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Denise

A patriarchal society values brawn over brains. Making girls just as sports obsessed as boys is just perpetuating the problem. My mother is also originally from Italy and she has always been disturbed with the American obsession with Sports. She says that Men in Italy do go crazy for soccor but that's it. She says in Italy there just is not this singular focus on Sports. America, unlike Italy, has always devalued emotion and "femininity", the cultural fixation with sports is a result of this. I never played sports. I never had any desire to. I have always had alot of interests, but Sports bore me. I personally feel that Arts and intellectual pursuits are far more enriching. I feel that I deal with life just fine and don't consider myself deficient at all for never having played sports.
I think that it's great to be active and have fun, but I truly think sports (especially team sports) are overrated. I think that there are alot of negatives associated with sports that you never seem to hear about.
You write in your previous post that sports entitled the boys to respect that the girls did'nt seem to get. I think that says it all. Proficiency in Sports is the measure of success in a macho society, and girls and non-athletic boys are made to fell inferior. The problem is the system (Patriarchy). The solution is not to encourage girls to be "honorary boys", but rather to eliminate Patriarchy.
Thanks for letting me rant. "Sports Mania" has always been a Pet Peeve of mine.

ballgame

Denise, I share your pet peeve. 'Sports fanaticism' is the unsurprising outcome of mixing two of the darker aspects of American culture: anti-intellectualism and relentless competitiveness. Competitive sports can be fun and teach a lot of the virtues that HF talks about, but there is, indeed, ultimately far too much emphasis on winning, to the detriment of "girls and non-athletic boys", as you point out. (Although soon it will be just to the detriment of 'non-athletic girls and boys'.)

My preferred physical activity is biking. One of my co-workers was impressed by how much mileage I racked up, and she asked me, “Do you ever go racing?” On its own, certainly an innocent enough question, but it did seem to emanate from a kind of American attitude that an activity isn’t really meaningful unless it involves beating somebody else.

In chatting with another co-worker about college hoops, he made it very clear that he divided teams into two categories: the champions who won the title, and losers (everybody else). I thought at first he was just engaging in a little rhetorical hyperbole, but eventually concluded that’s what he really felt. Sad, and a little nuts.

Because so much of sports is sold as, “you’re not good at it unless you’re better than someone else,” too many kids give up on what should be a fun and essential part of their lives.

Denise

Great Post, Ballgame !
I would like to add that relentless competitiveness is behind the lore of school and pro-sports. Whenever I am in any situation where I am bombarded with Sports Fans,I always hear the "my school is better than your school" or "my city is better than your city" just because their home team won. I feel that Spectator Sports put people on an emotional rollar coaster in which they have no control over the situation. I am not a Psychologist, but this cannot be healthy ! I personally do not care which team won or lost. It boggles my mind as to how many people place such importance on meaningless outcomes.
Now, when I was a kid I loved activities like swimming and bike riding. But, I never considered myself athletic. To me these activites were just fun. I always resisted organized sports and glad I did even though I knew
at a young age that American Society disproportionally rewards those with athletic ability. I simply did not enjoy them and was more than happy to do my own thing.It is just the mentality I was raised with. My parents just brought me up with the belief that there is a whole lot more to life than sports.
Thanks again for letting me rant.

Denise

Great Post, Ballgame !
I would like to add that relentless competitiveness is behind the lore of school and pro-sports. Whenever I am in any situation where I am bombarded with Sports Fans,I always hear the "my school is better than your school" or "my city is better than your city" just because their home team won. I feel that Spectator Sports put people on an emotional rollar coaster in which they have no control over the situation. I am not a Psychologist, but this cannot be healthy ! I personally do not care which team won or lost. It boggles my mind as to how many people place such importance on meaningless outcomes.
Now, when I was a kid I loved activities like swimming and bike riding. But, I never considered myself athletic. To me these activites were just fun. I always resisted organized sports and glad I did even though I knew
at a young age that American Society disproportionally rewards those with athletic ability. I simply did not enjoy them and was more than happy to do my own thing.It is just the mentality I was raised with. My parents just brought me up with the belief that there is a whole lot more to life than sports.
Thanks again for letting me rant.

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Hi,
such an interesting post.Physical inactivity has been established as a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and most Americans are not physically active enough to gain any health benefits. Women especially need to increase their physical activity because women become less active during their teenage years. Women also tend to stay less physically active than men for the rest of our lives.

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