Peng Shuai and Tennis’ #Metoo Moment by Janet Maika’i Rudolph

I am a fervent tennis follower in all its forms. I both play and watch tennis. That is, perhaps, why this story caught my eye. As I’ve written before, I am also a survivor of sexual assault, so these #metoo stories are personal.  

On Nov. 2, Peng Shuai, a member of the WTA (Women’s Tennis Association), charged a high-ranking Chinese official with sexual assault via social media. Her post was taken down in under 30 minutes and for 2 weeks she was not heard from at all by any independent person. An uproar ensued with major tennis stars speaking out including Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka, Andy Murray, and Novak Djokovic. Peng, a 3-time Olympian herself, has been ranked as high as #1 in doubles and #14 in singles.

Could this be the case where there might actually be consequences for silencing a woman who has credibly charged abuse? It appears, at least for now, that the WTA is doing the right thing. After some initial dithering, the WTA is, as of this writing, standing strong saying they will withdraw tournaments from China until there is a satisfactory resolution to this situation. This is a billion-dollar industry with 11 tournaments scheduled to take place in China yearly. In other words, its a big deal.

Continue reading “Peng Shuai and Tennis’ #Metoo Moment by Janet Maika’i Rudolph”

Scoring the Goals: US Women’s National Team and the Global Growth of Women’s Soccer by Anjeanette LeBoeuf

AnjeanetteIts June and that means Summer Sports. And June 2019 means the Women’s World Cup. The 2019 Women’s World Cup is taking place in France this year and with it means stadiums and pitches (Field) that are high quality. The 2015 World Cup qualifying matches and competition matches were played on unsafe pitches that resulted in some injuries. There are a lot of differences from the 2015 to 2019 World Cups that are a great analogy for the progress of women’s rights, position, and status.

Continue reading “Scoring the Goals: US Women’s National Team and the Global Growth of Women’s Soccer by Anjeanette LeBoeuf”

Changing How Football Sells by Anjeanette LeBoeuf

AnjeanetteKeeping with the sports theme of my last FAR post, I decided to look at a sport which has been typically lacking in female viewership and participating, American football. Over the last five years, there has been an overt attempt to change the way sports, and especially American football, is advertised and marketed. It is true, there are certain sports which not only have been heavily male centric in participation but also in its viewership. Yet, in 2016, viewership of sports no longer seems to be restricted to gender. Men and women are packing stadiums, turning the TV on, and signing up for fan clubs to support their favorites teams and athletes. Continue reading “Changing How Football Sells by Anjeanette LeBoeuf”

#SheBelieves: How Women’s Soccer is Continuing the Feminist Fight By Anjeanette LeBoeuf

AnjeanetteSoccer is considered the international sport. The success and fervor of soccer across the global has created a form of religious mythos. Many football fanatics have described their love for their club and their attendance to a match, as a ‘religious experience.’ I myself felt like I was on holy ground when I stepped foot onto the grounds of FC Barcelona and Aston Villa FC. And it is on this sacred ground that women are continuing the struggle for equality.

The US Women’s Soccer Team has struggled since its inception in 1985. It has struggled to gain sponsorship, viewership, and even validation that women could play 90 minutes in one of the most physically demanding sports. Continue reading “#SheBelieves: How Women’s Soccer is Continuing the Feminist Fight By Anjeanette LeBoeuf”

Everywhere I am surrounded by tales of violence by Grace Yia-Hei Kao

 Grace Yia-Hei KaoAs I write this blog, I am nearing the end of my week-long family vacation in Palm Desert. While we’ve had lots of fun splashing around in the pool, everywhere I turn I am bombarded by scenes and memories of violence.

Continue reading “Everywhere I am surrounded by tales of violence by Grace Yia-Hei Kao”

Thanks for Coming (Out): Sexuality, Sports, and Spirituality by John Erickson

I have to be honest, Jason Collins’ admission that he was a homosexual, albeit brave, upset me. While coming out is an completely unique experience to every individual that does it, Jason Collins’ story was just another example of the rampant sexist and heteropatriarachal world that privileges male bodies and sexualities over women’s similar experiences. While I applaud Jason’s story and it’s timing, the first thing I asked to my colleagues was: Where was the hubbub over Sheryl Swoopes or Martina Navratilova?

