Don’t Play the “Fool”

As students, we are expected to uphold to Academic Integrity. For example, when taking our reading quizzes, we are expected to do the readings and then do the quiz. As Mika continuously mentions, he sometimes includes things on those quizzes to ensure that we are indeed doing the readings and not just looking up the answers on Google. In the reading, Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan, the fool is mentioned and his vision is seen as breaking contracts or covenants is your choice, which is based on your benefit. So the way I look at it is we are the fools in this situation.

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The New Age Of Athletics

Women’s lacrosse is now considered a varsity sport at most high-level universities.

When watching sports today, one can easily find women competing at the highest levels in a variety of sports including the Olympics, professional leagues, and collegiate sports. In today’s world, women have the ability to participate in almost any sport they desire, including sports once considered to be exclusively for men. This is not how it has always been. Until the 1970s when landmark legislation called Title IX was enacted, women had very few athletic opportunities and the available options were confined to sports deemed by cultural norms to be “feminine.” This discrimination of women and limiting of the opportunities available to them can be directly attributed to a larger cultural belief that existed during the time. The impact of Title IX can be seen in today’s landscape where freedom of opportunity is almost unrecognizable from the time before it was introduced. When observing the history of women’s athletic opportunities and the cultural notions that surround them, it is very helpful to examine the situation before and after Title IX was enacted. Continue reading

Sparknotes: The Fools Challenge

The Sparknotes Logo

The Sparknotes Logo

Students all of the country in both high school and college are often assigned excerpts and chapters from books such as Shakespeare, the Odyssey and others books. However, in today’s world where you can find almost anything on the Internet it doesn’t always seem necessary to read the assigned chapters. Instead students often have the option to use study guide websites such as Sparknotes or Cliff Notes, which give a general summary of the chapters, books and articles. Here lies what Hobbes might describe as an example of the fools challenge.

In the eyes of Hobbes’s fool students should utilize Sparknotes. The fool maintains that sometimes breaking a covenant for ones self-interest and personal gain is an acceptable and reasonable action to take. In this case the fool would encourage students to use Sparknotes because it would save them time and work, and thus it is in their own self-interest to use Sparknotes. Continue reading

Learning To Be Bad

Theorist, along with many other individuals, have hypothesized for hundreds of years the natural state of humans and the reasons for why people act in the specific ways that they do.  Some of the most popular theories have completely contrasting ideals, while others take a little bit from both and end up somewhere in the middle.  Frequently, people simplify these views by placing them into one of two categories; pessimists and optimists.  Pessimists are notorious for believing the worst in people, while optimists are known to see the best in people which often leads them to be criticised as naive.  Typically the theories that reside towards the middle of the spectrum are often ignored due to their general lack of extremity.  However, it’s often these theories that people usually agree with due to their relatability. Continue reading

Like A Girl

As a result of Title IX, women have benefited from more athletic opportunities and more justifiable facilities. Also, women have received more athletic scholarships and as a result more opportunities for higher education that some may not have been able to afford otherwise. Title IX also increased the salaries of coaches for women’s teams. Despite all of the positive changes that have come from Title IX, there is still much work to be done in reaching full equality between men and women in the world of sports.

In the book The Playing Fields of Eton by Professor Mika Lavaque-Manty, there is a full title that explores some of the challenges women encounter in sports. This chapter entitled “Being a Woman and Other Disabilities” compares being a woman to having a disability in the sports world.  The title of the chapter alone, as the two are paired together, gives off the connotation that society views women in sports as being similar to those with disabilities. In society, men are stereotyped as being stronger, tougher, more competitive and more aggressive than women. These stereotypes create the ideas that men are naturally better than women at sports and that women cannot perform up the same standards as men.

This reminded me of a controversial Dove commercial that has gotten a lot of public attention recently. This commercial aims to get the general public to stop using the saying “like a girl”. In it, young kids that are asked to perform “like a girl” throw a ball as hard and tough as they can, while older children asked the same thing purposefully throw a ball less far than they normally would. This implies that, as kids grow up, society teaches them to believe that girls cannot perform as well as boys, and even girls have started to believe it. This has become a giant obstacle for all girls to overcome in sports.

It is implied that women’s sporting events are less intense and less exciting then men’s games. As stated in this chapter, there are a lot fewer spectators at women’s sporting events then there are at men’s. It is also said in this chapter that, “no women’s sport is what universities call a “revenue” sport”. Unfortunately, this has a lot of truth to it. It is obvious that a lot of the revenue at the University of Michigan comes from our men’s basketball, hockey, and football team. As a women’s lacrosse player here at the University of Michigan, I can say that we definitely do not get as many fans as any of those sports, especially as a brand new program. Plus, we were only able to create our program because of the revenue that these other sports have created for the university. However, women’s sporting events here at the University of Michigan are exciting.  As an example, we have one of the best softball teams in the country, ranked number 11. Our field hockey team is also ranked number 11 in the country. These sporting events obviously would be exhilarating to watch because these teams are competing against the best as they fight for the Big Ten Title.

Women's basketball game with many empty seats.

University of Michigan women’s basketball game with many empty seats.

Packed arena at a men's basketball game

A packed arena at a men’s basketball game

The fight for women’s equality in the sports world has been going on for a long time and in1974 Billie Jean King created the Women’s Sports Foundation. This foundation was created in order to fight for gender equality in sports. The mission of the foundation is to “advance the lives of girls and women through sport and physical activity”. They support and encourage girls to become more involved in sports and excel at them. Women athletes deserve more credit than they are being given as they do the same amount of training and hard work as men do. Women athletes are driven to succeed and are determined just like men.

WSF-GGG-Logo-General-web600

It is important to try to change the idea that women are not competing at the same high level as men do as well as the idea that these events are not exciting to attend. Society needs to make a change at the way that everyone perceives women’s sports. Although women’s and men’s competitions are different, it does not mean they are any less competitive or intense. Women compete just as hard as men and we should work to eliminate the saying “like a girl”.