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Playing Unfair

31 Oct

      I watched the film “Playing Unfair – The Media Image of the Female Athlete” reflects on how the media portrays female athletes as weak, subordinate and sex symbols. Women athletes were not given the opportunity to be equals until the passing of Title IX. The law would not allow anyone to be rejected in participating in sports based off gender. Although the passing of Title IX legally granted equality to female athletes, there are still social boundaries to climb over.

The coverage women received differed from men. When sports announcers would say the name of athletes they address women by their first name and men by their last name. Once the video made this claim I realized I had noticed this detail before. When watching the Olympics this summer, my favorite sport to watch was tennis. I noticed when the announcer was covering Andy Roddick’s game he or she would refer to him as Roddick. However, when Serena Williams was playing her opponent they would refer to her as Serena.

“Playing Unfair” opened my eyes to how the media molds female athletes into sex symbols. The film would compare images of swimsuit models to well-known women athletes. The women had similar poses as well as wearing little clothing. The athletes would claim they wanted to show off their body because they were proud of how fit they were or it made them feel empowered. But the experts in the film made an excellent point; these women are role models to girls and young athletes should not think the only way to feel empowered is to pose half naked.

Malala is my Hero

14 Oct

Many of us, Americans, take our rights for granite.  We are born with the right to freedom of speech and we just assume we have the right to speak out against anything unjust and typically there aren’t any consequences for our words. I could not imagine living in a country where if you speak your mind you are faced with death. After reading the article about the 14-year-old girl, Malala Yousufzai, who spoke out against the Taliban I was shocked. She wrote about how the Taliban restricts women especially when it came to education.

The young girl acted years above her age and understood she could face death when she wrote about her beliefs. Yousufzai was hunted down and the Taliban opened fire at her school. She was left seriously injured but awarded with the Pakistan’s first peace prize for her bravery.

On Sex Education and Latinas

20 Sep

Lisa brought up sex education and I started preaching on a tangent, so I’m making a post about it.

I’d say easier access to birth control would help to correct the larger part of a massive problem, but for any progress made to be sustained we need sex education that extends beyond abstinence and that it needs to be offered bilingually. For the largest minority in the U.S., Latinos, birth control isn’t the silver bullet with Latinas, it’s better sex education AND birth control.

I personally can attest to this in Latino culture. My father is 100 percent Mexican and a Pastor. I attended a Christian school through elementary and middle school. My mother’s attempt at sex education was taking me to a Cracker Barrel (for breakfast…appetite eliminated) and flipping through an illustrated book she borrowed from the church. My sex education was essentially reading a borrowed copy of Cosmopolitan magazine under the covers with a flashlight at night (PITY ME). Sex does not exist in the Latino household.

According to the Pew Hispanic Center Study,  Latino parents aren’t discussing sex or birth control. “Just over half of Latino youths (53 percent) report that their parents talked to them about sex when they were growing up. A smaller share—39 percent—report that their parents talked to them about birth control.” Young Hispanics are having about the same amount of sex as other kids their age, but for some reason Latinas end up pregnant far more often than other races and ethnicity. I draw a parallel between the lack of transparency surrounding sex and the 51 percent of Latinas that will become pregnant before the age of 21, and one-fourth (26 percent) of Hispanic females that will be mothers by the time they reach age 19. Now, luckily for me I’ve never been pregnant. If I had, I probably would not find myself among the 32 percent of Latinos that have attained some level of a college education.

In summary…easier access to  birth control is a fantastic stride, but bilingual sex education that extends beyond abstinence is vital in sustaining any progress we make. Also, Cosmo Magazine does not get enough credit. Yes, they preach a very nasty shade of lipstick feminism and the sex tips are often ill-advised…but they taught me how to use a condom 🙂