John Erickson, sports, coming out. Like marking off items on a proverbial checklist, closeted LGBTQ individuals who exist within and outside of the world of professional sports, can recount the numerous things they struggle with in terms of their sexuality.  From fearing of the actual coming out process, dressing in their car or at home to avoid the subtle glances and whispers of individuals in the locker room, to wondering what coming out would mean not only for their game but also for their social and, if they choose, spiritual lives, closeted and out LGBTQ individuals within the multi-billion dollar professional sports industry must grapple with that age old question: what does it mean to be gay and open about it?

The Locker Room

I have to be honest, Jason Collins’ admission that he is a homosexual, albeit brave, upset me.  While I understand that coming out is an completely unique experience to every individual who does it, for me Jason Collins’ story was also an example of the rampant sexist and heteropatriarachal world that privileges male bodies and sexualities over those of women.  While I applaud Jason’s story and the timing, the first thing I asked to my colleagues was: where was the same hubbub over Sheryl Swoopes or Martina Navratilova? Continue reading “Thanks for Coming (Out): Sexuality, Sports, and Spirituality by John Erickson”

Second Class Rape Victims: Rape Hierarchy and Gender Conflict

Deconstructing masculinity isn’t the key to solving social, sexual, and domestic violence across the world but it is a step worth taking when attempting to engage men in affecting change to stop these violent actions since men, statistically are the perpetrators of such crimes that both cause such outcry as well as perpetual silence.

johnThe most disturbing part of the 2006 documentary Deliver Us from Evil isn’t the fact that Father Oliver O’Grady is rewarded by the Catholic Church with a new congregation in Ireland after his short stint in prison for the rape of dozens of children in the 1970s, but rather the hierarchy of gendered victimization which is often created throughout the various rape cases that are both reported and unreported throughout history.

I am often troubled by the ways in which rape cases are discussed and deconstructed via mediums such as blogs, online communities, social media networks, the news, and popular culture.  No series of events troubled me more than the Jerry Sandusky trial, but more importantly, the ways in which the young boys and adult men who were subjected to Sandusky’s abuse quickly overshadowed the other rape cases that are reported on a daily basis, specifically those involving young girls and women. Continue reading “Second Class Rape Victims: Rape Hierarchy and Gender Conflict”

Title IX and Our Future Leaders and Activists by Paula L. McGee

In January, I wrote a blog about my life and Title IX. Perhaps the greatest celebration that speaks to the power of Title IX is represented by the future feminists that attended the jersey retirement, my dissertation defense, and the graduation. I wrote the blog because I wanted to make sure that everyone was aware that this year is the fortieth anniversary of Title IX.  I also knew that very few people would understand the uniqueness and significance of an African American woman from a working class background having a jersey retired and graduating with a Ph.D.—all in the same year.

In February, my sister and I had our jerseys retired at USC. I wanted the day to be special, so I invited my friends and colleagues. All of my worlds (faith, academics, and athletics) that seldom cross collided. The event turned out to be a celebration of diversity with representatives from the world of politics, athletics, and religion. Claremont Graduate University was actually one of the sponsors. Continue reading “Title IX and Our Future Leaders and Activists by Paula L. McGee”

Football Is a Bad Religion by Barbara Ardinger

As soon as I read Carol Christ’s comments on football, I said, “Yeah! She’s totally right.” I keep asking people I know who watch football games what is enjoyable about watching large millionaires giving each other concussions. I understand that some sports demand skills I don’t possess, but football? What skills? It’s a mystery to me.

The characters in my new novel, Secret Lives, agree with Carol and me about the Super Bowl. The following excerpt comes from Chapter 21, “A World at War.” The Norns, in disguise as the Wintergreen Sisters, have come to town with the intention of taking power over the heras of the novel, the grandmothers who live in Long Beach, CA, and do magic. Our crones, however, have no intention of being taken over, or even seduced by promises of power, but when they meet on Super Bowl Sunday, 1990, they don’t yet know that the war on TV will be only a tiny fragment of the larger war that the Norns will soon wage against them using gigantic ravens and thunderstorms as their weapons.

Let’s listen in on “the girls.” (Madame Blavatsky is the circle’s familiar, a talking cat.) Continue reading “Football Is a Bad Religion by Barbara Ardinger”

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