
Name: Julia
Date: 2005-02-23 15:45:20
Link to this Comment: 13170

I do think that it for the most part side-stepped the issue of women and sport as a whole, at least that was not what the focus of the movie was about. It definitely gave more of an emphasis to the relationship between the girls than them as athletes. It dealt only peripherally with racial discrimination, sexual orientation, class and gender bias. While I could see the movie being developed further in those directions, it would cease to be the kind of movie that it is: a nostalgic reminiscence about days past. It would then become a more charged movie, more controversial, and probably not one that we would have seen as young children.


League of their own response 1
Name: leila
Date: 2005-02-24 00:10:46
Link to this Comment: 13199

I think in some ways since it was a Hollywood movie, they had to go with something that would sell. A baseball movie with two sisters battling it out until the last game sells, but really a social commentary on women's place and access in sports doesn't. Yes, they briefly make reference to women's struggles to play baseball, but in the end none of these topics (ie race, the war) were focused on enough to make a huge impact. However, I do think that it makes the audience aware that women had to struggle to be apart of sport.


Response_2
Name: Julia
Date: 2005-03-01 23:56:16
Link to this Comment: 13336

The hollywood issue is a good point. People in Hollywood aren't out to make a statement, they're out for oscars. And as long as they are out to make as many people like their movies as possible, making points about sexuality, race or gender aren't really going to be part of their plan because people have such varying opinions on the subject. I'm not saying that this is a good thing, it's just the way things are right now. For the most part, the movies that actually say something about any topic are independent films.


response 2
Name: Talia Squi
Date: 2005-03-02 18:55:58
Link to this Comment: 13351

I completly agree with the two previous statements about the movie having to appeal to the largest audience possible in order to sell. This means that it cannot be too threatening to anyone. It did serve to illustrate that their was a struggle for women to be acknoledged in athletes. And to a degree it showed how underappreciated these women were as athletes. The primary issue and that with which the audience is most interested in was that of two sisters batteling out. It was ultimatly more of a coming of age story than a story about sports.


response 2
Name:
Date: 2005-03-02 20:18:28
Link to this Comment: 13354

I guess reiterating what Julia, Talia, and myself have already said, League of Their Own really could have been a lot more focused on women's issues, however I truly think that for a hollywood movie it did the best job it could. Maybe in a perfect universe or maybe in a few decades our culture will change and a unglamorized version of women's sports will sell. But for the early 1990s League of Their Own was perfect. It had huge stars like Madonna, Tom Hanks, and Gena Davis. There was the perfect coming of age/sister rivalry/girl poweresque attitude to the movie. And it did make people aware of what women suffered through


Week 5 Pumping Iron II
Name: Amy Campbe
Date: 2005-03-02 20:40:31
Link to this Comment: 13359

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?



Name: Leila
Date: 2005-03-02 21:05:02
Link to this Comment: 13362

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?

YES!! To yourself at least. The qualities of oneself that are considered feminine I think vary from person to person. And I don't really believe that the women in this movie or in the others we have seen consider themselves necessarily unfeminine because they are strong and are pushing boundaries. However, will society consider them feminine. Maybe not. A woman who is all muscle is not considered feminine right now. But definitions change. I mean women weren't supposed to play sports at all and beautiful women were pale because they did no physical activity outside. But now that definition has changed a lot. And I think it will keep changing as long as women push it.



Name: Nicole
Date: 2005-03-03 00:54:18
Link to this Comment: 13367

Well I hate to be redundant, but I too agree that this Hollywood flick is not particularly ground-breaking. I grew up watching it and I don't feel the League of Their Own left any deep impression on me. Its kind of a sugar-coated story of women in sports acknowledging problems, like feminity and race, but not actually addressing them.


League of their own 1
Name: Jenna
Date: 2005-03-03 16:51:36
Link to this Comment: 13386

I do not think that the sister issue hid anything from being discussed in the movie. I mean, there were other topics that could have been elaborated upon, but they weren't entirely skipped. I think if anything, the aspect of bringing the sisterly arguement in the picture helped show what an impact has upon personal lives.


League of Their Own
Name: Alexis
Date: 2005-03-03 17:13:19
Link to this Comment: 13387

I agree with everyone’s statement that because a League of their own is a Hollywood movie that was made in order to make money, it does a good job of discussing women in sports. Although it only briefly mentions the issues of race and class, at least it mentions them most mainstream movies completely ignore those factors. I also remember seeing this movie as a child and only taking away positive memories: a) girls can play sports just as well as men and b) the idea of the sisterly love overpowers that of sisterly competition (depending on how you interpret the World Series scene where in my opinion Dottie drops the ball on purpose.) I think that our class discussion completely took the movie out of its context and tried to make too much of it.


