Tag Archive: sports


An annual tradition…superbowl.

Let’s put up an example…a scenario if you will. Let’s pretend (it’s not a far stretch) a young 10-12 year old girl is sitting with her family to watch the supwerbowl. When the following things happen, it’s acceptable and it’s normal.

An annual tradition….sexism at the superbowl. Sexism with the cheerleaders. (Yeah, they are wearing those skimpy clothes to get the fans to cheer. Really?  It’s the superbowl. These are tickets people save for years to get, or do it one time in their life. This isn’t a high school game where nobody is cheering….this is the biggest football game in the US. There’s no excuse for them to be dressed like that except to show off their body parts.) Sexism with the half time show. (Do we really need to show women dancing around in lingerie and strip club gear? Does this have anything to do with entertainment…or does it have to do with showing women as mere body parts again. Plus, women are ok with it…those women are, so it must be acceptable.) Finally sexism in the commercials.

Our friends at the Date safe project have written a post on those commercials:

http://www.datesafeproject.org/2013/sex-tv-commercials-and-the-super-bowl/?inf_contact_key=d4fd3a466116799df8a2b26ea630a68b02c40aa8bb976342113ca380beb5a64d

Check it out.

Now, let’s get back to our 10-12 year old girl.  What did her society, media, parents, youtube, friends, and the news all say….that was a great game, and the performances were unbelievably great.

Girl heard: This is how to be a girl. This is what women do. This is how women dress. This is how women behave. This si what YOU are suppose to do.

Are you ok with that?

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Unless you grew up under or live under a rock, Super Bowl Sunday is likened to a national holiday and whether you celebrate it or not, you can’t help but know it’s coming. You can denounce Super Bowl Sunday all you want, but you can’t escape it. You can even go your entire life without watching one Super Bowl or attending one Super Bowl party, but you still can’t escape from it.  “Back in the day,” if you didn’t want anything to do with the Super Bowl you could just watch another tv station, go out to dinner, go to a movie, or in the most extreme cases barricade yourself in your house turn out the lights and pray that the game would be a complete and utter bore so the neighbors party would end soon and everything would go back to normal. In today’s world, there is no way to escape the Super Bowl even if you want to. With social media, you will get updates whether you want them or not and even be able to watch the commercials the day after.  It is a fact, that you will have friends, neighbors and co-workers who will update you with some trivial piece of information that means nothing in the bigger scope of the world.

Everyone whether they like it or not, can find something they enjoy with the Super Bowl. There are parties, alcohol, fabulous tasting homemade dips and desserts that will take a week on the treadmill just to burn off, and the hilarity of the conversations between friends supporting opposing teams. Then there is the pre-game show, the Star Spangled Banner that no one ever thinks is sung well enough, the half time show, crazy and hilarious commercials, and somewhere in there they play football.  As a woman, I can keep up with the best of them when it comes to calling the game. I’m the woman at the Super Bowl party that is not serving the food or asking the stereotypical girl questions to her boyfriend, “Now tell me again, who is the team in purple?” (As she cocks her head to the right and bats her eyes). As a woman, I can make a room full of men fall silent while they are busy debating what both teams have done wrong and why they basically suck, while I say something brilliant like, “If the quarterback would just take the snap and dive to the left of the center (called a quarterback sneak), then they would get the first down.” I’m also the woman who screams and damns the referee to hell when the foot was clearly in bounds.

sbHere’s the thing, though. I love football, but somehow over the course of time, I’ve learned to hate it and everything it stands for. We all are aware and have been since the beginning of the sport of the male role vs. the female role presented. The women are the cheerleaders and the men play the game. No one is blind to the obvious misogyny in the commercials…just look at this year’s Go Daddy.com commercial. Everyone recognizes the obvious violence in football.  (It’s a sport where people hit each other…that’s a no brainer).  None of that ever really bothered me until a few years ago when we started seeing women as reporters on the sideline. Everyone hailed it as a win for women. I did not. The woman on the sidelines is always beautiful, always thin, almost always blonde, and really just reports on the most recent injuries, the coach’s irritation with his own team, and the “atmosphere” of the crowd in the stadium. The men call the game. The men sit in the booth and report the stats and the men make a lot more money. Football more so than any other sport, is the epitome of violence, misogyny, and ego. It is modern day Rome.

Here’s another thing I learned. Much further away from the stadium, somewhere in someone’s home, is a woman and a man in an unhealthy and unstable relationship. With football comes an increased level of alcohol, gambling, yelling, and increased levels of testosterone. Images of sex and violence wrap the evening in a scene of tension. As it was explained to me once, “You don’t know what it’s like to pray for a team to win, when you really could care less about the outcome, just so he won’t take it out on you if they don’t.” This isn’t about hitting, because we always seem to jump straight to the extreme. This is about using sports as a reason to tear another person down. “My team didn’t win, so the house isn’t clean enough.” (Yeah that makes sense). “My team didn’t win, so we are going to have sex to prove I’m a man.” sb3(ummmm….o.k. like that’s going to change the outcome). “My team didn’t win and because I’m drunk, I’m going to find a reason to make this YOUR fault.” The house isn’t clean. The kids aren’t quiet. Dinner wasn’t good. You never do this, you never do that, you are always making my life miserable. For some, sports is an everything, always, and never proposition.

