Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Women's Achievements

       Much of the information Mrs. Kingsbury's presented was surprising, it was however not surprising to hear that many of women's successes in the past have not been displayed alongside much of mens' accomplishments.  Last year Ms. O'Connell would say, "history is told from the victor (or more powerful)."  When we learned about women's suffrage it was told from upper class white women,  we leaned about Roman history from the Roman Aristocracy, and the same is true for American history.  Much of American history is told from the perspective of white men.  I was taken back by how few of the names Mrs. Kingsbury put up I knew.  While I was surprised to hear about the "Hidden Figures," Vaughan, Jackson, and Johnson practically ran NASA's space departments math, it was not surprising, but saddening that I had not heard of them, as the 1960's were not the most inclusive time in America for minorities. 
     I remember when the USA Women's Hockey team took a stance, and demanded a more equal pay, and I supported them the whole way.  It was not a livable wage, and they do not have the same wage earning possibilities as a professional men's hockey player, and their base salary was down right disrespectful.  There are many parts of the women's sports equality debate that I have trouble following.  While sports are beneficial for all - they teach lessons that cannot be taught in the classroom, and allows one make lifelong bonds; professional sports are a business, and professional men and women are not paid the same for quite clear economic reasons.  Money in sports essentially comes from the fans.  Much of a franchises revenue is generated through entertainment - television, tickets, merchandise, ect.  Call it right, call it wrong, but the general public watches mens sports far more that women's sports.  Responses are usually along the lines of, "that's because women's sports are never on tv." Which leads me to my next point, TV is driving by ratings, and big college football games get better ratings than women's field hockey.  The business of college sports is not necessary equal, but it is run as a business.  The University of Texas's football team is valued at $129 million, and it generated $65 million for its athletic department, while players have said they have gone to bed hungry - that is a problem.  While Title IX's application has been beneficial to many small colleges, it has damaged the athletic programs of many schools with a large hockey, basketball, football program.  Title IX adversely affects both men and women in this case.  Large programs are expensive, and University's are forced to cut mens programs, and limit women's programs to make up for the large discrepancy in budgets.  To combat this problem, I suggest that we hold these large programs as separate entities, as they are, and have the rest of the programs have an equal balance sheet.  Another problem that I have with Title IX, many women would agree with.  After Title IX was used in sports, women's coaching salaries became higher, and many men "took" these jobs.  A question/debate that I hold is, why are athletic departments more likely to hire a man as a head coach than a women? (open discussion).  To conclude,  I both enjoyed hearing many of the women Mrs. Kingsbury spoke about, but was also saddened by how foreign the names were.  I see the solution to this problem beginning with educators of this country.  We learn our history in school, and what we learned is dictated by our teachers. It starts with you Mrs. Slater!
Signing off,
Harrison Gray 

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