Response_1
Name: Julia
Date: 2005-03-04 09:41:49
Link to this Comment: 13409

I think that it is definitely possible! The only thing is, you still have to be comfortable with who you are. You have to have confidence in yourself as a woman, or else people will not see you as feminine. I really believe that femininity is really how you feel and not how you look or act. If you feel feminine as a person, it doesn't really matter if you don't fit society's version of it. Often an aura is more powerful than looks.


Leagure of their Own 2
Name: Alexis
Date: 2005-03-06 15:11:15
Link to this Comment: 13433

I realized that I didn’t answer the question directly, so here goes: I think that the focus on the sisterly relationship helps to further the importance of women in sports. The relationship brings in a human perspective. These women aren’t simply women trying to break the social norm of women not being able to play baseball, but they are “real” women. They face the same problems that everyone faces like sisterly rivalry.

Also, I would like to comment that I didn’t see any undertones about homosexuality, or in general about anyone’s sexual orientation. It, in my opinion, is not at all present in the film. The writers did not intend to focus on any social issues like sexual orientation. Rather they simply wanted to make a nostalgic film about a period of American history where for once, women were allowed to and were respected ballplayers.


pumping iron response 1
Name: Talia Squi
Date: 2005-03-16 09:08:08
Link to this Comment: 13543

I believe that a woman ideally defines feminity for herself. I agree that none of those women thought of themselves as specifically unfeminine. That being said there is also a cultural and societal perception of what is feminine. It ultimatly didn't stop any of these women from going into the traditionally unfeminine sport of body building, which I think is a sure sign of society's view of what is feminine changing. I believe that the view that feminity can embrace a large spectrum is becoming more common.


Pumping_Iron_2
Name: Julia
Date: 2005-03-16 12:32:56
Link to this Comment: 13545

I agree with Talia that the image of femininity is changing, however some of those women thought that they needed to do special things to make themselves seem feminine. The dance comes to mind...excessive make-up (although this might have just been the 80s), the padded swimsuit. I think things have changed however. We don't think of the traditional woman as particularly feminine; the toned, athletic woman I feel has more of a draw as feminine now.


pumping iron response 2
Name: Talia Squi
Date: 2005-03-16 19:08:45
Link to this Comment: 13554

It is clear that the women were trying to make themselves look beautiful as they were putting on the make up for the competition or as Rachel went through multiple ineligible suits. At the same time, I believe that all of the women considered themselves feminine even as the judges and rules tried to impose other ideals of femininity upon them. It was clear that many of the women were not interested in what the organization or society considered to be appropriatly feminine.


hero for daisy 2
Name: Talia Squi
Date: 2005-03-16 19:12:09
Link to this Comment: 13555

I forgot to put my name on this post for Hero for Daisy

I'm always encouraged by the clear generational difference. I took a weight lifting class that was basically intended for the football team when I was in high school. My guidance counselar didn't want me to, I had to go convince the coach to let me in, even though he knew I was in the weight room at seven o'clock everyday anyways. But once I was in the class with only four other girls, the football players didn't care we were women. All the resistance had come from the older authority figures in our school. In fact there were many comment when we were lifting the big weights of I hope my sister will be just like you. I'm sure that there were many things influencing this change in response. It showed at least how much atttitudes have changed in women participating in sports and "unfeminine" things like weight lifting.


Pumping Iron
Name: Alexis
Date: 2005-03-17 14:05:42
Link to this Comment: 13582

I feel that at least when this movie was made it was society, and in the movie's case the judges, who decided what was feminine or not. The movie kept cutting to the one female judge and showing her disgust at the lack of femininity in the Australian’s body (I forgot her name-sorry) at least according to her own standards. Also throughout the movie I was wondering why they kept putting on makeup during the competition- if it was really a competition about who had the best muscles then who cares what they look like. So I think that because the women did use so much makeup and the judges did judge with thought to the femininity of the contestant- it is society who does define what is feminine at least in reference to the movie. But with that being said I do think things have changed since the movie was made and femininity is beginning to be self-defined


Pumping Iron
Name: Jenna
Date: 2005-03-17 16:19:37
Link to this Comment: 13586

Wow. Thats what I think about some of the people in that movie. Wow. The movie portrayed a very accurate view of some people's definition of feminine. I was disgusted by the stereotypical ideal that was wanted by some of the judges. Even to this day I think that for the most part men own the definition of what is and isnt feminine. Some women too have very strict bounds on what is 'proper' for a woman, in other words, what is feminine. It was rather interesting to see how the women competeing in the movie handled the situation.