For some reason in this world of ours, sports is a bi-product of self-esteem. “If my team wins, then I get bragging rights for an entire year.” “If my team doesn’t win, then everything I am is worthless and always has been.” Entire communities will base their reputation on their sports team. We rally around the team and build it up. We will base our entire self-worth on the team we support. We base friendships on sports and billions of dollars dictate our mindset.

sb4I’m not sure I’ll ever completely give up football or some of the other sports I love to watch. I can’t however, close my eyes to the vile amounts of money we spend on them while we ignore our fellow man. I can’t ignore the fact that our world could be different if our priorities shifted to the love of each other vs. the love of a sports team. I absolutely can’t ignore the fact that there are men in this world whose own self-worth is so low, that they base their entire mindset on a 20 something quarterback and a ball. Last night when the 49ers missed the two-point conversion that would have tied the game with less than 10 minutes left, I can’t help but wonder how many cuss words were hurled, walls were hit, sports artifacts were thrown, and how many women sat on the couch praying for that ball to make it into the endzone.

 

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There is now compelling evidence that Domestic Violence education or at least gender equality education is needed for boys who are playing team sports, especially sports that are violent in nature (Rugby, football, lacrosse, etc).

It’s not a coincidence that football players (here in the US), Rugby players (in Australia and England), and LaCrosse players (in many countries – the most prolific case was the killing of Yeardly love in Virgina Tech) are the people are being accused and indicted for sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual harassment, and attempted sexual assault and battery.

All of the following information comes from this article: http://www.xyonline.net/content/sport-athletes-and-violence-against-women

A few disturbing stats –

Violent sports team player make up less than 2% of the college campus population, but they make up over 20.2% of the sexual assault cases.

Players of violent team sports are 5.5 times more likely to engage in sexual assault activities where they are either part of or intimately know the act is happening.

But the question is why?

The following are cited as risk factors that promote this type of violence:

Male bonding – Although great for the team environment, it also increases the anti-girl view and belief, and a hyper-testosterone view of male and male privileged.

Aggressive sports – the team members are rewarded for their aggressive, “don’t take no for an answer” actions and responses.

Sexualization and subordination of women in sports – Most aggressive sports have women as “eye candy’ and nothing more, and usually in very little clothes depicting a lack of worth as people.  Also, these sports are not seen as “girl sports’ so they are seen as weaker and lack the same value as their male counterparts.

Celebrity Status and entitlement: This idea that you are “great” and should get anything you want because of your talents are translated into everything. It also increases and emphasizes the idea of male privileged.

Drug Abuse: Though it’s not an excuse, increased drug activity is seen as a risk factor for sexual assault and when mixed with the rest of these it is lethal.

Groupie mentality – There are many women who want to engage in sexual activities with these men, therefore all women are seen as these girls.

With education, all spurts teams and men on these teams can be educated that these ideas are wrong and need to remain on the sports field not in real life.

Let us remember – these are the same things that have killed and abused many wives of professional athletes.

Most recently, Kasandra M. Perkins was killed by her husband a Kansas Chiefs player right before he took his own life. As the news reports came out…they blamed the killing on drugs, mental illness, and anger issues – but all related to Domestic Violence, which there were multiple reports of. kasandra

This is a landmark moment for women in the Olympics.

It’s pretty amazing that there are so many women competing in so many fields, and as the medals are given out that means many of them will be given to women. What a cool though that truly is.

However, let’s hope there isn’t anymore sexist nonsense coming out of the reporters pens, laptops, and mouths like this article.

(I received this information from a wonderful blog and website: http://iamafeminist.net/   Please go to the site and read the other awesome articles, quotes, and amazing writing)

Sadly, this is an example of minimizing and stereotyping both genders.

This is the article about the US women’s Olympic basketball team.  

1st – Title: Why the US women are beatable

WOW!  I know we are talking about sports and in sports they say and speak in words that denote win and loose, and when you lose you got beat. However, this title alone is AWFUL!!!  I mean, even adding “Olympic Basketball team” would make this better. Instead, on ESPN (a multi-national read and published website and magazine) we have the headline in big bold words stating that: US women have the ability to be beat and here are the reasons why.

This is like a Domestic abuser’s manifesto!  I’m sorry, there are way too many words and phrases to be used in the English language to allow someone to write a title like this, though I am taking it out of context, and think it is ok. This act is deplorable, and the mere act of using this kind of language perpetuates the abuse of 1.5 million people per year. (Yes, that’s an accurate number…sad…but accurate)

2nd – An actual phrase used in the article: “In a women’s game where certain coaches might be sensitive to feelings and emotions and not upsetting the fragile psyche of a young woman”

Are we really still seeing women like this?  Are we really still stereotyping women as sensitive, emotional, and with a fragile psyche?  Was this written in this century?  Please!

