Monday, September 29, 2014

IOC Adds LGBT Anti-Discrimination Clause

The International Olympic Committee has added an anti-discrimination clause to the contract that host cities must sign if they wish to be considered for future Olympic games.

Future host cities, starting with the 2022 Winter Olympics whose host city will be chosen next year, will sign a legal document saying they will follow Fundamental Principle 6 of the Olympic Charter, which reads: "Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement."

Declaring that the Olympics must prevent a replay of Sochi – in a nation with an anti-gay "propaganda" law – Andre Banks, co-founder and executive director of All Out said, “This is a significant step in ensuring the protection of both citizens and athletes around the world and sends a clear message to future host cities that human rights violations, including those against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, will not be tolerated.”

Hierarchies are weakening all over the place.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Feminism - Men, For Your Benefit Too

The Harry Potter and Bling Ring actress Emma Watson gave a speech on gender equality at the U.N. recently. She is launching her new initiative, HeForShe.
In seeking to get men to listen that feminism should be their issue too, she said,

"Gender equality is your issue too. Because to date, I've seen my father's role as a parent being valued less by society despite my needing his presence, as a child, as much as my mother's. I've seen young men suffering from mental illness, unable to ask for help, for fear it would make them less of a men—or less of a man. In fact, in the U.K., suicide is the biggest killer of men, between 20 to 49, eclipsing road accidents, cancer and coronary heart disease. I've seen men made fragile and insecure by a distorted sense of what constitutes male success. Men don't have the benefits of equality, either."

Friday, September 19, 2014

Football - Can the NFL Remain Clueless?

As the top  money-making sports enterprise in the world, and one who promotes a sport that is now shown to cause significant brain damage to its (wealthy) participants, will NFL power and money trump how women and children and other men are treated by its players?

After all, football is a male-only violent sport. According to ESPN's Hannah Storm, "Are we supposed to simply separate a violent game on the field from violent acts off the field?"

With a public who is mesmerized by the hype and money that football has become in the United States, which is more important, keeping players and team owners as demigods who are beyond the law, or looking seriously at a sport that may not be healthy for participants or observers?

“Are you a decent person? Do you regard yourself as having a moral compass? Do you try to lead your everyday life in accordance with some basic ethical precepts, such as not countenancing brutality, greed and deception?” If so, Michael Tracey at Vice says, “then please, for God’s sake, don’t watch the NFL.”

Monday, September 15, 2014

St. Andrews - Will Another Male Bastion Fall?

 In addition to the independence vote in Scotland this week, we will all soon find out if the Royal and Ancient Gold Club in St. Andrews will break its tradition since 1783 of not allowing women to be members. Yawn........

Hopefully the reason for the change, if it occurs, which is likely, will be because stogy old men have come to their senses. However, we can't rule out the fact that golf participation is declining in the UK and the US and needs more players. Since Augusta National changed, St. Andrews can't claim that discrimination is the right of courses who consider themselves elite.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Holly Bobo - Same Song, How Many Verses?

The remains of Holly Bobo have been found, the Tennessee nursing student who disappeared in 2011, following the abduction by a man as described by her brother. Two male suspects are in custody.

Apparently, another woman or girl killed by a man.

Until we stop refusing to focus on the underlying causes of men's violence against women and girls, we won't come close to solving the problem. Why do men attack women? Why do men think it is advantageous to them to attack women? Why do men even consider the possibility? What about our male culture encourages, even rewards, these attitudes and behaviors toward women and girls? Why is the behavior that teaches men to attack women and girls seen as entertaining in movies and video games? Why do men refuse to examine and change their culture?

It is way past time to hold the top of our hierarchies accountable for their cultures that damage and kill those below. Yes, we may still need to come to the aid of victims, but our main focus in assault of women and girls must turn toward men.

Friday, September 5, 2014

The Untimate Family Man

If anyone tells you the stereotype that African American men can't step up to the plate when it comes to providing for and being committed to their families, mention Thurmond Alford.

Thurmond Alford commutes on land 7 hours, 220 miles each way to his dream job in Washington, D.C. so that his family can keep their roots in Richmond, Virginia. He passes through three major cities, forges three large rivers and crosses nine different counties.

What does Mr. Alford have to say about his commute? "It's all about family. If you don't have family what are you going to do?"

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Football Yields it's Place on Top to Archaeology

Football, on top of the sports hierarchy, receives a vast amount of resources and benefits only a select group of people, men. But as in anything on top of a hierarchy, we expect that football represents everyone, and that everyone wants to support and participate in the hierarchy that benefits only a few.

The author of the article "How Football Sounds to People That Don't Care. This Guy Nails It,"
uses a roll reversal technique to demonstrate the expected participation of all of us in the top-of-the-hierarchy game of football:
"Firstly, imagine every time within a day that football is mentioned by someone else. Secondly, replace it with something that you don't want to hear about every day. Say... Archaeology. Then, think carefully about how an average day would pan out."