Dare to Compete 2
Name: Jenna
Date: 2005-03-17 16:23:26
Link to this Comment: 13587

ok so this entry but is a little late but thats ok.

I agree with Nicole and Talia. The one major thing that is limiting women in sports today is the fact that most society can just not accept women doing these 'manly' things. We prove ourselves but yet deemed not worthy. How is that acceptable?

I think sports allow women more freedom but yet, within that freedom is the boundry of feminine. If we start to become to 'manly' will the small crowds become even smaller?


Personal Best Resp. 2
Name: Jenna
Date: 2005-03-17 16:28:15
Link to this Comment: 13588

I think Talia brought up an interesting point. The movie seems to tell us that the 'manlier' one is the more geared you are towards homosexuality. Not vice versa. But as Talia mentions, even we who are women taking a class on women atheltics STILL refer to agressiveness as belonging to men. I think it clearly demonstrates how even those who try and analyze the situations of women and sports are brain washed by our homophobic society.


Daisy 2
Name: Jenna
Date: 2005-03-17 16:34:20
Link to this Comment: 13590

I think really it depends upon your enviornment - for example, perhaps not all schools were as accomadating to let women on the all male wrestling team. Some schools may still be very caught up in the pre-Title IX world. I have a friend who goes to the Universtiy of Pitt and he told me how he hated Title IX. He told me that since there are less girls on the teams then their male counterparts, they get the same amount on money and therefore more is spent on an individual then in the male team. Perhaps his opinion is shared by male leaders of schools? I know mine were.


Response 2 Pumping Iron
Name: Jenna
Date: 2005-03-17 16:37:13
Link to this Comment: 13591

I agree with Alexis. It really is an individual society that determines the defininton of feminine. If we would look at different societies throughout the world perhaps we would see that our definition of feminine is sometimes completetly blown out of the water. I also agree that today, slowly, the long standing defnition of feminine is being streched for the new age.


League 2
Name: Jenna
Date: 2005-03-17 16:39:58
Link to this Comment: 13592

I agree with Juila. It really is yourself that dictates who you are. If you feel feminine while pumping 290348905 lbs, go you! I think the movie actually does make a good case showing that while there are some women athletes who are traditionally more 'masculine' then others its also ok to be a traditionally 'feminine' woman athelete as well.


pumping Iron Response II
Name: Leila
Date: 2005-03-17 16:50:02
Link to this Comment: 13596

I have to also agree with what Alexis and Julia are saying. Some body builders not looking feminine is only because we don't consider that feminine as a society. And slowly that might become considered as more feminine sosmewhere down the line


Week 6 Rocks With Wings
Name: Amy Campbe
Date: 2005-03-18 09:15:27
Link to this Comment: 13621

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?


Pumping Iron make-up response
Name: megan finn
Date: 2005-03-20 19:05:06
Link to this Comment: 13684

Beauty and femininity are completely relative terms based on society's generational ideals. As the expectations of women change, their bodies are sometimes directly affected and thus the body type corresponding to these expectations will be considered feminine and beautiful. History has already proven this, but somehow I still feel that women gaining muscle mass to a certain degree is in fact less than feminine. When your physical activity changes the make up and function of your body (i.e. you stop having your period, etc), you're making a decision to reject norms that even in today's society are standard ways of evaluating femininity. By no means does that make the athlete less of a woman, and it should not devalue her in the eyes of society. I still haven't decided if femininity is something that has a set of standards belonging to a culture–-standards that are fluid, of course, and ever-changing--or if it is so relative that it boils down to individual by individual identification.


Rocks with wings response 1
Name:
Date: 2005-03-20 20:01:36
Link to this Comment: 13687

This film, more than any other, has proven that sports can often be an outlet for positive change like cross-cultural understanding and social/economic mobility. It treated women in sports not as an anomoly but as just another feature in women's multifaceted existence. The film focused more on the multitude of positive outcomes to be gained from team sports rather than on the controversies of sexuality and gender negotiation. These girls were able to find a peaceful union between their heritage and their place in american society through basketball. I find the most important aspect of the film was its attitude to women and sports. By portraying it as unflnchingly normal, desexualized, and equal, one can see the true progression of sports since title nine.


Pumping Iron 2-response 2
Name: Alexis
Date: 2005-03-20 20:08:38
Link to this Comment: 13688

I totally agree with Jenna, that men do define what is feminine and not. The women in the movie were not just judged on their muscles, but also their femininty. All the women were trying to be super feminine in their dances, especially that one woman who was wearing this huge hair clip that was pink and with tons of ribbons. Perhaps she thought that the men would think that this was super feminine and giver her more points.