Women are and always have been strong, independent, caring, and amazing humans. Like all others of the human race, we are taught how to act, live, and be the people we are. If a person cares or shows more feelings than someone else, it is only because they have been taught that that is allowable. And it should be allowable!  When a feeling is felt, it should be allowed to be expressed and felt.

How dare anyone judge an Olympian on how they show or don’t show their emotions, and at what level they do.

We must end this ridiculous stereotyping of women and men!

3rd: Men stereotyping:  “he brings a man’s mentality to the women’s game in a T-bone and whiskey sort of way.”

This article is talking about the new coach the US Women’s Olympic basketball team. Is this really how we depict people in today’s day and age?

Men are t-bone eating whisky drinking burly people right?  No!

Yes, this is a description of a specific section of the male population, but it is not the norm in any way.  This is a comment on the “male stereotype”. This is a comment on the socialization that our society works to put our boys through so that when they get out of the American male socialization machine, this stereotype will hold true.

This is exactly what the Pinellas County Prevention group is trying to stop. This is exactly what men’s groups all over the world and the United States are trying to eliminate from our culture and our society. This IS NOT the view of men we need to promote in sports, in our society, our community, or even in print.

This entire archaic way of printing, speaking, writing, and view of our world must end.

How do you think we can change these 3 things?

 

 

How many bodies are we ok with seeing because of domestic violence?

How many people are we ok with being killed by the hands of someone who says they love them?

How many of our children are we ok with being abused by their boyfriend or girlfriend?

How many of our neighbors funerals are we ok going to?

To put it simply, and to echo the White House of The United States of America: 1 is too many!

NOW HEAR THIS!!

NOW HEAR THIS!!

 

There is a video contest going on!!!

The whole premise is:

Seeing My World through a Safer Lens

Soo, seeing your world in a safer community.

Seeing your world safer than you can imagine!!!

According to the website:

In commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the CDC National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (Injury Center), we are hosting this video contest to answer the question, “What does Injury and Violence Prevention Look Like in My Community?”

The “Seeing My World through a Safer Lens” video contest asks injury and violence professionals, students, and the general public to create a short video that shows injury and violence prevention in their neighborhood, community, state, or region.

You can pick any of the following topic areas to show what injury and violence prevention looks like in your own community.

CLICK to learn more about each of the injury and violence prevention topics:

Motor Vehicle Safety

 

Home and Recreational Safety

 

Violence Prevention

Traumatic Brain Injury

 

Grab a phone, grab a camera, grab a video camera, grab some elses video cvamera (NO STEALING!!!) and go out and film!

 

Enter the contest by July 15, 2012.

The following is the full article of how the NFL is working toward the prevention and cessation of Teen Dating Violence and Intimate Partner Violence

Read on……

NFL program works to teach teens how to have healthy relationships

LatinaLista — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that one in four adolescents reports verbal, physical, emotional or sexual abuse from a boyfriend or girlfriend each year.

 

Otherwise known as teen dating violence, it has been on the rise over the last several years. It’s gotten to the point that the Arizona state legislature is now requiring their school districts to incorporate dating abuse information into school curriculums.

And the Massachusetts Essex County District Attorney was so concerned about the rise of teen dating violence in his state that he released a video called “Teens Talk About Dating Abuse.”

A Rhode Island congressman has been holding community strategy sessions at a local high school to explore how to best combat the growing epidemic.

The term “epidemic” may be an understatement considering that a free teen dating app released in April and developed by The Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence has already been downloaded in more than 20 states across the nation.

The app provides teens with information on “where to get help if they are in unhealthy or violent relationships; provides guidance on what defines a healthy relationship; and informs teens how to help a friend experiencing dating violence.”

However, the root cause of teen dating violence is the attitude boys and girls have towards one another. The solution involves changing that attitude through education and awareness.

The National Football Players Association, working with the national men’s organization, A Call to Men, an organization devoted to addressing domestic and sexual violence prevention, launched Training Camps for Life .

Training Camps for Life puts NFL football players to work, along with A Call to Men representatives, in discussing topics such as overcoming adversity, the impact of decisions and consequences, and healthy teen relationships.

A CALL TO MEN will work with Training Camps for Life participants to challenge the attitudes and beliefs about what it means to be a man. Teens will examine popular culture through a lens of respect and equality, and dissect lyrics of current hip-hop tracks to understand the concept of male privilege. They will also learn to identify the nuances of abuse – like flirting vs. harassment – and understand when and how to seek help.

Considering that health experts say that many girls victimized by teen dating violence don’t report the abuse, it’s important that girls, as well as boys, learn what it means to be respected and when abuse isn’t a sign of love or affection.

To that end, boys and girls who participate in the Training Camps for Life program have the option to sign a pledge called LIVERESPECT. If they sign it, they commit to end teen relationship abuse and speak out against domestic violence.

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