Rocks with Wings
Name: Alexis
Date: 2005-03-20 20:15:28
Link to this Comment: 13689

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?

It appeared that most of the women ended up staying on the reservation. All of their interviews took place on what looked like the reservation. I wish it was different, but it appears that none of the women ended up going too far from the reservation and persuing their dream of going to college like one of them said. On the other hand none of them seem disappointed in their interviews- they all seemed happy where they were.

I think this film is a good ending to the class because it is not simply about women in sports, but also class, culture, and race. It was also interesting to watch since we had watched Hero for Daisy- it seems like Title IX was in effect at this high school. The girls playing basketball had their time in the gym, good equipment, and a great coach.


Personal Best 1&2
Name: Nicole
Date: 2005-03-21 00:04:05
Link to this Comment: 13719

1. I agree with Alexis that it is interesting that the movie hints at the rumors about their sexuality. Yet, we never see a confrontation by any of their fellow athletes. Does this imply that the other athletes were not effected by the relationship or that it was easier to ignore?

2. I thought the relationship between Chris and the water polo player ridiculous. Neither of the characters seem to deal with the issue of Chris' past relationship. The fact that she was in a homosexual relationship gets pushed "under the rug" in this relationship. And I thought it was a really weak plot line to end the movie. It was almost like that wanted to make an influential movie, but pulled back and made it more acceptable to a larger audience at the end.


League 2
Name: Nicole
Date: 2005-03-21 00:08:45
Link to this Comment: 13721

I agree with Alexis that I do not believe there was any hinting at homosexuality in this movie. All of the women have men at war. We see most of the characters at the end of the movie walking around the baseball museum with their families. I feel like League already skimmed over too many issues to include something like homosexulity.


Pumping Iron 2 Responses 1 &2
Name: Nicole
Date: 2005-03-21 00:34:59
Link to this Comment: 13722

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?

1. I would like to think every woman owns her own feminity. Sure society has a definition for feminine, but there is also a definition for who is cool, or popular. These are just generalizations however, and feminity is not a static thing, rather it is flexible and something that each woman defines for herself.

2. Of course its possible to be a strong woman and push the boundaries. Feminity has many definitions and should not be limited to what the media shoves down our throats. And it can't not be too unfem. to be athletic, because look at the number of women who participate in sports, or work out in general.


Rocks with wings
Name: Nicole
Date: 2005-03-21 00:54:43
Link to this Comment: 13724

I thought this was an appropriate film to end the class. Many issues that have come up throughout the course were in this film, including prejuidice and class tension.

One point that annoyed me with the film is the fact that before they were successful, they were just "playing". They made it sound like the team was less intense and more of an intermural effort. But once they were winning then they spoke of the time and effort the girls put into the game. I played for a team who was not successful and we sweat and pushed as hard as anyone, and I never thought we were just playing, like it was something to do.


Rocks with Wings 1
Name: Leila
Date: 2005-03-21 14:51:02
Link to this Comment: 13767

I really liked this movie, because it was the first movie where the entire community supported a women's sport and really wanted the women to suceed. By now most of the women all are probably married and have families, but I'm that they will never forget the bond they forged together, and the coach that helped guide them to succeed.


Rocks with wings 2
Name: Leila
Date: 2005-03-21 14:53:16
Link to this Comment: 13768

I have to agree with Nicole I feel like there tends to be too much of an emphasis on success with sports. The girls really enjoyed basketball before the succeeded. In fact if it hadn't been for their coach it doesn't seem like they really would have missed success. They never won that much, but were still enjoying the game


Dare to Compete 2
Name: Leila
Date: 2005-03-21 14:57:55
Link to this Comment: 13769

I have to agree with Julia. Sports really have paved the way for the role of women in society. Being active in sports is now a huge option for girls, completely exceptable. However, women still can only be active to a certain extent. They can't for example be so active that they get such large muscles that they look "unfeminine". There are so many examples out there with the not as successful beautiful women athletes who get all of the endorsement contracts, while the most successful athletes get passed up.


Personal Best makeup response I and II
Name: Leila
Date: 2005-03-21 15:06:16
Link to this Comment: 13770

Well first off, although the movie was interestng, it danced around the idea of sexual orientation in sports. They really almost made it seem as if the two women were lesbians only because they were so athletic and training so close together.

Agreeing with Talia I have to say that they could have delved a lot deeper into this issue. Why was the relationship ponly a prodcut of the training, and why was it assumed that obvioiusly after training was over, they would move on to new and more "normal" relationships.


Rocks 1 and 2
Name: Jenna
Date: 2005-03-21 15:07:54
Link to this Comment: 13771

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?


I think the film was interesting for the end of class. unlike all the other movies we had seen, this movie focuses on race and class instead of gender roles. I like how it focuses a lot on the traditions and philophies of the Navajo. Also interesting was the response they gave to the coach who was african. When we think of racial tensions we tend to only think of white vs black - this showed us the other sides.

I think there was an emphasis on winning but that shows us just how comptetitive sports can be. Yes it was wrong for the coach tp pressure them so much but thats how he had been taught. The girls seemed to have learned what hard work it was to move from a 'sport' to a competeting sports team.


League of their own response II
Name: Leila
Date: 2005-03-21 15:07:58
Link to this Comment: 13772

Note: I had already posted this but forgot to include my name
I guess reiterating what Julia, Talia, and myself have already said, League of Their Own really could have been a lot more focused on women's issues, however I truly think that for a hollywood movie it did the best job it could. Maybe in a perfect universe or maybe in a few decades our culture will change and a unglamorized version of women's sports will sell. But for the early 1990s League of Their Own was perfect. It had huge stars like Madonna, Tom Hanks, and Gena Davis. There was the perfect coming of age/sister rivalry/girl poweresque attitude to the movie. And it did make people aware of what women suffered through


Hero for daisy II
Name: Leila
Date: 2005-03-21 15:12:30
Link to this Comment: 13774

Agreeing with Talia, I think that there is definitely still a generation gap, and that in the future things like weight lifting will become more acceptable. The change is just very slow and is led by the younger generations, but at the same time because the older generations still have the power social changes mayb not seem to be happening as much as they are.


Rocks With Wings_1
Name: Julia
Date: 2005-03-21 18:28:48
Link to this Comment: 13808

I think that some of the girls went on to college and some of them stayed on the reservation. I'm not sure if the one girl actually went to Cornell, but I think that she at least went to college somewhere. This film culminates the class because it focuses on issues that weren't really emphasized in the other movies, such as culture and class. Some of the other movies did make references to culture and class, but Rocks With Wings addressed them directly.


Rocks with Wings 2
Name: Alexis Gor
Date: 2005-03-21 21:09:09
Link to this Comment: 13828

I think that the comment about the community getting involved with the team was an interesting comment. IT is true that in all the other movies the community was never really involved. In the movie we saw a lot of shots of the crowd with all of the kid's families. It was clear that they all thought highly of their daughters and were very proud of them. I thought that that was a very encouraging and sweet part of the movie.


Hero for Daisy 2
Name: Alexis Gor
Date: 2005-03-21 21:19:54
Link to this Comment: 13831

Sorry I guess I forgot to do a response to this- sorry!

So I agree with Jenna's comment that it all depends what school you went to- and how they decided to follow Title IX or not. I know that at my school there was no girl's wrestling team nor a boy's gymnastics team. I guess if anyone had shown intrest in these they would have accomodated them- but still there was no organized team so one did not feel all that encouraged to join the teams.


rocks with wings 1
Name: Talia Squi
Date: 2005-03-21 22:31:03
Link to this Comment: 13835

One of things that I enjoyed about this film was that it wasn't about professional athletes fighting for the ability to compete on their own terms. These were girls who had the freedom to play sports without having to challenge a system, they didn't have to fight for facilities or the right to wear pants, or be sexy. The big challenge for them was becoming a good team, something that every team, regardless of skill or gender faces. It was nice watching a film that portrayed sports as a way of giving women and communities pride and comfidence without them having to fight in battles the men wouldn't have to fight. This was a movie about a sports team to me, not specifically a women's sport team. I think that virtually the same story could have been told with a men's team.


rocks with wings 2
Name: Talia Squi
Date: 2005-03-21 22:34:20
Link to this Comment: 13836

Even if none of the girls went to college or left the reservation, I feel that they were all given an experience that let them go through life with confidence. They learned what it meant to work hard and succeed. Not only did the girls on the team learn that they could win, but the community learned that it could produce something good. The girls on the team may not have ended up with Cornell hollywood endings, but I believe that they graduated more motivated confident humans who were more willing to change their world for the better.


Rocks with Wings_2
Name: Julia
Date: 2005-03-23 14:56:23
Link to this Comment: 13931

I agree with Talia's comment about this really being a team movie. That was probably the most important aspect of the movie. When the team had a problem, they had a problem. When the coach had a problem, it affected the entire team and they banded together to solve that problem. Victory never belonged to one specific person; it was always shared equally even though some players might not have played as much as others. The theme of the team was incredibly strong.





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